Let me just get this out of the way right off the bat: You should be cleaning your sex toys after every single use. There's no compromise on that. Even if you're only using a toy on your clitoris, it's imperative that it gets a good wash down after every romp — partnered or solo. Bacteria breeds on your toys, and if there's one place you don't want to introduce bacteria, it's to your most sensitive bits. So, by searching for the best sex toy cleaners, you're already on the right track.
But not all sex toy cleaners are created equal. "Fast-acting, hygienic cleaners that are condom-safe are the best option to use on any kind of sex toy you may own," advises Annabelle Knight, a sexpert for Lovehoney. Condom-safe is an important distinction here. It immediately rules out oil-based cleaners, which could break down silicone toys, too. Since most toys are made of silicone, this is a substance you want to stay away from.
"Water-based formulas are best to look out for," elaborates Knight. "You should also only purchase cleaners that are antibacterial and suitable for all sex toy materials." That means silicone-based cleaners are out, too, as they can also break down silicone toys.
There isn't a ton of variety when it comes to this kind of product, but I've rounded up the best sex toy cleaners, below. And if you're interested in learning more about how to properly clean your sex toys, read here.
1. The Best Spray-On Sex Toy Cleaner
The easiest type of cleaner to incorporate into your routine? A spray-on formula, like the Shibari Advanced Antibacterial Toy Cleaner. It checks all the boxes that Knight lays out: It's anti-bacterial, water-based, and works extremely quickly (and effectively). All you've got to do is spritz down your toy, let it sit for 30 seconds, and then rinse with warm water. Once your toy is clean, dry it with a paper towel or cloth and store it somewhere safe. Reviewers love this paraben- and alcohol-free cleanser, claiming it's non-irritating to sensitive skin types, too.
2. The Best Foaming Sex Toy Cleaner
Prefer the feeling of suds and foam? Then you'll want to pick up the ToyLife Foaming Toy Cleaner. Like the Shibari cleanser, it's anti-bacterial, condom-safe, and fast-acting. In fact, this cleaner can be used on pretty much any toy material, from silicone to metal to glass. Just one pump is all you need to clean your average-sized toys, making it as economical as it is fast-acting. This foaming wash is also alcohol-free and paraben-free, so it shouldn't be irritating to sensitive skin, either.
3. This Post-Cleaning Powder That's Necessary For Realistic Sex Toys
This Doc Johnson UR3 Refresh Powder isn't a cleanser on its own, but it's an essential part of the cleansing process for realistic sex toys (toys that have a skin-like texture, like dildos and masturbation cups). According to Knight, these toys can take on a tacky feeling after washing, which is why a sprinkle of this refresh powder is necessary. Doc Johnson's powder is easy to dispense, and should be used on toys after they've been well-washed and dried. Use as much as necessary to get your toy feeling like new again.
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Annabelle Knight, author, sex and relationship expert, sex and love columnist at Now Magazine, co-host of the Sex and Other Stuff podcast.