The Best Sex Toy Cleaners For Those That Take Hygiene Seriously
If I told you once, I’ll tell you a thousand times:
CLEAN YOUR SEX TOYS!
When it comes to adult toys, cleaning them is the most important activity you’ll ever do with them.
I will die on this hill.
If there is one thing the vagina or anus doesn’t like, it’s bacteria.
There are so many great toy cleaners on the market; that means that there is absolutely no excuse not to purchase some toy wipes or a quality spray that will get rid of all that bodily fluid.
Because it will fester, and that’s just GROSS.
Likewise, you also need to consider the safety of any product you intend to use to clean your sex toys — because once they’re washed, they’re going to come in contact with some of the most delicate skin on your body.
Why Is It Important To Clean Your Sex Toys?
If you’re putting a sex toy inside or against your body — and maybe even sharing that plaything with somebody else — wouldn’t you want to make sure it’s clean and safe?
Think about it this way: Why do we wash our hands before we eat?
It’s the sanitary thing to do. Washing your hands removes bacteria or other microscopic nasties and keeps you from getting sick, right?
We also wash them well after preparing food — especially when handling something that’s teeming with bacteria, like raw meat, for instance.
Once you put down the chicken, what’s the first thing you do? Wash your dirty hands with soap and water to remove the bacteria.
You’ve got to treat your sex toys similarly — cleaning them after every use — just as you would clean up after sex.
Giving your vibrator or dildo a “quick rinse” once in a while is not gonna cut it!
When we wash something, soap and water generally do the trick but when it comes to sex toys, the cleaning solution and method are important for not only your hygiene but the toy’s safety and continued quality.
That’s why so many companies have developed cleaners that are designed specifically for washing and sanitizing sex toys, which we’ll talk about more in just a bit.
Why Is It Best To Use Clean Sex Toys, To Begin With?
I’m sure you’ve heard of bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. Chances are you may have even had one at some point in your life.
I’m betting that you don’t want to experience either of these vaginal infections anytime soon.
This is the reason why it’s so important to use clean sex toys.
Returning to the hand-washing analogy from earlier, it’s just the sanitary thing to do. No matter how clean you keep your vag or anus, bacteria or viruses can be left behind on the surface of a sex toy after it’s been used.
If you don’t clean your toy…they’ll stay there — waiting to hang out with you again later on.
You might be thinking “Well, it’s my toy, my bacteria, all good.”
You won’t be saying that when you get re-infected with the same yeast infection you just cleared up.
What Types Of Bacteria Can Breed On Your Sex Toys If They Aren’t Cleaned Properly?
The types of bacteria that may be found on sex toys can include (but are not limited to):
- Gardnerella vaginalis (bacterial vaginosis)
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea)
- Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia)
- Treponema pallidum (syphilis)
- Shigella (shigellosis)
Beyond bacteria, however, you’ve also got to be aware of viruses, parasites, and even fungi.
Viruses can be passed through sex toys but it’s most likely to happen if the toy is used by two different people within a very short period of time.
However, if the toy has been left out for a while, the danger of transmission decreases because many viruses don’t live long outside of the human body.
Viruses that can be transmitted through an unclean sex toy used over a short period of time include:
- Hepatitis B & C — both bloodborne diseases, Hep B can live outside the body for at least 7 days and Hep C can do the same for up to 6 weeks
- Herpes — does not live long outside of the body
- HPV — can survive on sex toys, although its spreadability is in question
- HIV — does not survive easily outside of the human body; risk of transmission decreases significantly within several hours
Parasites such as trichomonas vaginalis — which is responsible for trichomoniasis (also known as “trich”) — can also be passed along through shared sex toys, despite being common and easily curable.
Unfortunately, most people who contract trich don’t experience symptoms like itching, burning, irritation, or discharge — so it simply gets passed on, and on. And on.
What’s the point of all this scary disease talk?
Take sex toy cleaning seriously because all of these infections and diseases can flourish on everything from vibrators to butt plugs — but the risk is greatest when you’re sharing them with a partner in short succession.
Again, it’s important to remember the timing here: certain diseases and infections can live outside of the body longer than others, as we talked about above.
