Is Mr. Piglet or Duckie Duck looking a bit frail with the dirt? Then it’s time to give the baby toys a good cleaning. Yes, we know how precious your child’s toys are to them. Those toys are by their side 24/7.
They play with them, sleep with them, chew on them, and toss them around. Not before long, they look like a gnarly mess. The sad part is that visible dirt is the home to germs, mold, allergens, and more.
We are here to help provide different cleaning methods to use on a vast selection of toys. Check out some of the best toy safety tips here.
How Often Should Toys Be Cleaned?
It depends on how loved those toys are and play with. However, the general rule is to keep them clean to keep your kid healthy. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them sanitized frequently if you notice your child has the flu or is ill.
The Easier Toys to Maintain
Of course, it is your hard plastic and bath toys and needs cleaning weekly when played with daily.
Mr. and Mrs. Plush Toy
You can place these in the washing machine and dryer, so laundering them at least once a week if slept with is essential. Alternatively, if your child does not play with them, you can often wash them every second week or as needed.
As your little one put it in their mouth and dropped it on the floor, it needs the most frequent attention? Clean those toys every day. You can clean them weekly if they have other toys that do not go into the mouth or land upon the floor.
To be on the safe side, you can clean the surface of electronic toys by wiping them down weekly. Also, clean them if your kid is sick.
Disinfecting Toys with Vinegar
One word, NO! While the product is excellent to use in the home for limescale and grease, it does not kill germs. In addition, the ingredient is not powerful enough to sanitize or disinfect as per the FDA registered guidelines. The best is to wash the toys with sudsy water to get them clean. A more natural way is using a plant-based alternative like Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes.
The wipes help kill germs using thymol derived from thyme oil. Further, it is EPA registered, but it does work slower than using traditional methods. The surface of the toy also needs to remain wet for at least ten minutes to be effective.
Methods to Clean Plastic and Bath Toys
Whether you need to clean a rubber ring, building blocks, or animal figures, you need to place it on the top dishwasher rack. Here is how you can do it:
- Place the large toys between the tines of the rack and place smaller toys into a mesh bag.
- Use the regular cycle with heated dry air and towel dry them well, as they may still be wet when removed.
Alternatively, you can also use Clorox or Lysol wipes to sanitize colorfast plastic toys. Or wet a cloth with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution or ½ a cup chlorine bleach in one gallon of water. Make the surface of the toys wet for 10 seconds and wipe them down for five minutes allowing them to disinfect with the solution and let them air dry.
Most importantly, always use a fresh bleach solution when cleaning the toys again. The tricky thing with bath toys is the holes at the bottom. Make sure to give them a good shake to let out the water to prevent mold from growing inside. If you notice moldy water coming out, throw that toy away.
Cleaning Plush Toys
If the plush toy is colorfast, a plain, stuffed toy, or even a fabric book, you can wash it in the machine. You can wash sturdy plush animals on a sanitizing cycle if the machine has it available. Or check the care label attached to the toy. Here is how you wash your plush toys:
- Place the plush toy in a pillowcase keeping it protected, knot the top
- Select a gentle cycle with warm water and a slow spin.
- Once washed, leave it in the pillowcase and place it in the dryer on a low heat setting. If the dryer does have a rack, you can remove it from the casing and dry it on the shelf without tumbling.
- Or you can use your hairdryer at a low heat setting speed. Then, once the teddy reaches the dam stage, you can switch to the medium setting to fluff it up.
Remember not to wash plush toys that work with batteries, noisemakers, or any metal parts. Also, ensure that all the decorations to buttons are secure.
Cleaning Plush Toys by Hand
Sometimes you cannot place plush toys in a machine as they might not be colorfast or have fabric trimmings that damage. Instead, you can give it a spot cleaning or wash them by hand. For example, you can take a cloth and dip it in warm soapy water covering it with the suds.
Clean the fabric in fresh water and wring it out. Leave the toy to dry using the hairdryer method to speed things up. Alternatively, you can sanitize the toy using a garment steamer as well. Then vacuum them using the upholstery attachment.
Sanitizing Electronic Toys
Electronic toys get dirty like your remote controls. To clean them, switch them off and remove the batteries, placing the cover back. Take a cloth dipped in warm soapy water and wring it out well. Wipe off the toy to remove the dirt and make an extra pass over all the sticky spots.
Next, clean the crevices and around the buttons. Rinse it off using a clean damp cloth and leave it to air dry. Once dry, disinfect using an alcohol wipe or a cloth dipped in four teaspoons of bleach with one-quart water. Wipe the toy with the cleaning solution.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
It is crucial to disinfect toys to reduce the spread of germs. Once a toy becomes dirty from playing, it sometimes goes into your toddler’s mouth, causing illness.
Where possible, all toys need cleaning, from hard plastic, bath toys, electronics to plush toys. Try to do this weekly if they play with it daily. Toys not played with often you can clean every two weeks while others only used as ornaments you can wash once a month.
It is essential as your child plays with their toys every day. The toy lands up in their mouth and can cause germs to spread, making them ill.