Babies have one thing in common – they will play with their food but mouth their toys. It’s a baby’s world, and we’re all just living in it. Let’s face it; you can’t always stop your kids from putting their toys in their mouths. So, your role as a parent or caregiver is to prioritize toy hygiene.
How can you do that? We’ll get into it in today’s write-up!
Introduction: The Importance of Cleaning and Disinfecting Kids’ Toys
Toys often end up in messy situations. Think muddy puddles, dirt, dust, accidental food/juice spilling, and the like! This is even more true in a household with kids and pets.
Both kids and pets share the habit of exploring the world around them with their mouths. They will mouth anything and everything they can get their hands on, including toys. This very reason makes cleaning and disinfecting kids’ toys indispensable.
Dirty toys carry disease-causing microorganisms. When these toys are mouthed or handled during play, your kids can fall sick.
There is an added risk of cross-contamination in households with children and pets since they often interact and share the same toys.
Hence, cleaning your kids’ toys properly ensures a safe, hygienic playtime experience. Take cleaning up a notch by disinfecting the toys, and you can bid goodbye to those disease-causing germs, bacteria, and viruses for good!
How to Clean Baby Toys: A Step-By-Step Guide
The depends solely on the material they are made of. While soft toys like stuffed animals can be safely machine-washed, vinyl dolls may need a more hands-on cleaning approach. And when it comes to toys that are not washable, that’s a whole ‘nother story.
To make it easier for you, we have listed down the steps for cleaning each type of toy your baby is likely to own:
Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Fabric Or Soft Toys
There are three methods to clean fabric or soft toys. Make sure to read the care label on the toy to determine which cleaning method you should use:
· Make a solution of water and mild detergent.
· If you are dealing with stubborn stains, opt for a commercial remover. Make sure to do a patch test on a hidden area of the toy first.
· Dip a clean kitchen towel into the soapy water.
· Wring it to remove excess water.
· Blot the dirty area as many times as needed.
· Once clean, take another clean towel and dampen it with clean water.
· Wring the towel to remove excess water and blot the cleaned area to remove any residue.
· Allow the toy to air dry completely.
· Fill your bucket or sink with cool water and add a few teaspoons of mild detergent.
· Soak the toy in soapy water and agitate with your hands.
· Let your toy sit in the water for 15-20 minutes if it is soiled.
· Then, drain the soapy water.
· Rinse the toy under clean, running water until the water runs clean.
· Wrap your toy with a clean towel and gently squeeze it to remove excess water.
· Lay it flat on a clean surface or hang it on an indoor clothesline to dry.
This cleaning method is suitable for plush toys that don’t have loose parts like buttons, plastic eyes, accessories, etc.
· Firstly, you want to protect the toy by putting it in a zippered pillowcase.
· Use mild detergent in your washing machine.
· Toss the toy in the washer and hit the gentle cycle.
· Allow it to air dry.
Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Vinyl Toys
You can use baby wipes to wipe off dirt, dust, and grim from the doll’s surfaces for a quick cleanup.
For a more thorough cleaning, use a thin washcloth. Dampen with water and wipe the doll’s surface until it looks clean. Take another dry, clean cloth to wipe off excess water.
For stubborn stains, you can use a mixture of a few drops of water and 1 tsp of baking soda.
If the vinyl dolls consist of hair, you can wash it with regular shampoo and conditioner. However, check the doll’s care label before you proceed.
Step-By-Step Guide To Clean Toys That Can’t Be Washed
For toys that can’t be washed, the culprit is typically the stuffing material. In such cases, you can opt for the spot-cleaning method we discussed above.
For a more thorough cleaning, you can follow these steps:
· Vacuum the toy to remove loose dust and dirt.
· Pour ½ cup of baking soda into a garbage bag. The bag should be big enough to accommodate the toy.
· Put the toy in the garbage bag and shake the bag gently. The goal here is to let the baking soda cover the entire toy.
· Then, let the toy sit for 15 minutes.
· Remove the toy from the bag and shake off the excess baking soda. You can use a vacuum cleaner too.
· Then, brush the toy’s fur with a soft-bristled brush.
· Once you remove all the baking soda, allow the toy to air dry.
The Role of Bleach in Disinfecting Toys
Bleach is a common household disinfectant that effectively kills germs on toys, too. However, you should know its potential side effects- bleach is toxic if ingested.
