10 Jun 2021

Safe Ways To Clean Your Toys At Home

Let's be honest, toys in your home are a great source of germs swapped between babies, toddlers, and adults. Toys can sometimes transmit illness and infections without you being aware. While daycares and children's centers have specific guidelines for toy cleanliness, you can use practical solutions to clean baby toys safely and effectively at home.

Soap and Water.
Simply washing your hands with soap and water is a great way to prevent spreading bacteria, germs, and viruses, this works for toys and surfaces as well. Toys such as plastic blocks, infant rattles, and teethers can easily be cleaned in the sink by using dish soap and warm water.

However, it is never safe to wash any electrical toy that can be plugged in by submerging it or placing it in soap and water. Even toys that include batteries with lights and sounds should not be cleaned in soap and water. Any water that enters the electrical parts can lead to shorts and the toy may no longer work.

Dishwasher.
Some toys may be labeled as being dishwasher safe, toys like plastic blocks, large plastic pegs, plastic shape sorter pieces, infant rattles, and some bath toys can be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher.

Make sure to use hot water and soap in the dishwasher, this will help sanitize and clean your toys. The dishwasher is also recommended for certain bath toys, which can begin to develop mold and mildew over time.

Surface Wipes
Surface wipes are a great way to clean plastic toys that are electrical or have batteries and cannot be placed in soap and water or the dishwasher. Look for aisles in stores dedicated to disinfectant surface wipes.

Wipe down the toy using a disinfectant surface wipe. Let it air-dry for several minutes before giving it to a child to play with.

For items such as pacifiers, there are also special pacifier wipes that can be used and not harm the baby. These use food-grade sanitizers that are safe for babies who put items in their mouths.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals and Baby Dolls
Many people make the mistake of cleaning stuffed animals and baby dolls by placing them in the washer and dryer without proper care and over time stuffed animals and baby dolls get ruined with repeated washings. To help the toy survive machine-washing, place it in a pillowcase before laundering.

Use a large zipper bag (or specialized teddy bags) used to wash plush toys. Place the stuffed animals inside the bag, then wash on a gentle cycle in a front loader washer and dryer. It's important to read the labels on stuffed animals before washing them, some speciality teddy bears specifically state they cannot be washed.

After washing, check if the toys are still intact, look for loose eyes, seams, threads, or other attachments to ensure the stuffed animal is still safe for your child to handle.

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