Babies get up to all sorts with their toys.
Whether it’s sticking them straight into their mouths or dragging them around the garden, they have a lot of contact with their favorite items.
This makes cleaning your baby’s toys a priority considering the amount of germs and bacteria they can pick up on their travels.
In this article, we’re going to explore why it is so important to clean your baby’s toys, how often you should be doing so and how exactly to go about it.
By the end, you should have a better understanding of how to keep your little one happy and healthy when playing with their favorite toys.
Table of Contents
Why You Should Clean Your Baby’s Toys?
Small doses of common bacteria can be helpful for your child’s developing immune system, but there are harmful germs out there that can make your baby sick.
Research has shown that an alarming amount of bacteria can be found on baby’s toys, especially when they aren’t cleaned regularly.
This is particularly problematic in soft, stuffed toys. They are very vulnerable to picking up dust mites that can bring on allergies and harm asthmatics.
Therefore, it’s not only your baby who will benefit from clean toys, you will too.
How Often You Should Clean Baby Toys?
Different toys have different guidelines for how often they should be cleaned (see also ‘How To Wash Plush Toys‘).
This depends on the ease with which they can pick up germs and bacteria during your baby’s playtime.
- Plastic: After every use
- Bath: After every use
- Wooden: After every use
- Electronic: After every use
- Stuffed/Plush: Weekly
Some toys are definitely easier to maintain than others. It can be a quick wipe with a disinfectant cloth or a cycle in the dishwasher or washing machine.
The effort of keeping your baby’s toys clean is worth the investment though, so let’s take a look at how to clean the different types of toys.
What You Should Use For Cleaning Baby Toys?
Perfect for washing hard toys in bulk, the dishwasher will do the work for you.
Just ensure that small items are placed into mesh bags before starting a cycle.
Check the labels on your baby’s toys before putting them through the washer and only use low speed, low temperature cycles.
A simple method for washing baby’s toys that can be more time-consuming but necessary to clean more intricate toys.
Lysol wipes are fantastic for cleaning away viruses and bacteria and can be used widely on most baby toys for a quick clean after use.
How To Clean Different Baby Toys?
The methods for cleaning the different types of toys employ different techniques that make sure the toys go back to your baby clean and dry.
Plastic And Bath Toys
Most plastic and bath toys that are made of solid materials are perfectly safe to wash in the dishwasher.
Larger toys can be distributed over the bottom and top racks, plus smaller toys can still go through the dishwasher without getting lost.
It’s worth investing in some mesh bags to group small action figures or animals together without them wandering off during the dishwasher cycle too.
To dry them off, place them on a drying rack or dry them by hand with a towel if any are still wet when they come out.
Wooden toys are much simpler to get clean than most others.
You can use regular dish soap to wipe the toys down, so no need to put them in the dishwasher.
Scouring pads and toothbrushes can be useful for removing any stubborn stains that won’t come off with a regular cloth.
You may find that wooden toys are slightly more difficult to dry, so wipe them down with a towel as best you can and leave them to air dry before returning them to your baby.
Start by taking out the batteries or take their plug sockets out of the mains before starting.
If you have removed a battery cover during this step, make sure to put it back before continuing.
Use a fresh cloth with your choice of regular soap, Lysol wipes or bleach and pay extra attention to any rubbery, sticky areas.
Be careful not to allow the soapy water to breach the electrical parts of the toys at this stage too.
When drying electrical toys, you can rinse any excess soapy water away with a fresh cloth and allow them to air dry.
Stuffed toys can be the trickiest to get right, especially when it comes to avoiding damage to the toys.
Some plush toys can go in the washer and others can’t, so let’s look at both types.
For toys that can go in the washer:
- Place the toys in a tied pillowcase before you start the cycle to provide added protection to the toy as it tumbles round
- The cycle should be a gentle, cold wash as baby’s stuffed toys aren’t designed for long exposure to hot water
- Plush toys can go in the dryer on its lower settings or be dried with a hairdryer to be more gentle
For toys that can’t go in the washer:
- Begin with warm, soapy water and cover the stuffed toy all over
- Use a fresh cloth to go over the toy again and rinse all the soap off
- Dry using a hairdryer to avoid the harshness of the dryer and give your baby’s plush toy a fluffy coat
- Finally, you can lightly vacuum the stuffed toy using an upholstery add-on on your vacuum cleaner
It might seem like a long, drawn-out process to clean all of your baby’s toys so frequently.
You and your baby will have a much better time for it though.
Maintaining their hygiene during play will reduce the chances of them getting sick, even from being in contact with their own bacterias.
We hope that you’ll now be able to clean every toy your baby needs for a happy, healthy playtime!