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).
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:
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
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.