The 8 Best Sex Toy Cleaners, According to Expert Guidelines
"On a scale of one to 10 of importance, cleaning your sex toys should be a 10," says Gianna Del Monte, the director of marketing and merchandise at sex toy retailer Ella Paradis. "For vulva owners, the vagina's pH levels can be disrupted by a multitude of things, which can cause infection. By cleaning your toys regularly, you decrease the chance of that happening."
Del Monte recommends washing your toy with warm water and soap for at least 30 seconds before and after every use. If soap isn't available, substitutes like sprays, wipes, and UV sanitizers will suffice. But regardless of how you do it, Del Monte tells Health that the most important thing is just cleaning your sex toy.
These are the 8 best sex toy cleaners of 2021, including Ella Paradis' best-selling options and Del Monte's favorite.
- Best Foaming Cleaner: ToyLife's Foaming Toy Cleaner
- Best Spray: Lelo Antibacterial Toy Cleaning Spray
- Best Fragrance-Free: Pjur Med Clean Spray
- Best Scented: Shibari Revive Toy Cleaner
- Best Multi-Use: Maude No. 0
- Best UV Cleaner: Uvee Home Play UV Cleaner
- Best for Travel: Lovehoney Fresh Toy Cleaner
- Best Wipes: Afterglow Toy Tissues
Not sure what to look for in a cleanser? Any mild antibacterial soap will do the trick (expert tip: it doesn't have to be advertised for sex toys). Del Monte suggests shopping with the same guidelines you would use for an intimate cleanser: Avoid parabens, dyes, and fragrances when possible.
You can also opt for a cleanser made specifically for sex toys, like ToyLife's Foaming Toy Cleaner. These formulas account for a variety of toy surfaces—like glass, silicone, and metal—to ensure your bedroom bestie is properly sanitized. Just don't forget to give extra attention to porous materials, like jelly and plastic, which are more likely to hold on to germs.
Once your toy is cleaned and thoroughly dried, place it in a clean storage area, like a bag or pouch. This small step prevents it from accumulating dust and other germs when not in use—and keeps it ready to go for your next solo or partner session.
Best Foaming Cleaner: ToyLife's Foaming Toy Cleaner
More than 3,700 people trust this foaming cleanser with their favorite toys thanks to an alcohol-, paraben-, and sulfate-free formula. It's gentle on toys but tough on germs, effectively killing bacteria on both porous and non-porous surfaces. Although it does contain fragrance—a sweet floral scent—shoppers say it doesn't linger once the toy is rinsed off. Plus, it only takes 10 seconds to sanitize your entire toy.
Best Spray: Lelo Antibacterial Toy Cleaning Spray
Lelo's sex toys are top-of-the-line, so it's no surprise that the company's Antibacterial Toy Cleaning Spray is just as great. (It's also Ella Paradis's best-selling cleanser, according to Del Monte.) Unlike most other options, this body-safe spray doesn't need to be rinsed off. You simply spray the ph-balanced formula directly onto your toy, leave it for five seconds, and wipe with a towel. But don't mistake the ease of use with lack of efficiency: It still kills 99.9% of germs. Due to the addition of zinc salt, which is meant to reduce skin irritation, it's only safe for rubber, latex, and silicone.
Best Fragrance-Free: Pjur Med Clean Spray
Del Monte tells Health that this unscented spray is also one of Ella Paradis' most popular cleansers. Although technically for bodily use, it's safe for rubber and silicone toys—and the easiest way to prevent infection. The dermatologist-tested and tasteless spray kills bacteria, fungus, and even viruses like Hepatitis B and HIV to help reduce the chance of STDs spreading after using toys with a partner, according to the brand.
Best Scented: Shibari Revive Toy Cleaner
Although Del Monte strongly suggests skipping fragrance, it's still common in many cleansers and popular among shoppers. This water-based formula has a light, fresh scent that leaves toys smelling undeniably clean (regardless of the areas they've explored the night before). Adored by more than 1,500 people, it's compatible with silicone, latex, and rubber materials. More importantly, it's made without alcohol, parabens, glycerin, or triclosan (a potentially harmful chemical included in some antibacterial soaps).
Best Multi-Use: Maude No. 0
This unscented spray does double duty as a sanitizer for both your hands and your favorite vibrator. The hydrating formula contains just three ingredients: ethyl alcohol, glycerin, and coconut oil to safely remove up to 99.9% of germs. It quickly absorbs into the skin or can be rinsed off of silicone surfaces with water. Each recyclable glass bottle contains enough sanitizer for up to 185 uses.
Best UV Cleaner: Uvee Home Play UV Cleaner
Spend more time playing and less time cleaning by opting for a UV cleaning system. It uses germicidal UV-C rays to kill 99.9% of bacteria. According to UVee, the UV wavelength enters microorganisms and destroys their DNA, preventing them from duplicating. (You should still rinse your toys to remove any visible fluids.) Discreet enough to leave on the nightstand, it also charges your toys and has a lock to keep it private from prying eyes.
Best for Travel: Lovehoney Fresh Toy Cleaner
Hundreds of shoppers gave this cleanser a perfect rating for its ability to leave toys squeaky clean. Although it's water-based, people say the formula effectively removes any residue and leaves toys completely odorless (including butt plugs). Plus, its spray nozzle applicator lets you direct the cleaner to hard-to-reach places, like deep crevices, and avoid areas you don't want to clean, like charging ports. Bonus: It's safe for all types of sex toys.
Best Wipes: Afterglow Toy Tissues
Del Monte swears by these versatile cleansing wipes to keep her toys in pristine condition. The antibacterial formula not only disinfects toys, but it's also pH-balanced to safely refresh intimate areas post-sex. She calls the added bergamot essence a "cherry on top" because it makes the skin feel and smell refreshed without fragrance.
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