Toddler toys need to be cleaned regularly. Children are notorious for putting things in their mouth, so you want your child’s toys to not only look good, but to be safe and clean. The toy may look cute and cuddly, but it is a breeding ground for germs if not properly cleaned and sanitized.
- Hand washing the plastic toys with warm soapy water is still best. Get a basin and soak your child’s plastic toys in for a few minutes. This is great for Duplo Lego pieces, plastic blocks and plastic stacking rings.
- Don’t soak wooden parts or battery-operated toys in water. Toys like your child’s Thomas train set and wooden tracks should be wiped gently with warm water and dried immediately. If it’s too dirty, try adding a little baking soda to your water. Don’t scrub too hard or you may end up wiping off the paint or some detailing.
- For your little girl’s dolls, wipe the plastic face, hands and feet with warm water and a soft cloth. Or you may use cleansing wipes. The dresses and plastic accessories can be hand washed. Don’t wet the doll’s hair.
- Use the dishwasher for plastic toys. However, make sure you only load the sturdier toys and place it on the top rack or in a dishwasher basket.
- Read the label of stuffed toys and other toys made of cloth. Most stuffed animals can be put in the washing machine. You may place your child’s little furry friends in a washing machine safe net cloth basket (the same you use for your delicates) before loading to protect them. Put in the washing machine and run in the gentle cycle. Don’t use hot water or the colors may fade or bleed. If your child has a favorite stuffed toy, you may want to wash it once a week to wash off any drool, milk, germs and dirt.
- After laundering the stuffed toys, put these in the dryer. Do not allow stuffed toys to be damp. Molds and other bacteria may start growing in them.
- Vacuum away dust from your child’s stuffed toys.
- If your child’s stuffed toy has too many delicate details or is too big to fit in your washing machine, consider getting it professionally dry cleaned.
- Add some baking soda to your cleaning solution. It’s a mild abrasive and will make cleaning easier. Baking soda also restores the brightness of vibrant colors without damaging your child’s toys. For toys being hand washed or soaked in a basin, add about a half cup of baking soda. For stuffed toys in the washing machine, add one cup in the wash cycle. Baking soda also helps remove bad smells, especially in stuffed toys.
- On a daily basis, sanitize all wipe able toys. It’s easy! Just mix one Tablespoon bleach with one liter water in a spray bottle. You can now spray away.
- Clean the bins and shelves where your toddler’s toys are kept. Wipe down with your sanitizer solution and vacuum before returning your freshly cleaned toys.
- Avoid using chemical disinfectant sprays for your child’s play things. These contain too many harsh chemicals that may cause cancer, allergies and other respiratory reactions. Try more natural products out in the market or make your own.
Toys that get the most love need the most cleaning. If you child brings out a toy, it’s best to give it a good wipe down or wash it when you get home.