At times toys and play surfaces can be a breeding ground for germs spread between babies, toddlers, and adults, causing diseases. Though children centers and daycares have their own guidelines regarding toy cleanliness, you can still do it safely and effectively at home with the right solutions.
Here are the best ways to clean baby toys and keep them safe:
Soap and Water
We are all used to washing our hands with soap and water to get rid of germs and prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, and this is also applicable to toys and playing surfaces. Not all toys can be cleaned with soap and water, especially the electronic ones. Toys made of plastic and wood can be cleaned in a sink using dish soap and warm water.
It is important to have a know-how about the material used in the making of your baby toy and the effect it can have when submerged in a soap and water solution. For instance, toys that come with batteries, lighting appliances, and those that produce sounds should never be cleaned with soap and water. This is because the penetration of water to the electrical parts leads to short-circuiting, and the toy may cease to function.
There are lots of disinfectant surface wipes in stores designed for the passageways. Disinfectant surface wipes are an ideal cleaning solution to plastic toys that have batteries and those that cannot be submerged in a soap and water solution.
To clean a toy, wipe down its surface using a disinfectant surface wipe. Allow it to air-dry for a couple of minutes before giving it back to your child to play with.
The dishwasher is another effective method of cleaning and sanitizing toys. Not all toys can be cleaned via this method. Some of the toys that can be cleaned on the dishwasher include bath toys, infant rattles, plastic toys with no batteries, and many more. It works by placing toys on the top rack of the dishwasher. The dishwasher is filled with hot water and soap for sanitization and cleaning toys. The dishwasher has shown to be effective for various bath toys that, at times, develop mold and mildew with time.
For larger toys, particularly those used outdoors, you can clean off grime quickly by taking them outside and spraying them down with a pressure washer. Take care to use the included nozzles to find a jet stream that is gentle enough that it won’t break the toys, while at the same time powerful enough to remove the dirt. This is particularly applicable for bicycles, kiddy pools, and similar items.
Eco-Friendly Surface Cleaners
Not all surface cleaners are Eco-friendly. As a parent, it is important to go for surface (toy) cleaners that are Eco-friendly, but there is no risk even if your child comes into contact with them. Wipes and sprayable surface cleaners are some of the available Eco-friendly cleaners that are safe for your child.
Always opt for toy cleaners that are biodegradable and free from dyes, parabens, and phthalates. Since babies and toddlers have a tendency to insert toys in their mouths, especially when teething, it is important to have such toys cleaned with Eco-friendly cleaners.
Cleaning Stuffed Animals and Baby Dolls
In most cases, cleaning of baby dolls and stuffed animals is done by placing the toys in a washer and dryer. With repetitive cleaning, it is possible to damage the baby dolls and stuffed animals unless proper care measures are taken. The only way a toy can cope with machine-washing is by placing it in a pillow prior to laundering.
Once you are done with cleaning, check the stuffed animal to find out whether there are loose seams, eyes, or threads that bring safety concerns whenever your kid handles it.