Some STDs or STIs can be still be transmitted days after a toy has been used, while others carry the greatest amount of risk when they’re shared during the same-sex session, or within a few to several hours, without cleaning them between uses.
No one wants to end up with a sexually transmitted infection, and using a clean sex toy is just is part of the sex toy safety rules you should be playing by — always.
Can Dirty Sex Toys Lead To Vaginal Infections?
Yes, they can! And if you’ve had one before, then you know that vaginal infections are not fun.
As we mentioned earlier, gardnerella vaginalis — the bacteria that are responsible for bacterial vaginosis, can hang out and multiply on your favorite sex toy.
The next time you use that toy, well…you’ve just invited an entire colony of bacteria to party in your vag.
Vaginal infections can cause a combo platter of burning, itching, redness, and discharge.
So, if you’re not ready to get down with all that, don’t use dirty sex toys!
Can You Get An STD Or STI From A Sex Toy?
If you’re using a toy to masturbate and take care to clean it properly, then no — you can’t contract a new STD or STI from an object.
Note that I said “new” STD or STI.
If you’re sharing a dildo or vibrator with a partner and they have an infection, you can absolutely pick up whatever they’re carrying — along with any blood-borne illness like Hep B or C, as we mentioned above.
Proper cleaning of toys is crucial to avoid infections — of any kind.
Mia Sabbat, a sex therapist from the sexual well-being app Emjoy told us:
“Just as it’s recommended that individuals clean their genitals before and after sex, it is recommended that individuals also always clean their toys before and after use to avoid the formation of bacteria, and to remove possible irritants such as lubricant.
Washing after all forms of sex is especially important amongst people who are prone to infections or have specific health conditions such as cystitis.”
And New York City Based dermatologist Susan Bard, MD, told us:
“Nearly all STI’s are capable of being transmitted through sex toys, especially toys that are inserted into the body or make mucosal contact. Never share toys between partners. Ideally, each partner should have their own set of toys.”
If you’re hellbent on sharing them, however, you’ve got to clean them. After. Every. Use.
Should A Condom Ever Be Used To Cover A Sex Toy During Use?
Using a condom on a sex toy can help prevent the growth or spread of bacteria and viruses. So it is helpful, especially if you’re sharing the toy with someone.
Dr. Bard said, “To maintain the cleanliness of the toy, it’s best to cover insertive toys with a condom and switch out the condom when switching orifices.”
But remember, germs can live in places that a condom doesn’t cover, like balls or pubes. Even if you use a condom over a toy, it’s still important to clean it after every use.
How Often Should You Clean Your Sex Toys?
Now that you know bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi can live their best lives on unclean sex toys, you’re probably anxious to clean yours — right now.
But how often do you really have to wash those sex toys?
Weekly? Every day? Hourly?
When And How Often Should You Clean Your Sex Toys?
First of all, you should clean any new toy right after you take it out of the packaging and before you use it for the first time.
You don’t have to go nuts, but it’s like washing new sheets before you put them on the bed. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like sleeping with that straight out of the factory smell.
Other than that, YOU MUST CLEAN YOUR TOYS BEFORE AND AFTER ANY SEX PLAY.
And this applies to each orifice!
If you’re all up in the butt, clean your toy again before putting it in your vagina — for the same reason, people with vulvas are told to wipe front to back.
You don’t want to get poo in there!
This is especially true when sharing toys with someone else while switching from orifice to orifice! Bodily fluids are a thing, people, and some toys — like egg vibrators — can be used vaginally and even anally.
It may not be sexy to stop and start during a hot romp, but would you rather end up with a raging case of vaginitis?
If the answer to that question is a resounding “OH, HELL NO, JULIA!” clean your toys before use, during use if switching between orifices, and after playtime is over.
How Often Should You Clean Your Sex Toy Collection If It Isn’t Used Regularly?
Even if you’re not using your sex toys on the daily, the same rules apply.
Clean those suckers before you finally use them again — especially silicone sex toys like clit sucking vibes, which can be fuzz magnets.
