How often do you think your baby’s toys need cleaning? Wrong. No, it doesn’t matter what number you wanted to say, you are wrong. A baby’s toys should be cleaned at least twice as many times as that. An infant can have quite the temper which sometimes can be combined with quite the throwing hand and often times their toys will fall outside the pram or the cradle. In this instance you should definitely not return the toy to the child, but clean it first as, surely, your home cleaning skills probably don’t include 100% germ extermination and germs are exactly what your child does not need. So what are the easy ways to clean your toddler’s toys? Here are a few:
• Use water and soap
The easiest way is the classic one. Take the toy, dip in water, wash with dish soap, you are done. Of course, you should avoid dipping electronic toys in water, and you should be careful with the choice of soap. Don’t just pick any soap bought from the store as today’s products often come with plenty of chemicals. Better use something organic, like castile soap.
• Always sanitise
Even after cleaning, your job is not completely done. You need to sanitise the toy before you return it to your baby. Bacteria and germs are really cruel and annoying buggers who don’t let go unless specifically taken care of. You can make an easy home-made sanitising cleaner by mixing water and a tablespoon of liquid bleach in a spray bottle. After you clean the toy, just spray at it a bit and you will be done. If you are worried about slapping too much bleach on the toy, you could spray a towel and clean the toy with the towel. In either case, you need to wait till it dries out before presenting it to your infant. But as long as you dilute the bleach enough with the water, it is all fine.
• Fabric and cloth toy washing
These are incredibly simple to wash. Just treat them as clothes and wash them as you would do laundry. Some of them can literally be shoved in a washing machine and will be taken care of in there. Some toys, however, are very sensitive and might thin down and become brittle and easy to tear apart, or might outright get damaged or discoloured. It is best to read the label tag on every such toy – it has all the information about washing and maintaining you need to keep it home clean.
• Plastic toy washing in the dishwasher
As long as the toy is not electronic and doesn’t contain any metal bits or batteries, you can actually use your dishwasher to clean it. Set the item on the top rack of the dishwasher and turn it on. The hot water from the dishwasher will sanitise as well as clean the toy so that is a double win.
• Plastic toy washing by hand
But if it does have electronic parts, or is too big for the dishwasher, you can take it literally in your own hands to clean the toy. You can use the same water and dish soap solution offered above and spray it on a sterile sponge. Then you can use the sponge and carefully clean the toy like any professional cleaner would.
These are the easy ways to clean your infant’s toys. The best way to do it is to consult with the box the toy comes with, or any tag on the toy itself – most of them come with their own cleaning instructions you can follow, but when they lack such, this is the way to do it.