How to Clean Silicone Beauty Tools and Personal Devices

Just because it's antimicrobial doesn't mean it doesn't have to be cleaned.

Whether it's a gentle facial cleansing tool (like the PMD Pro), a nifty face mask brush, or a feel-good vibrator, all silicone-based beauty tools and personal devices need to be cleaned, too. Wondering how to clean silicone sex toys or how to clean a silicone face brush? Below, we've tapped the experts on the benefits of using silicone, how best to clean silicone tools, and what not to do when sudsing them up.

Considerations Before You Get Started

Why would you choose a silicone beauty tool and personal device over other types of materials? In many cases, the silicone version of a product might be more expensive than the plastic version. This will understandably give some consumers pause. But the benefits of silicone far outweigh this downside.

Health Benefits of Using Silicone

According to Ben Segarra, a beauty industry expert, silicone is more hygienic for the skin (and down under) than other materials.

"It is almost impossible for bacteria to grow on silicone due to its non-porous surface and natural antimicrobial properties," he says. "This prevents you from putting unwanted bacteria onto your skin, unlike nylon bristles or other materials that grow bacteria after the first use."

Another added benefit of using a silicone-based beauty tool is that silicone is gentle on the skin. "Unlike other materials like plastic or metal that can be abrasive and cause micro-lacerations (tiny little cuts in the skin), silicone is non-abrasive and won't damage the skin," explains Segarra.

Environmental Benefits of Using Silicone

Silicone is a more environmentally friendly material compared to others. "Silicone won't grow bacteria or degrade over time as plastic does, which means you can use it for much longer without having to replace it."

"And unlike plastics, silicone is non-toxic to aquatic or soil organisms, and it does not leech any harmful chemicals back into the environment," says Segarra. Silicone can be recycled after a lifetime of use, and if incinerated in a landfill, it will convert back into harmless ingredients, like amorphous silica, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.

Application Benefits of Using Silicone

Silicone beauty tools, like I Dew Care Silicone Brush ($10;, can help with product application in a few ways. The silicone brush "helps keep your hands out of your skincare jars, and using a tool like a silicone brush will actually help you use less product because it'll assist in applying a uniform layer of product," explains Sunju Kim, Vice President of Product Development at MBX.

How Often to Clean Silicone

Wash a facial brush once every one to two weeks if you use it consistently. Clean silicone sex toys before and after each use. And no matter what, don't neglect washing a silicone tool. 

Just because something is antimicrobial doesn't mean it's completely immune to bacterial colonization. To prevent breakouts and keep your tools working at their full potential, wash them regularly, just as you would clean a makeup brush or a beauty blender.

What You Need:

  • Hand soap
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Warm water
  • Lint-free towel
  • White vinegar

How to Clean Silicone Brushes and Scrubbers With Soap or Vinegar

Because of its hydrophobic and antimicrobial properties, silicone devices are very low maintenance when it comes to having to clean them, according to Segarra. But it still needs to be done.

Step 1: Wash With Soap and Water

The best way to clean a PMD Pro or any other silicone brush is with soap and warm water.

  • Use any mild soap, though the best choice would be one designed for facial cleansing.
  • Massage the soap into the bristles until you achieve a lather.
  • Rinse with warm water. "Make sure you thoroughly rinse all soap residue before drying," says Segarra.

Step 2: Dry With Towel

Pat your device dry with a lint-free towel after using it. Then lay it flat and allow it to dry completely. Air drying is best to help the brush retain its flexibility.

Step 3: Soak in Vinegar if Necessary

If you live in an area that has hard water, you might notice a powdery white substance on your brush. That's minerals, and although it's not dangerous, it definitely doesn't look the most hygienic. To remove the problem:

  • Soak the silicone pieces in distilled white vinegar for about 30 minutes to cut through the mineral deposits.
  • Rinse the pieces in warm water.
  • Dry with a lint-free towel.

How to Clean a Silicone Vibrator With Antibacterial Soap

You essentially want to clean a silicone vibrator in the same way as a silicone beauty tool, but much more frequently.

Step 1: Wash With Soap and Water

Many sexual wellness companies sell device cleaners that are specially formulated to disinfect sex toys. But Tyler Aldridge, Director of Product at maude, says soap and water work, too.

  • "Hand wash your silicone sex toy in warm water with antibacterial soap or any device cleaner," he says. (Make sure to use antibacterial soap for intimate products because bodily fluids contain bacteria that can multiply and grow outside the body.)
  • Wet a cloth with soap and hot water and scrub in a circular motion, covering the entire device with a lather.

Step 2: Rinse and Take Care When Storing

Follow up your cleaning with a warm water rinse. Dry it completely and store away from other silicone devices.


What cleaning ingredients can damage silicone?

When figuring out how to clean a sonic face brush, "you want to avoid using oil-based cleansers, clay-based cleansers, or cleansers with granular exfoliants as they may damage the silicone," explains Segarra. Also, if you've been wondering how to clean a face brush with alcohol, Segarra advises against it. "Avoid using any cleaning products that contain alcohol or acetone, as they may damage the silicone and irritate the skin," he says.

Are silicone sex toys waterproof?

Some silicone sex toys are fully waterproof, while others can come into contact with water but not be fully submerged. "It is important to store your device solo (away from other silicone devices) and dry your device fully," explains Aldridge. "Additionally, scented soaps or household cleaners can break down the silicone and should be avoided."

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