Even if they’ve been stored properly, which we’ll talk about later, they may have collected some dust or whatnot, so definitely clean them.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
How Can You Tell When It’s Time To Clean Your Sex Toys?
Girl, it’s always time to clean your sex toys!
Is it crusty? Is it smelly? Is it walking around on its own?
Think about knowing when to clean your toy the same way you know when to change your underwear or take a shower.
If something’s been used, CLEAN IT!
If it smells ripe, CLEAN IT!
And if it still smells after you clean it, throw it out!
Do Sex Toys Made From Porous Material Need To Be Cleaned More Frequently?
Although they don’t necessarily need to be cleaned with greater frequency, porous toys definitely do need to be cleaned more thoroughly.
They harbor bacteria far easier than non-porous toys because their surfaces are filled with tiny nooks and crannies. Some even say you can never really get porous sex toys clean — let alone sterilize them.
If it were me, I wouldn’t use a porous toy at all — not when there are so many other safe options to play with.
But you do you. We live in a world full of sex toys and porous toys are just as commonly used as those made from silicone — again, it’s a personal choice.
Later on, we’ll go into greater detail about the concerns of porous sex toys and their safety.
If your absolute favorite toy is made from a porous material, the most important thing is ensuring that you take the time and effort to clean it thoroughly, every time you use it.
How To Clean Your Sex Toys
Now that you know you need to clean your sex toys because your health is at risk, you’re probably wondering how to do it.
A spritz of Lysol? No!
Wipe it on your sheets? No!
Hang them out the window of a moving car so they’re bathed in fresh air and sunshine? That’s an interesting concept but…No!
When it comes to your sex toys, treat them like precious gems. You’ll be putting them against some of your most delicate parts or inside you, so don’t be reckless about their care.
Your vagina will thank you. Trust me.
What Can You Use To Clean Your Sex Toys?
The safest things to use when cleaning your sex toys are mild soaps that are gentle on your skin or cleaning products that are designed specifically for sex toys.
Warm soapy water or a soapy washcloth is fine for most toys, but some folks love the convenience of using sex toy cleaners.
What you use to clean your toy will ultimately be determined by the material your toy is made of.
But what your body can tolerate also matters here.
Since your vulva’s skin is very delicate and the mucous membranes throughout your nethers can absorb chemicals rapidly, you have to be super conscientious about the cleaner you choose.
For this reason, it’s important to make sure your sex toy cleaner is made from safe ingredients — and those you aren’t sensitive or allergic to.
Many people opt to clean their sex toys using a mild soap — such as one they already use for handwashing — that’s gentle on the skin.
When choosing the right product for you and your toys, always read the label and ask questions if you’re not sure.
It’s okay to advocate for your vagina! Your health is on the line.
While a sex toy cleaner’s ingredients are a point of concern, so too are the materials your sex toys are actually made from — you definitely do not want to use anything made from toxic materials.
When it comes to sex toys, think of them in two categories: porous and non-porous.
- Jelly rubber or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which may contain phthalates
- Rubber, which can cause an allergic reaction if you have a latex allergy
- Cyberskin, which is a mixture of PVC and silicone that is extremely porous and difficult to clean
- Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE or TPR), which are a blend of plastics and rubber
The thing with sex toy materials that are porous is that you can never really get them clean, let alone sanitize them for your safety.
A porous sex toy might look pretty, but it’s not as safe as one made from non-porous materials.
- Medical or body-safe grade silicone, a top choice for sex toy materials
- Stainless steel or nickel-free metal, which is easy to clean and hard to break
- Borosilicate or Pyrex, as well-made glass sex toys are totally safe
- ABS plastic, which is a non-porous material that’s highly durable and body-safe
Kayla Lords, a sex expert for Jack and Jill Adult and writer for Women’s Health Interactive, talked about the best ways to clean non-porous sex toys:
“Toys made of silicone, glass, and metal can be sterilized either by putting them in boiling water for a few minutes or washing them in the top rack of the dishwasher.
Never do this to a toy with an internal motor, as it can kill your vibrator. Also, toys made from materials like TPE/TPR, jelly, rubber, etc., cannot be sterilized ever.”
