There are so many reasons to love wooden toys. In a world full of disposable plastic figures and noisy, light-up techno-toys, wood toys are a heavy-duty, safe, classic kind of toy that any kid can enjoy. Of course, with a higher-quality toy comes different types of maintenance. Most of the wood in our homes comes in the form of furniture, which is fairly to easy to clean. Wood toys, however, are covered in germs, either from the fingers of toddlers or the mouths of babies. Knowing this, keeping them clean is important not only for the long-term integrity of the toy, but also for the health and safety of the child using it.
Taking all of that into consideration, here are a few tips from Hollow Woodworks to keep your wooden letter blocks, puzzles, and name stools clean:
Use the Right Cleaning Supplies
There are several different ways to wash and disinfect a wooden toy, but the most important thing to remember is to use non toxic cleaning products diluted by water. For example, a diluted vinegar solution will do the trick quite well, but you also can use a mild, non toxic dish soap if you’d like, or a nontoxic multi-purpose cleaner. In all these instances, the idea is to use cleaning supplies that won’t hurt your child. For this reason, also avoid bleach and harsh chemicals when cleaning your wooden toys.
Do Not Submerge the Toy in Water
Once you’ve got your cleaning solution, whatever that may be, the next step is to physically clean the toys. The best way to do this is to wet a rag in the solution and wipe down the toys thoroughly. You want to avoid soaking anything made of wood, however, because it is a porous material that can soak up water and warp as it dries. Wood that swells also can crack or damage the paint or finish, so just use a washcloth to wipe away germs and stains.
Consider Polishing with Natural Oil or Wax
Like anything else made from wood, wood toys can dry out over time, so to replenish the moisture in the toy, consider hydrating and nourishing them with an occasional application of natural oil or wax. Plain mineral oil or beeswax are safe, nontoxic options that will do the trick. Just add a bit to a washrag and apply an even coating before letting it dry.
Store at an Appropriate Temperature
Wood is sensitive to dramatic changes in temperature and humidity, so try to store wooden toys indoors where the temperature and humidity are steadier. In other words, don’t leave these toys outside overnight if possible, and avoid storing them someplace where the temperature fluctuates dramatically, like a garage or attic.
If you are able to clean your wooden step stool or wood puzzle this way, you will get much more life out of the toy. One of the greatest advantages of Hollow Woodworks’ wooden toys is that they serve as keepsakes. Wood is durable and long-lasting if it gets proper treatment over time. Following these cleaning tips will ensure that happens!