Using sex toys safely

dont share sex toys

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 help to 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


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 HIV, Hepatitis B and 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. You should also wash them between:

  • using them on different parts of the body, such as the mouth, vagina and anus
  • one person and another

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

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