What Not To Use To Clean Your Sex Toys
People use different types of products from store-bought brands to homemade vinegar and peroxide solutions to clean all sorts of things.
There’s a cleaner for everything!
But I’m gonna stop you right there in case you’re looking at your dildo right now and thinking to yourself, “Hmm, maybe I have something around the house that could work…”
Here’s what you shouldn’t use to clean your sex toys:
- Household Cleaning Products
- Hand Sanitizer
Whether you own a quality silicone sex toy or prefer using metal toys — or anything in between — protect your toys and yourself by cleaning them the right way.
What’s The Best Way To Clean Sex Toys?
Again, this will always depend on the material your toy is made of.
Waterproof toys can be soaped up and rinsed under warm water.
You should also rinse your toys even if you’re using a sex toy cleaner; cleaning agents may irritate your genital skin if any residue is left behind.
Soap and water seem easy enough, but what do you do if your sex toy isn’t waterproof — like a silicone vibrator, for instance?
You can wipe your toy down carefully with a damp soapy washcloth or spray it with a sex toy cleaner, wiping the soap away with another damp cloth.
If you’re able to cover the battery site or the charging port with a finger, you may be able to rinse the toy carefully underwater — just take care not to get water inside, as it can damage the toy.
Certain types of toys shouldn’t be put under water — ever — including plug-in devices like the Magic Wand.
Non-motorized toys made from stainless steel, Pyrex, silicone, or stone can be placed in boiling water for 10 minutes. They can also be washed in the dishwasher sans soap.
Pegging sex toys typically include strap-on harnesses which may or may not be machine washable depending on their material. When in doubt, hand-wash or wipe them down and hang them to dry.
Dildos used for pegging should be cleaned as you would any other sex toy — with mild soap and water or a material-safe sex toy cleaner.
How Do You Dry Sex Toys After Cleaning Them?
Kayla Lords, the sex expert we spoke with earlier, shared the best way to dry sex toys once they’ve been washed.
“Most sex toys can be air-dried but using a microfiber cloth or something that won’t leave behind a lot of lint to dry them is fine,” she advised.
If you plan to let your toy air-dry, don’t forget to store it away properly later on, which we’ll talk about in just a bit.
Should Sex Toys Be Submerged In Water To Be Cleaned?
As the experts we spoke with earlier warned us, do not dunk your toy in water if it is motorized. You’ll ruin it.
Sex toy expert for LUVOQA, Jessica Gordon, told us:
“You can use a cleaner specifically made for sex toys. However, we find that warm water and soap gets the job done well. Always make sure to read the cleaning instructions for your sex toys because some toys can be submerged in water while others can only handle a rinse.”
How Do You Determine If A Cleaning Product Is Safe To Use With Your Sex Toys?
Like we mentioned earlier, it will depend on what material your sex toy is made of. A cleaner that’s good for a metal butt plug might not be great for a silicone toy.
That said, most sex toy cleaners on the market are generally safe for use on all non-porous toys. Some are even designed to clean and sterilize porous toys, including one we reviewed below.
The sex toy cleaners we recommend are highly versatile so no matter what kind of toys you prefer, you’re sure to find the perfect product for your needs.
Should Sex Toy Cleaners Be Antibacterial Or Antimicrobial?
This is a debatable topic.
Some say yes, use antibacterial soap.
Others disagree with using antibacterial soap entirely, because any soap will fight germs.
Active ingredients like triclosan are often found in antibacterial soaps, but they can irritate skin and there is some concern about whether or not they may be carcinogenic.
Additionally, there are concerns that antibacterial soaps may be a factor in the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” due to strains becoming stronger each time the antibacterial ingredients don’t kill them.
Regular soap will fight germs and may be your safest bet. It’s wise to select one that’s gentle and body-friendly.
Still, some folks simply feel better knowing that they’re using something labeled as antibacterial or antimicrobial. If that includes you, the soap selection is the dealer’s choice, but select a mild, body-safe product either way.
Regardless of what you use, make sure to give your toys a good rinse before putting them anywhere inside your body, or your skin could get irritated.
Where Should You Store Your Toys After You Clean Them?
