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Penile Care: Tips on How to Clean the Penis

Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD · General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated May 25, 2023

Penile Care: Tips on How to Clean the Penis

Being equipped with tips on how to clean the penis can improve a man’s penile health. It can help decrease the chances of irritation and infection, which might lead to more serious health issues.

To keep good penile hygiene, wash the penis regularly with warm water. The use of soap is optional, but if you prefer to use some, gentle, non-perfumed soap is recommended. 

Tips on how to clean the penis

How to clean the penis depends on whether a man is circumcised or not.

A circumcised penis is easier to clean than a penis that has not gone under the blade. In the Philippines, 90% of mature males have gone through circumcision, according to WHO.

Circumcision is typically done before puberty. But it can also be performed shortly after birth.

Circumcision is a procedure that involves the removal of the foreskin (which covers the tip of the penis). This is done for a variety of reasons, such as personal hygiene, health concerns, and even, family or religious traditions.

In some instances, circumcision is done when the foreskin is too tight to be retracted.

Circumcision provides a variety of health benefits, including making the penis easier to clean, minimize the risk of UTI, STDs and in some cases, reduce the risk of penile cancer.

When it comes to hygiene, the absence of the foreskin makes cleaning easier as smegma build-up is less likely to happen. 

But being uncircumcised doesn’t mean a man is at greater risk for health problems. In fact, the risks involved in being uncircumcised are rare. What’s more they can be avoided with proper penile care and hygiene.

How to clean a circumcised penis

  1. Wash the penis and the groin in warm water every day during baths. 
  2. The use of soap is not required, as water is enough to keep the penis clean.
  3. When you opt for using soap, make sure it is a gentle, and non-perfumed kind to avoid irritation.
  4. Do not overwash, as it causes dryness as well as irritation. 
  5. Softly pat dry the penis after washing. Avoid rubbing the towel vigorously so the penis will not get sore. 

When a penis is uncircumcised, the foreskin is not removed. This results in the accumulation of smegma. Smegma is found in the folds of the foreskin, where moisture, oils, and dead skin cells form. When neglected, smegma build-up can lead to infection, causing balanitis. To prevent smegma build-up, here are more tips on how to clean the penis.

How to clean an uncircumcised penis

  1. Gently pull back the foreskin to expose the head of the penis.
  2. Wash the penis, the groin, and the folds of the foreskin with warm water.
  3. Make sure to get every nook and cranny of the foreskin clean, so that smegma will not accumulate. 
  4. You can also use mild and unscented soap to further clean the penis. But excessive use of it may dry up the foreskin and skin of penile shaft.
  5. With a soft towel, pat dry the head of the penis and gently put the foreskin back over the glans.  
  6. Remember not forcibly pull back the foreskin from the penis head as it may cause bleeding, scarring, and excruciating pain. 

Additional tips on how to clean the penis:

  • Avoid using powders on your penis, as much as possible. When the foreskin is present, powder can settle and accumulate under the foreskin, and cause irritation and pain. It is safe to apply powder on a circumcised penis as long as it is a cornstarch-based powder. Be mindful not to put powder on the urethra or the opening of the penis to prevent any discomfort.
  • Wash your hands before and after touching your penis, to prevent harmful agents from colonizing it.
  • Always wear freshly cleaned underwear. When your underwear is not properly washed, the detergent or any cleaning agent residue could cause skin discomfort. 
  • Washing your penis after sex with warm water and mild soap, gets rid of all the bodily fluids, lubricants, and oils accumulated on the penis after engaging in sexual activity. Peeing after intercourse cleans the urethra and eliminates harmful bacteria that can cause urinary tract infection. 

Key Takeaways

Ensuring that your genitals are clean is not only for your health and safety, but for your sexual partners as well. Following the tips on how to clean the penis supports overall health. If you have other concerns about reproductive health, don’t be reluctant in consulting a medical expert. 

Learn more about penile health, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD

General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated May 25, 2023

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