Babies love to explore things by touching and tasting them. We all know for a fact that every toy in your baby’s room has been chewed and drooled on at least once. We also know that babies are more vulnerable when it comes to illness and infections. Their immune systems are not as strong as adults’, and they tend to pick up germs more because of their habit of tasting and touching just about everything.

According to research, baby toys should be cleaned weekly, or at least once a month (Source). There are multiple practical solutions that can help you when you decide to clean your baby’s toys.

How do I safely clean baby toys?

1. How do I clean plastic toys?

Plastic toys can be washed with hot, soapy water, or you can run them through the dishwasher if they are entirely made from plastic and don’t contain batteries, buttons, or fabric. You can place some toys in the silverware holder. Adding a colander as a cover or placing items in a lingerie bag can keep the toys from falling off the racks. Allow the toys to air dry completely. To clean or scrub tight, small places, you can use a toothbrush or a toothpick.

2. How do I wash wooden toys?

Toys that are made from natural wood should be wiped clean with a lint-free cloth soaked in either a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water, or mild soapy water (could be dish soap, hand soap, or baby soap). Clean the toys with a clean, damp towel to remove residue soap. Running toys that are made from natural wood under the water can cause them to warp and get rough. Rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball can also wipe clean all the dirty spots on the toys. 

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3. How do I  wash plush toys?

Stuffed toys, tummy time blankets, cloth books, and other knitted toys can be thoroughly cleaned in a washing machine. Put the fabric toys in a lingerie bag or a pillowcase and pop it into the dryer on medium heat for 15 minutes. Don’t launder plush toys that contain batteries or make any noise, dunking them in water will render them silent.

4. How do I clean bath toys?

A warm bath does not automatically clean bath toys. They need just as much attention as other toys. You should clean the bath toys every week by soaking them in a 50/50 mixture of hot water and distilled white vinegar. If they need a more thorough cleaning, put them in the dishwasher, and you’re good to go for another week’s use.

5. How do I clean metal toys?

Metal toys such as trains or trucks also contain rubber wheels that are likely to meltdown if put into a dishwasher. You can use a tablespoon of bleach mixed in a quart of water to sanitize them. Allow the toys to air dry.

6. How do I clean battery toys?

Take out the batteries before you do anything else. Now, clean the outer areas of the toy with a wipe or a cloth soaked in a disinfectant laden solution. Do not submerge these types of toys in any liquid cleaning solution. If you notice that the batteries are leaking, replace them right away.

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7. How do I clean ride-on toys?

Ride-on toys visit every corner of the house with your kid. To clean them, all you need is a cloth dipped into a mixture of water and disinfectant solution. Now, thoroughly clean the toys with the cloth and let it dry naturally. 

8. When to clean baby toys?

Baby toys don’t need daily cleaning but make sure that you clean them once in a while, especially when you notice that they are covered in food or saliva. Everyday toys that you keep in the diaper bag with you should be cleaned weekly.

Baby toys need cleaning in case of the following situations as well:

  • When your baby is recovering from an infection or illness.
  • After your kid’s playdate with his friends since other children could have put your baby’s toys in their mouths.
  • When a toy has been in storage or your baby hasn’t touched it in a while.
  • If your kid spilled any food item on the toys.
  • When a toy falls on the ground.

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How do I sterilize baby toys?

Sterilizing or disinfecting baby toys means killing the bacteria and germs and stopping them from reproducing. Cleaning a toy will remove the visible dirt and grime. After cleaning, apply a disinfectant to sterilize a toy thoroughly.

Each toy comes with its cleaning guidelines from the manufacturer. Check if the toy is dishwasher safe. If it is, put it in a dishwasher and wash using regular dishwasher detergent which usually contains a disinfectant. Clean it on a regular cycle. To prevent mold and bacteria, use the heated cycle to dry the clean toys. Some dishwashers have a sanitizing cycle, you can use it to kill the germs during cold and flu season. Sanitizing the toys will lower the number of germs to a safe level as judged by public health standards (Source).

 

You should clean large plastic toys, or toys with batteries, with a mixture of soap and warm water or wiped clean with a sponge or a cloth soaked in a diluted bleach solution. Then, leave the toys to air dry. Take the batteries out of the toys before cleaning them, to prevent corrosion and damage.

1. Is it safe to clean baby toys with bleach?

Bleach can help you get rid of all the germs and bacteria easily. It is mostly safe to use on a variety of materials and toys, but to be on the safe side, try diluted bleach on a small area of a toy, and if it works, you are good to go.

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Some quick tips:

  • If a toy falls on the ground when you are out, clean it with a wipe for the time being.
  • If you want to keep toys and other baby gear chemical-free, use a steam cleaner to steam clean toys and other things that your child uses for effective cleaning and sanitizing. Then, wipe it clean with a cloth.
  • Clean baby toys at least once a week for the best sanitary results. Plush toys are cleanable a couple of times in a year.
  • Choose “green” cleaners, particularly the ones that are certified by third-party groups such as Green Seal, for meeting the specific health and eco standards.
  • Make sure to buy the toys that have detailed and clear safety and maintenance instructions labeled on them.

Following the instructions mentioned above will lead to a more safe and effective cleaning time of the toys. Toys help kids to learn while keeping it fun and casual. It is essential to keep your baby’s toys clean and sanitized, so make sure that you are doing the best you can to keep your little one happy and healthy.

Read Our Guide on Awesome Toys for 18 Month Olds

In the market for toys for your baby? Check out this guide comparing the features of some of the best ones in our opinion.

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