Think of storing your sex toys like you would any medication that doesn’t require refrigeration: Keep them in a cool, dry place.
Sex toys made from silicone or ABS generally don’t need special storage, however, silicone toys are best kept in lint-free cloth or plastic bags to protect them from dust, hair, or pet hair.
Silicone has a soft, skin-like texture that attracts this type of debris like a magnet.
Some sex toys include complimentary storage bags but if yours does not, the original packaging can be a good (if not bulky) storage option.
The Best Sex Toy Cleaning Products Available Now
There are many sex toy cleaners on the market right now, so it’s understandable if you have no clue what to buy.
That’s why we scoured the internet, spoke to experts and professionals, and did the complicated number crunching to find the safest and highest-recommended products to get your adult toys squeaky clean!
A Note On Our Ratings:
To make our list of top recommendations, each sex toy cleaner had to meet and exceed our rigorous standards and be formulated using ingredients that clean sex toys thoroughly while remaining gentle on the skin.
None of the products in our list of recommendations is rated below a 4 because we take your safety seriously.
Adam & Eve Pure And Clean Misting Toy Cleaner
[Note: Get the Adam & Eve Pure And Clean Misting Toy Cleaner for only $5.96. Use code "WHI25" and get 25% off from Adam & Eve — a specially negotiated discount we secured after independent review. Read Our Review]
- Alcohol-Free, Antibacterial Formula Is Gentle On Your Toys
- Deodorizes, Disinfects, And Sanitizes So Your Toys Are Always Ready When You Are
- Good For All Sex Toy Materials
- Known To Leak In The Package
- Not To Be Used On Delicate Areas Or Skin
- Spray May Be Difficult To Target On Small Areas (Or Toys)
- Must Be Rinsed Off With Water Afterward
This 4-in-1 sex toy cleaner has it all.
It’s antibacterial to zap all those germs, but it doesn’t stop there. It also deodorizes your sex toy, so any smells from previous sessions remaining on your toy are gone for good.
Additionally, this sex toy cleaner disinfects and sanitizes using an alcohol-free formula designed to be “thorough on your toy yet mild on your skin.”
Not only that, but it’s a bestseller with more than 2,200 reviews on Amazon and it’s a favorite of mine! Take a look at my unboxing and review below:
As I mentioned in my personal review of Pure And Clean:
“Adam & Eve Pure And Clean is one of the best sex toy cleaners available because of its 4-in-1 superpower. This product is anti-bacterial, but it also sanitizes, deodorizes, and disinfects — all at the same time.
I mean, c’mon! What more could you ask for from something designed to keep your sex toys in tip-top shape?”
This product is safe to use on all toys, although Adam & Eve cautions that you shouldn’t get any battery compartments wet in the process.
To use, simply spray a cloth with the cleaner, and lightly scrub all surfaces and crevices on your toy.
This spray KILLS germs but it requires a water-rinse afterward. If your toy is motorized and not waterproof, simply use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the cleaner off.
Take advantage of a *25% discount using code WHI25 at Adam & Eve during checkout and enjoy discreet shipping, packaging, and billing. Adam & Eve offers a variety of free gifts so make sure to choose yours at checkout!
LELO Premium Cleaning Spray
[Note: Get the LELO Premium Cleaning Spray for only $12.74. Use code AFF-WH15 and get 15% off site-wide at Lovehoney — a specially negotiated discount we secured after independent review.]
- Antimicrobial, Antifungal & Antiviral
- Can Be Used On All Toys
- Alcohol & Silicone-Free; pH Balanced
- Discreet Bottle + Good For Travel
- Not Meant To Replace Soap And Water
When it comes to sex toys in general, LELO is at the top of the chain — so it’s no wonder that they crafted our highest-rated product on this list.
In fact, their sex toy cleaner is so popular it’s been voted the #1 toy cleaning spray by major magazines!
The great thing about LELO Premium Cleaning Spray is that it only takes 5 seconds to become active.
Take a closer look at this product and how to use it below:
It has additional antiviral and antifungal properties within a pH-balanced formula, so buh-bye yeast!
