Are Sex Toys Safe?


If you use sex toys, it's important to do so responsibly and to keep them clean. Sex toys can pass on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood-borne infections (infections passed on through the blood). 


Avoiding STIs

If you use sex toys, you can avoid STIs by:

  • keeping sex toys clean: wash them after each use.
  • covering penetrative sex toys, such as vibrators, with a new condom before someone else uses them
  • not sharing sex toys or having a different set of sex toys for each partner

Sex toys can pass on STIs such as:

  • chlamydia
  • syphilis
  • herpes

The Health A-Z has more information about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).



Avoiding blood-borne infections

Do not share any sex toy that may draw blood from the skin because this type of sex toy can pass on blood-borne infections. If there are any cuts or sores around the vagina, anus or penis and blood is present, there's an increased risk of passing on infections such as:

  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • HIV

Cleaning sex toys

How you clean a sex toy depends on:

  • what the sex toy is made of
  • if the sex toy uses batteries and has parts that cannot be washed
  • Sex toys should come with advice about how to clean and store them. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
  • For sex toys that can be washed, make sure you wash them thoroughly with warm water and soap after each use.
  • Also wash them between use

Check sex toys regularly for any scratches or breaks in the surface material where germs could be present and spread, increasing the risk of infection.



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