If you do choose to disinfect toys with bleach, stick to this method:
· Only use a prediluted bleach solution. You can make it at home with 10-part water and 1-part beach.
· Dampen a cloth with the bleach solution and wipe down the toys.
· Use another cloth dampened with clean water and wipe the toys to remove any bleach residue. Repeat this process as needed.
· Allow the toy to air dry completely.
Pro Tip: DO NOT use bleach to disinfect colored toys; it can take the paint off.
How to Disinfect Toys Without Bleach: Alternative Solutions
Want to disinfect your toys without bleach? Vinegar to the rescue!
Vinegar is another effective home remedy for disinfecting toys. It is natural, chemical-free, and non-toxic. Here’s how you can disinfect your toys with vinegar:
· Mix white distilled vinegar and water in a 1:2 ratio, respectively.
· Put the solution in a spray bottle.
· Spray the entire toy with the vinegar solution.
· Then, use a clean towel to wipe down the toy’s surface.
· Let the toy air dry.
The Process: How to Sanitize Baby Toys?
While washing your baby’s toys removes visible dirt, dust, and grime from their surfaces, sanitizing takes things up a notch by removing the bacteria from the surface.
Here is how you can sanitize baby toys, even those that go in the mouth:
Things You’ll Need
· White Vinegar
· Warm Water
The Process Of Sanitizing Baby Toys
Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl/mug. The water and vinegar ratio should be 15:1.
Soak small toys in the solution and let them sit for about 20 minutes.
For bigger toys, you can dampen a cloth in the solution and wipe the toy’s surface.
Then, you can either rinse the toys under clean water or wipe them with a clean, damp cloth.
Allow the toys to dry naturally.
Natural Disinfection: How to Clean and Disinfect Baby Toys Naturally?
Cleaning and disinfecting baby toys naturally involves using non-toxic products like soap, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, etc.
Use a handheld garment steamer to steam clean fabric toys naturally. The heat will kill germs and dust mites, which are the no.1 cause of allergies.
Boil The Toys
Another way to disinfect toys without the use of products is by simply boiling them. However, this method works only for hard, plastic, or non-porous toys.
However, before tossing your toys in hot boiling water, ensure their care label doesn’t advise against this.
Mix equal parts Hydrogen Peroxide and water in a big bowl.
Submerge the toys in the solution and let it sit for 5 minutes.
You may notice the solution bubbling at this point. Wait until the bubbling subsides.
Then, rinse the toys with clean water and allow them to dry.
For toys that can’t be submerged in water, simply pour the hydrogen peroxide solution into a spray bottle.
Spray the entire toy. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Next, wipe the toy with a clean cloth and allow it to air dry.
Case Study: How to Disinfect a Large Amount of Toys
Here’s a guide on how to disinfect a large amount of toys at a time:
· Fill a bathtub or large bucket with water and a capful of bleach.
· Toss in the toys.
· Let the toys sit for a few minutes.
· Then, rinse the toys several times with clean water to get rid of residual bleach.
· Allow the toys to air dry completely.
How To Clean Plastic Toys: A Detailed Guide
In this section, we will cover one of the most common types of toys- plastic toys. The good news is cleaning plastic toys is a cinch.
For dishwasher-safe plastic toys, follow these steps:
· Line large plastic toys in the dishwasher rack.
· Put smaller toys in a mesh bag before placing them on the rack.
· Select the normal or sanitizing cycle on your dishwasher.
· Then, use the heated dry cycle to dry the toys.
· Allow the toys to air dry completely (if needed).
For plastic toys that are not dishwasher-safe, follow these steps:
· Mix dish soap with warm water.
· Soak the plastic toys.
· Wash by hand or use a soft-bristle brush to brush off dirt and grim from the toys’ surface.
· Next, rinse with clean water.
· Allow the toys to air dry.
Conclusion: Maintaining Cleanliness and Hygiene in Kids’ Toys
So, there you have it! The correct ways to clean, sanitize, and disinfect various types of kids’ toys.
No matter what method you choose, always remember to clean your baby’s toys regularly. Cleanliness and hygiene should be your top-most priority when it comes to kids’ toys. Why? To provide a safe playtime experience for your little one and their overall well-being.