As all moms know, babies and toddlers often explore toys by putting them into their mouths, regardless of where the toys have been previously. Many toys can carry harmless germs, however, some have the potential to carry bacteria that can cause the cold or flu. So now is the perfect time to bust out the toy bins and disinfect your child’s toys. Here are some methods you can use to help clean a variety of toy surfaces.
A safe and inexpensive way for cleaning and disinfecting non-absorbent toys is to use a diluted beach solution (1 TBS per 1 gallon warm water).
- Clean toys with warm soapy water, then rinse with clear water, and dry them off
- Disinfect the toys by spraying them with the diluted bleach solution
- Place toys out to allow them to air dry
If the toys are made from plastic they can also be placed into the dishwasher for cleaning. Place the toys on the top washing rack of your dishwasher. Set the dishwasher to a gentle cycle, turning off the heated dry option, and when complete let the toys air dry.
Barbie dolls or any other plastic figure can also be cleaned using a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water. Rub the toys down with the mixture, using toothpicks or tooth brushes to get into tiny or hard to reach places, then wipe using a dry cloth.
There are several ways to clean wooden toys. First, you can use a 1:1 ratio white distilled vinegar and water to clean, do not submerge the toys, rather spray or gently rub the solution onto the toys. Follow this with a lightly dampened cloth to remove any accesses residue. The same procedure can be applied when using a mild soapy water solution.
Metal toys can be cleaned by wiping them with warm soapy water; scrub with baking soda, vinegar, and water if you encounter any tough to get off spots or stains. Putting metal toys in the dishwasher is not recommended. For example, the rubber wheels on toy trucks can break down over time by being exposed to the heat from your dishwasher. You should also sanitize metal toys using the same diluted bleach solution.
It is tough to say how often you should clean your child’s toys. Keep an eye on how frequently they play with their toys, if they have a cold, or if they are playing with other children who might be sick. Test out these methods and see how they work for your family.
Brandy Goodman, employee since 2017, is the Human Resources Office Manager of COVERT Cleaning Inc. of Montana. Regularly attends Chamber of Commerce events to further continue to grow COVERT Cleaning’s presence within the community.