When children play with toys, they tend to get dirty pretty easily. If you don’t want them to become germ-ridden, then you’ll need to take care of their toys regularly. New parents like me are scratching their heads wondering how to clean baby toys. The good thing is that cleaning toys isn’t too complicated. In fact, it only takes a few minutes each day.
How to Clean Baby Toys
The best way to clean your baby’s toys is to wash them by hand, according to Dr. Michael Rea, director of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “If you’re worried about germs on the toy, use soap and water,” he explains. “You don’t really need anything else.”
What to Expect recommends keeping a box of wipes on hand for wiping down toys. They’re inexpensive, easy to store and won’t take up much space. And if you do accidentally drop one of those little babies onto the floor, you’ll have another good reason to grab a couple of wipes.
There’s no need to sterilize toys, either. In fact, doing so could actually make things worse, notes Rea. “When you heat something up, it makes bacteria grow faster,” he says. “So just let them air out and put them back together.”
How often should you clean baby toys?
If there are toys in your house that haven’t been played with in a while, chances are they’re covered in dust and grime. And while cleaning those toys might seem like a fun way to spend some quality time with your little one, it could actually pose health risks.
According to experts, toys shouldn’t be cleaned too frequently because doing so can lead to bacteria growth. But if you do want to give your kid a bath, here’s what you need to know about how to properly clean toys.
How to clean wooden baby toys
Wooden toys are one of the easiest items to clean. They just require some soap and water. You don’t even need to use dishwashing liquid because you’re cleaning them with plain old soap and water.
But you might want to avoid putting them in the washing machine. If you put wooden toys in the washing machine, they’ll turn into mush. Soap won’t penetrate deep enough to work properly.
You can also wipe down wooden toys with paper towels and warm water. Just make sure that you dry them thoroughly afterward.
How to clean plastic baby toys
Plastic toys can be easier to clean than wooden toys, according to experts. While wood toys can become sticky and dirty over time, plastic toys do not absorb liquids like water or food coloring easily, making it much easier to wash away stains. If you find yourself cleaning up some spilled juice or ketchup, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Start with cold water. Warm temperatures cause plastics to melt and separate, making it harder to scrub off the mess. Cold water works best because it doesn’t heat up quickly, allowing you to use less energy and work faster.
Use soap and warm water. Soap dissolves oils, fats, and grease found on most surfaces, including toys. Use dishwashing liquid specifically designed for toys and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You might even consider using a toy cleaner that contains both dish soap and antibacterial agents.
Rinse thoroughly. After washing, let toys dry completely. This helps prevent moldy smells and bacteria growth.
Let toys air out. Toys don’t breathe well under humid conditions, so put them outside in the sun or air-conditioned room for a day or two.
Don’t forget about the inside. Cleaning toys isn’t just about getting rid of dirt; it’s also important.
How to clean Silicone and Rubber Toys
Silicone and rubber toys are soft, squish-able, easy to clean, and safe for babies. They come in many shapes and sizes, including balls, rings, teethers, rattles, and puzzles. You can find silicone and rubber toys in most toy stores and online retailers.
These toys can be washed like regular plastic toys, but you should avoid boiling them because it could change their shape. Instead, soak them in warm soapy solution for around 10 minutes, then rinse well and let them air dry.
Other ways to Clean children’s toys
There are other alternatives for cleaning toys, but always make sure to read the label before hand.
- Use a quick baby wipe
- Clean with Vinegar (one part water and one part vinegar)
- Put in Dishwasher (only hard plastic toys)
- Boil on the stove
- Washing machine on gentle cycle (for most stuffed animals)
- Vacuum or steam clean
Some good ole warm soap, water, and air dry will do the trick but there are a few other ways to try. Comment below and let us know what works for you!