Toy cleaners are not an empty extra, they are a necessity. To put it bluntly, one does not want to play games of chance that involve anybody’s genitals. More than that, you don’t want a cleaner that could leave residue on your toy or damage the surface of your tools. Using bar soap, alcohol, or bleach will get a toy that is “clean,” but they also have a good chance of leaving residues that may well cause havoc on delicate skin or dry out the materials your toy is made of.
Toy cleaners, as the name would suggest, are made specifically with sensual toys in mind. They are, by definition, created with protecting sensitive skin and clean rinsing as common goals. In fact, toy cleaners are gentle enough you could wash your face with it every day and suffer no ill effects. I know the people that make System JO lubricants have their toy cleaner in the bathrooms instead of hand soap. Maybe you’ll have something like tea tree oil or lavender mixed in for a natural antibacterial effect, but that is as crazy as it gets. When you rinse, toy cleaners are designed to wash away completely clean without any residue that could haunt you later. The same blends that are kind to your skin, will treat your toys with the same care. That is a serious issue because a dried out toy can mean micro fissures. Micro fissures, on the surface of a toy, can offer safe harbor to bacteria and we are right back to skin irritation. Even though the toy materials used today are much better quality than we had as little as five years ago, my memory is long and extra care is never a bad thing. [A fun aside, toy cleaners are also amazing at cleaning glasses and phone screens. No residue and no streaks!]
When it comes to foam, spray, or wipe, the difference is up to personal preference. Many people like a foam because they can see it covering the toy and that gives an extra feeling of confidence. This is especially true with deeply textured toys. Sprays are just as effective, but lack that visual cue proving that you have all your crannies covered. I prefer sprays, because I can cover a wider area faster, as an illustration of personal preference. Wipes are great, if you want a cloth built in to clean up surrounding areas as well. You got a little on you (or your sheets, the bedside table, your partner, etcetera)? Just give that a quick wipe while you’re at it and all is well.