How to Clean and Disinfect Baby Toys

How to Clean Baby Toys – Simple and Effective Tips

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Dr. Gunjan Baweja (Paediatrician)
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Kids play around with their toys all the time. They take it around the house, dragging it on the floor, and nearly every toy ends up in their mouth. Many children fall ill simply because of unclean toys that hold many germs and enter the child’s body through the mouth. Therefore, maintaining clean toys is an absolute necessity.

Video: How to Clean Baby Toys – Simple and Effective Tips

Why is It Important to Clean Your Baby’s Toys?

For a kid, his toy pretty much becomes the first friend he makes in his life. The vivid colours and different sounds they make will have your kid carrying them around wherever he goes. Kids constantly try chewing on their favourite toy or putting it in their mouth. This is one of the major reasons why keeping toys clean is so important. They have a direct line to your baby’s well-being.

How to Clean/Sanitise an Infant’s Toys?

Different toys need to be cleaned in different ways. Here’s how you can clean each one of your baby’s toys.

1. Plush Toys/Stuffed Toys

The material that stuffed toys are made of can get dirty rather quickly and also end up holding a lot of germs together.

How to Clean:

These toys can be usually cleaned with water and soap, using your hands. Another convenient option is to put them in a washing machine. Do not use your daily soap for it, since your baby will be playing with them later. Use the baby shampoo itself and then let them dry in the sun. For washing machines, you can put all of them together in a cloth and run it on gentle mode.

2. Bath Toys

All those ducks and boats that your kid plays with during his bath time need cleaning as well. They are constantly wet and around both, clean and dirty water.

Bath Toys

How to Clean:

Bath toys are usually wet all the time and make way for microbes to thrive on them. Since your baby bathes daily and plays with them while bathing, these should also be cleaned on a daily basis. Wash them after each bath and then keep them to dry or hang them on a drying wire. Another quick way to clean them is to dip them in a home-made cleaning solution overnight and then let them dry.

3. Plastic Toys

Plastic toys come in all shapes and sizes and these are the most loved ones for any kid. Many toys also have batteries in them. So, it is necessary to remove them and keep the battery portion covered while cleaning them up.

How to Clean:

Most plastic toys can be easily cleaned by using hot water with some soap or even using a dish detergent. These are best for fully plastic toys without any fabric present on them. Place these toys on a clothing tray so that the water can drip down easily. If going for a washing machine, use the gentle mode for a short time and let them dry naturally. For any toys that have smaller moving parts, you can use an old toothbrush to clean the inner areas properly.

4. Rubber Toys

Rubber toys are quite easy to play with. These are softer compared to hard plastic toys and can be handled by the baby without much trouble. But they also hold quite a few germs on their body rather easily.

How to Clean:

Rubber toys, too, can be cleaned using soapy water. These should be preferably washed by hand to keep their texture intact. A sponge can also be used to rub the surface and remove any embedded dirt. Prior to washing, let them sit inside the soapy water for an hour or so for the soap to act on the dirt. Using a toothbrush and a little vinegar can clean them much more efficiently.

5. Silicone Toys

These toys are slightly similar to the rubber ones might are manufactured from a different material. They are easy to play with as well and quite durable. So, even when chucked across the room, they don’t tend to break. These can find their way under beds or behind shelves, picking up quite some dirt and germs.

How to Clean:

One of the quickest ways to clean such toys is to take a bucket of warm water, add some disinfectant or baby shampoo, rinse it a bit, and put all the toys inside it. Let them soak for about half an hour. These can then be cleaned with a toothbrush or a cloth, washed in clean water, and left out to dry.

Silicone Toys

6. Wooden Toys

These could be old toys from your own childhood or maybe you picked them up because they looked interesting. Wooden toys have a different feel to them and your kid might also like the smell and taste of it, as weird as it might sound. Since it is wood, it automatically becomes a nice play for germs to stay.

How to Clean: 

These toys need to be washed with a little care than others. Make use of a cloth that is just a tad wet by using a mixture of water and vinegar. This is necessary for cleaning wooden toys the right way. It is necessary to not wet the wood completely because it can destroy the structure of the toy or even take an abnormally long time to dry completely.

7. Dolls

Kids of all ages love dolls. Dressing them up, combing their hair, and playing house with them is how they learn to emulate the social behaviour. Most dolls are made up of different elements that make cleaning them a tricky problem.

How to Clean:

Each element of the doll needs to be cleaned using a specific method. For the body part, which is primarily made out of plastic, using a simple washing liquid can suffice. If the parts are made of fabric, a little water and shampoo might do the trick, with enough time to dry out. The hair of such dolls requires great care since it can quite easily be ruined and tangled. Handle it similar to how you’d handle your own hair and wash it gently with a little baby shampoo.

8. Battery Toys

Most of the toys that are battery-powered are made out of plastic. Dipping them in water might seem the natural thing to do, but this could end up damaging the circuitry and rendering the toy useless.

Battery Toys

How to Clean :

Before anything, remove the batteries from the toy and keep them aside, in a safe place. The only way to clean the toys is to take care of the outer areas. Make sure that the battery contacts are not touched while doing so, since they can quickly catch rust. Using a disinfectant-laden solution can help clean the toy. If the batteries are found to be leaking, replace them right away.

9.Ride-On Toys

Your kid will take this toy all over the house and attract every kind of microbe there is.

How to Clean :

All you need to clean it is some water, a disinfectant solution, and a clean cloth. Wipe down all the areas of the toy with it and let it dry naturally.

Difference between Cleaning and Disinfecting

Cleaning majorly takes care of any dirt or dust that is present in the toys. Disinfecting removes any germs or microbes that might be present on the toy or inside it.

How to Disinfect Baby Toys

Disinfecting your baby’s toys can be important to get rid of germs and bacteria. Here’s how to do it right.

DIY Disinfectant to Sanitise Your Child’s Toys

DIY Disinfectant to Sanitise Your Child's Toys

Using this solution is a better alternative since it is free from any harmful chemicals or other cleaning products.

What You Need:

  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Rosewater

How to Clean:

  • Mix all the ingredients together. Water and vinegar should be mixed in a ratio of 15:1.
  • Soak the toys in this solution for about half an hour. Let the bath toys soak overnight. These can then be washed under clean water, wiped with a cloth, and allowed to dry naturally.
  • You can even spray this solution on a toy and wipe it clean with baby wipes for quick cleaning.

Is It Safe to Clean the Baby’s Toys With Bleach?

Using bleach can rid your toy of all the germs in an easy manner. Bleach is usually safe to use on a variety of materials but it is best to try it out on a small area of the toy, in a diluted proportion.

All toys are made of different materials. So, figuring out the best way to clean toys that applies to all is not a possibility. By cleaning the toys regularly and disinfecting them once in a while, you can keep your baby’s best buddies safe for him.

Also Read:

Best Toys for 6-9 Month Old Baby
Homemade Toys for Kids

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