Does your kid have that special toy they carry everywhere? When they eat, sleep, and play outside with their prized belonging, it can get germy, grimy, and downright gross. Learn how to best clean and disinfect their favorite teddy bear or toy car, and how often you should be taking these steps to keep your kiddo healthy.
How often you clean their toys depends on how much your children love to play with them. Baby toys need to be cleaned and sanitized every day or every other day — these end up on the floor and in your baby’s mouth. The more action they get, the more you should clean them, and that’s especially true when they recover from an illness.
Hard Plastic Toys
This is the easiest type of toy to maintain and should be cleaned and sanitized once a week if they see daily play. Solid plastic toys without holes can be put in your dishwasher on the top rack, with smaller toys in a mesh bag to avoid falling through the grids in the rack. Use the sanitizing or hot water cycle and set it to the heated dry function. Let toys air dry or use a towel if they come out still damp.
You can skip the dishwasher and use sanitizing wipes, 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, or a diluted solution made of ½ cup chlorine bleach and a gallon of water. Keep the toy surfaces wet for at least 10 seconds (the bleach combo will take 5 minutes) to thoroughly disinfect it. Rinse them with warm water and let them air dry.
Plush and stuffed toys are easy to throw in the washer and dryer and should get a cleaning weekly, especially if they go to bed with your child. Check the label, but generally you can run colorfast stuffed animals and other plain, unadorned fabric toys through the sanitizing or gentle cycle on your machine.
Put plush toys in a pillowcase to protect them and knot the top; use this method to wash and dry the toy. Don’t ever put toys with electronic or metal components in the machine as this could damage them. Spot clean toys that can’t go into the machine with a warm washcloth, and disinfect with household sprays designed for soft surfaces.
Electronic toys should get a surface cleaning only as well as a disinfecting wipe down every other week. Remove any batteries before you clean the toy and start with a clean cloth and warm soapy water that’s damp but not dripping. Check for sticky spots, pay close attention to buttons, and try to avoid letting water drip through any cracks.
Use disinfecting or alcohol wipes or use the same bleach solution previously described to wipe down the toy and get rid of bacteria and viruses on the surface. Keep the toy wet for 5 minutes before you wipe it dry and then wipe it again with a water-dampened cloth to make sure all of the cleaning solution has been removed.
The best part about wooden toys, puzzles, and stools is that they don’t require any special chemicals to stay clean. Avoid using disinfecting sprays or wipes, especially if your child is still putting toys in their mouths. All you need to do is wipe down surfaces with non-toxic cleaner or dish soap diluted in water.
Don‘t submerge your wooden toys or puzzle pieces in water or run them in the washing machine or dishwasher. Wood warps as it dries after soaking, which means pieces won’t fit together and paint will crack. A light layer of beeswax can help keep the wood looking like new, and it’s also important to store wood inside. The temperature fluctuations won’t affect them like they would in an attic or garage.
There’s a reason (several, actually) that wooden toys have been around for generations. Even the newest, flashiest electronic gadgets can’t claim the developmental benefits of wooden toys — especially when it comes to STEM learning. Wooden toys are also less expensive and last longer, which makes them a smart investment that can easily pay for itself.
Looking to invest in wooden toys, a wooden stool, or personalized wooden puzzles? We offer several different versions of our name stools with lots of options for customers to customize colors and themes. Looking to invest in high-quality, easy-to-clean wooden toys? Shop online knowing your purchase is going to help a small business.