how to clean and disinfect kid's toys
How to Clean Baby Toys
Babies love their toys but don’t understand the danger posed by the germs they can carry. Unless toys are cleaned properly and often, your child can get sick because of lingering dirt, grime, or germs on their toys. You need to first clean dirt off the toys and then sanitize them. How you perform these two tasks varies somewhat, depending upon the type of toy.
Cleaning Plush Toys
Check the label.If the manufacturer's label is still attached to a plush toy, check it before washing the toy. There may be specific instructions on how to wash the toy. Some toys, for example, may not be machine washable or might require a special type of cleaner.
- If there's no label, google the type of toy. If it's a popular brand, you may be able to find manufacturer's instructions online.
Wash toys in the washing machine unless otherwise directed.Most plush toys can be safely washed in the washing machine, particularly cotton and polyester blends. Wash them with your regular clothing on a gentle cycle. Alternatively, you can also do a load of just plush toys.
- If the toy is very dirty or soiled, sprinkle some baking soda on it before putting in the machine. Then, add a cap full of white vinegar to the washing machine during the rinse cycle.
- If you cannot find a label, it is relatively safe to assume that the toy is machine washable. Most plush toys are.
- Put the toys through an extra rinse cycle to ensure that all detergent comes out.
Clean wool toys by hand.Unless they are labeled "felted," wool toys cannot go into the washing machine. For these toys, try to spot clean stains. Dab the stain out using a mild soap and a wet cloth. Let the toys air dry.
- If the wool toys are very dirty, you can try hand washing them in the bathtub with a wool soap. Do not dry wool toys in the drying machine, however, as this can damage them. Lay wool toys on a sunny windowsill instead.
Dry plush toys in the dryer.If your toy is not wool, it can be put in the dryer. You can put the toy in a pillowcase beforehand to protect it as it in the dryer. Dry on high for 15 minutes. If the toys are still a little wet, let them air dry.
- Wool toys should be air dried in a warm spot.
Cleaning Metal, Wood, Electronic, and Plastic Toys
Wash small plastic toys in the dishwasher.Unless the toy has batteries or instructions specify that they are not dishwasher safe, running small plastic toys through the dishwasher will remove dirt and disinfect them. Place on the top rack of the dishwasher. Afterward, allow the toys to air dry on a dish rack.
- Check the tag to verify that the toy is dishwasher safe. If you can't find any information, you can assume that it is dishwasher safe. Most small plastic toys without batteries are dishwasher safe.
- If the toy is a bath toy, like a rubber duck, be sure to empty it of dirty bathwater prior to placing it in the dishwasher.
- Small plastic toys can also be hand washed in the same way that metal, electronic and large plastic toys are. However, using the dishwasher is easier and generally more consistent.
- Put the toys through an extra rinse cycle to ensure that all of the soap is washed away.
Wash the toys by hand with soap and water.Toys that cannot go in the dishwasher should be washed by hand. Apply warm soapy water to a rag or sponge and rub the toys down. Be careful to remove all visible stains and dirt.
- If the toys are very greasy or grimy, add vinegar and baking soda to the water.
- When hand washing toys with batteries, make sure to remove the batteries prior to washing them. Do not submerge them in water or wash the inside of the toy. Scrub the outside with your soapy sponge.
- Rinse the toys well before you finish washing them.
Mix vinegar and baking soda for tough stains.To pick up very tough dirt and grime on toys, make a solution with baking soda and vinegar and apply it to a towel. Mix 1 2/3 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap,1/2 cup water, and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Mix until all clumps have dissolved.
Sanitize toys with a bleach solution.It's important to disinfect baby toys when you clean them. Mix a tablespoon of bleach in a quart of water and use it to rub down the toys with a rag. Be sure that all dirt and grime has been removed before you sanitize the toy; germs can hide under the dirt.
- The bleach solution must remain on the toy for at least 2 minutes in order for it to be disinfected.
- It's very important that you dilute bleach. Bleach is only non-toxic to children when properly diluted.
Allow toys to air dry in a dish rack.Give the toys approximately 24 hours to dry. After there is no noticeable moisture on it, you can return it to your child.
Maintaining Clean Toys
Clean when you notice dirt or grime.If you see that food has been spilt on a toy or that it got dirt on it when your child was outside, take the initiative. Any sign of dirt or grime is an indication that the toy could be carrying disease.
Clean after your baby has been sick.Your child—and by extension you—will never be well if they go back to playing with the same toys that they were using when they came down with a cold. Anytime your child seems to be showing a case of the sniffles or diarrhea, assume the worst and start sanitizing everything they have come in contact with.
Clean after your baby has visitors.If other kids have come over to play, they have likely touched the toys. In the process, they could have spread illnesses from their house. Clean up immediately after a play date.
Clean at least once a month.Even if nothing in particular has prompted you to clean your baby’s toys, you need to clean at regular intervals. Planning for a monthly cleaning is a good rule of thumb.
Remember the big items.It can be easy to forget about big toys, like dollhouses, but these need regular cleanings too. Clean the surface and insides of larger toys. Clean the surface of the toys with your chosen disinfectant. Then, wipe away the solution and allow the larger toys to air dry.
QuestionUntil what age are children allowed to have teether toys?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTeether toys are allowed for all ages, but a child should not still be teething once they have all, or most of their teeth. You should take the toys away gradually as the child develops their teeth. This will ensure that the child is not just being "robbed" of the toys all at once. They will barely notice if you remove them gradually.Thanks!
To clean baby toys, machine wash and dry any plush toys unless the label says not to. In that case, you can spot clean plush toys using dish soap and a wet cloth. To clean plastic, wooden, or metal toys, wipe them down with soap and water. Scrub any tough stains you encounter with baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar. You should also sanitize plastic, wooden, and metal toys by cleaning them with 1 tablespoon of bleach diluted in 1 quart of water. Then, let the toys air dry for at least 24 hours.
- Check the label of any cleaning product to confirm it is EPA certified. If you're still wary, opt for purely natural cleaning products.
- Wash your child's toys in batches, so they always have some free toys to play with.
- Don't expose rubber toys to boiling or very hot water. It can dissolve or otherwise damage the toy over time.
- Never use harsh chemicals. Even if you're following the cleaner's warning label, a baby's system is more fragile than an adults' and shouldn't come in contact with any potentially dangerous chemicals.
- Refer to manufacturer's guidelines. If you have the manufacturer's guidelines for a given toy, you should always follow them for proper care. These guidelines will offer the best advice for washing a toy. You can always the toy in question and see if you can find a copy of the manufacturer's instructions online.it.
- Make sure to remove batteries from toys. Always remove batteries from toys prior to cleaning. You can seriously damage or ruin a toy by washing it with the batteries still in place. Remove batteries from electronic toys before placing them in a washing machine or hand-washing them.
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