When babies begin to crawl and grasp items, putting things in their mouth is second nature. Babies cannot do without toys, and this calls for you to have a strict regimen of cleaning baby toys using safe solvents. A recent scientific study showed that infant toys are breeding grounds of germs and vermin that lead to all manner of diseases and infections. Proper cleaning of baby toys will add more work to your schedule, but it will help keep illnesses at bay.
When to Clean Your Kids Toys
While you might want to clean the toys every other day, James Novak, author of Keep This, Toss That, recommends that you give the toys a thorough once over. For toys used every day, once a week cleaning is enough. However, there are instances when you must clean the toys before the baby uses them
- If the baby has not played with the toy in a long while
- When they are recovering from illnesses such as flu, or diarrhea
- After play dates especially if there were sick children in the playgroup
- When a toy falls to the ground
- When there are food and milk, mucus, or vomit on the toy
According to Dr. Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, a children’s health expert and professor at UC Berkley, there is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning means using soapy water while disinfecting uses sanitizers, and it should come after cleaning. So, what is the proper way to clean up toys?
Here are actionable cleaning tips for toys to see different materials.
These are the toys to see in beds and everywhere in the house and babies hardly let go, even when asleep. However, going for too long without cleaning them could be the cause of your baby’s constant ailments. For light cleaning, use baby wipes to remove spots and individual stains. In addition, you should deep clean all fabric toys at least once a week.
Put the stuffed toys in a pillow case, then spin them in the clothes dryer for 15 minutes in medium heat. If a fabric toy has a battery pack, refrain from deep cleaning them using this method since they could explode, or cause the rusting of the battery terminals.
Plastic and Bath Toys
These are some of the most common toys in a nursery since they are durable, glossy, with a high visual appeal. Cleaning plastic toys is easy using hot water and soap.
- Use a toothbrush and a toothpick to reach tiny spaces
- You can also load them into the silverware compartment of your dishwasher in a colander or laundry bag to keep them from falling off the racks
- Use the gentlest cycle on your dishwasher and air dry the toy before letting the baby use it again
Bath toys need more rigorous cleaning than most parents care to do. Make it a weekly routine to soak all the bath toys in a half and half mixture of distilled white vinegar and hot water. You can also clean them using a dishwasher just like you would the plastic toys.
Most toys made of metal have rubber parts that would melt in the heat of a dishwasher. The easiest way to clean them is by using a mixture of a liter of water and two-tablespoonfuls of bleach. Use a clean cloth to wipe the surfaces of the toys. This method will also work for battery-powered toys and prevent rusting of the battery terminals.
- Use a toothpick to get the solution to the hard to reach places
- Leave them to dry naturally before allowing your baby to play with the toys
Wooden Baby Toys
Natural word warps and becomes rough when soaked in water for too long. To sanitize wooden baby toys,
- Using a lint-free cloth dipped in a half and half mixture of distilled white vinegar and mild soapy water
- Wipe along the grain of the wood then rinse them using a towel dipped in clean plain water
- If stains and spots remain, use rubbing alcohol
- Rinse it with plain water
- Air dry the wooden baby toys away from direct sunlight
In conclusion, most manufacturers have guidelines on how to clean up toys, and you can supplement them with the tips above. Regular cleaning of kids toys can prevent frequent trips to the ER, and you will be a better parent by providing clean infant toys for your bundle of joy.
Do you have more ways to clean up toys?
Comment on this toys and me article, and help other parents keep their babies free from preventable illnesses.
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