They also add zinc salts to their formula, which reduces any chance of irritation in case you’re a sensitive lady.
There are hundreds of positive reviews from people all over the world who love this product, with one saying that LELO Premium Cleaning Spray “cleans great and does not leave a film or smell. Love this product!”
It works well for disinfecting when you don’t feel like getting up to clean your toys after a rapturous love-making sesh, but I would give them a warm water rinse with a clean cloth after spraying.
Lovehoney Fresh Biodegradable Sex Toy & Body Wipes
[Note: Get the Lovehoney Fresh Sex Toy Wipes for only $7.64. Use code AFF-WH15 and get 15% off site-wide at Lovehoney — a specially negotiated discount we secured after independent review.]
- Body Safe + Soothing Aloe
- Suitable For All Toys
- Convenient + Good For Travel
- Can Dry Out If Not Sealed Properly
Wipes are all the rage right now!
These Lovehoney cleaning wipes are beloved by the masses — probably because they’re so easy to use.
Folks love the light aloe scent and the fact that they’re super soft on your skin. You can feel good about using them, too, because Lovehoney’s wipes are 100% biodegradable.
Good for you, good for your toy, and good for the environment? That’s a three-way everyone can get excited about.
Twenty-five wipes come in a pack, so that’s good for at least a month. OK, fine, who are we kidding? A weekend’s worth of feeling fresh and clean!
One enthusiastic reviewer said, “This is a must-have in your toy box! Makes clean-up quick, simple, and easy for both yourself and the toy.”
I love that these can clean you and your toy!
You can throw them in your bag for a weekend getaway to stay fresh as a daisy.
Wipes are such a quick and easy way to clean up before or after sex, but you should give your toys a warm rinse before using them again regardless.
- Antiviral, Antibacterial & Antifungal
- Good For Latex, Rubber, And Silicone Toys
- Great Value
- The Spray Nozzle Can Break Easily
Swiss Navy Toy & Body Cleaner is dermatologically tested and is gentle enough to use on your toys and on your body while cleaning up after sex!
The best part? It’s not sticky!
This product is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal — all wrapped up with a pleasant, clean scent.
Lubricant lovers swear by this popular spray because it rocks at silicone lube removal, but Swiss Navy Toy & Body Cleaner had me at essential oils.
One reviewer is a big fan, saying “I was impressed to feel the silicone lubricant basically fall off after a few squirts of this. Great scent and great results.”
If you’re not happy with the product, MD Science Labs gives a 100% refund or replacement.
Containing tea tree and lavender oils, this cleaner works on latex, rubber, and silicone sex toys. Just give it a good spray, wipe it off and then rinse with warm water!
It also contains the most cleaning product for your money. Badabing!
Pjur Med Personal Cleaning Spray Lotion
- Reduces Odor
- Bacteriostatic (Inhibits Bacterial Growth)
- Body-Safe + Good For Sensitive Skin
- Discreet Bottle
- Small Bottle For Price
The small discreet bottle makes this Pjur cleaner a favorite. You wouldn’t even know it’s for sex toys!
Although it says it’s a lotion, it’s not thick or goopy. The gentle formula sprays on clean and smooth with no odor.
They also say there is “no taste,” which is good for oral, and people love it so much they use it everywhere. Like everywhere.
This reviewer is all in:
“This thing works wonders. Perfect for daily use. I use it everywhere where there might be a possible body ‘funk’ — armpits, groin, feet. It is mild and effective. Also, use it for any area I just want to clean. Great for sex toys as well.”
They say you don’t need to rinse it off, but a little warm water never hurts anybody.
Cleaning your sex toys is the most crucial part of sex play. Your health is seriously at risk, especially if you’re using toys with multiple partners.
Always be aware of what you’re putting in your body. Read the labels, ask the sex shop owner questions, or write to your favorite online store if you don’t know something.
You know your body better than anybody, except for that bartender in college who did that thing you like and — oh, never mind.
Whatever you use is up to you, whether it’s a product designed for cleaning sex toys specifically or the same gentle soap you use to wash your hands every day.
The most important thing is that you clean your toys regularly and that you use a cleaner that’s kind to them — and your skin.