You’ve probably seen a toddler stick an entire Barbie’s head in their mouth or pick their nose and wipe the boogers onto a teddy bear. There’s no question about it — while kids are innocent and adorable, they have no sense of hygiene, so it’s up to parents or caretakers to protect them from illness-causing germs.
How Often Should You Disinfect Toys?
It’s recommended that you sanitize the toys that are played with every day at least once a week. The blocks and train sets that are only taken out of storage a few times during the year should be cleaned every season. Teething toys that are often put in babies' mouths should be disinfected every 1-2 days to avoid causing sickness for still-developing immune systems. It’s especially important to clean toys after group playdates or if there’s sickness going around the home.
How to Disinfect Toys
It would be rather difficult to wipe down each individual Lego building block and figurine with a sanitizing cloth, but luckily, you can disinfect them in the washing machine. Fill a laundry bag with the Legos and wash on a gentle cycle with cold water. Then, lay the blocks flat on a towel until completely dry. This is the best kind of laundry, because you don't have to fold it!
Most blocks, figurines, and other plastic toys can safely be cleaned in the top rack of the dishwasher — the top rack is slightly cooler than the bottom and prevents melting. If there are any fabric or electronic pieces, a spot clean may be preferable to avoid damage. Run a normal cycle, then let the toys cool down before tossing them back in the playroom.
Although a sturdy material for toys and furniture, wood is a porous material that can crack or grow mold if water gets into the small crevices. Dilute white vinegar with water and spray onto the toys, then immediately wipe with a cloth to avoid moisture damage.
Place plush toys in a tied-off pillowcase or mesh laundry bag and place in the washer. Use cold water and a gentle detergent on a delicate cycle, to avoid fading or tearing the fabric. After the cycle is finished, remove the stuffed animals from the bag and leave out to air-dry.
For plush toys with electronic pieces or fragile pieces that are unable to be machine washed, a simple spot clean can do the trick. Wet a washcloth with warm water and a delicate detergent such as Woolite, and dab — don't scrub — at any stains and discolorations on the fabric, then let air-dry.
Electronic toys can be damaged if water gets into the interior hardware, so Clorox and Lysol wipes are the best way to scrub away at any sticky fingerprints or grime.
Unplug the device or remove any batteries before wiping with the wet cloths. Because sanitizing wipes, however, aren't the most convenient or long-term, cost-effective option, the HomeSoap can quickly disinfect toys with just a click of a button.
The HomeSoap uses UV-C light technology, which is proven to kill 99.9% of sickness-causing viruses such as pneumonia and influenza-A. Besides electronic toys, the HomeSoap can also clean phones, remotes, laptops, game controllers, and much more!
Baby Toys and Pacifiers
Teething toys are constantly sucked on and chewed on, so there’s no question that the constant moisture is creating an environment perfect for growing mold. Vinegar is one of the most effective natural cleaners, so not only can it kill bacteria and fungi, but it also is a safe alternative to other harmful chemicals.
Every 1-2 days, fill a large bowl with 3 cups of hot water and 1 cup of white vinegar. Soak the toys for at least 10 minutes, rinse with cold water (to remove the nasty taste of vinegar!), and leave the toys to air-dry. For extra caution, use the HomeSoap to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria that may have been left on the teething toys. It will sterilize the toys so that you can rest assured that your baby isn't ingesting any harmful bacteria!
How Do You Disinfect Bath Toys?
News flash: Even though rubber duckies float in a bathtub full of soapy bubbles and hot water, there is definitely mold lurking in the inside. Don't believe us, just check out this video and you'll never look at rubber ducks the same.
Because we don't always push out every droplet of water, it's left to become stagnant and grow bacteria. At least every two weeks, you should squeeze out the excess water inside of the toys, and make a disinfecting bath out of 3 cups of water and 1 cup of vinegar. Soak the toys for at least 10 minutes, rinse with cold water, and leave the toys to air-dry.
It's inevitable that children will be exposed to filthy environments and put dirty toys (or grass, or sticks, or...you get the point) in their mouths. Isn't that just part of being a kid, though? As parents, we can't (and shouldn't) control everything they touch, but we can at least try to protect them in small ways so that they don't get sick from simple play time.
Making a small effort to disinfect their toys can keep them healthy so that they never have to miss out on birthday parties, class field trips, sports events, and quality family time!