How to Clean Baby Toys

Keeping your little one’s toys clean is key to a happy, healthy playtime. At Metro Baby, we understand the struggle of keeping your baby’s playtime essentials germ-free. But cleaning your baby’s toys doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to clean baby toys safely, effectively, and without using unnecessary chemicals. From sanitising best practices to taking advantage of natural cleaning solutions, we’re here to make sure your bub’s favourite toys are ready for action anytime.

The Importance of Cleaning Baby Toys Regularly

More than just playthings, toys are your baby’s adventure buddy. But the thing with toys is they can also quickly become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, especially with the frequent spills, drooling, and diaper leaks they endure. Here’s why keeping them clean matters:

  • Stops Germs in Their Tracks: Regular cleaning eliminates bacteria and viruses that can cling to toys, protecting your child from getting sick.
  • Keeps Allergens at Bay: Dust mites and other allergens love to hide in plush toys and crevices. Cleaning and air drying them helps keep these unwanted guests away.
  • Maintains Toy Safety and Durability: Clean toys last longer. By removing grime and preventing the buildup of substances that can degrade materials, you’re also preserving your investment in your child’s playthings.
  • Safe Exploration: Babies and toddlers explore the world through their senses, including taste. Keeping toys clean ensures that this exploration is safe and healthy.
  • Supports Your Child’s Health: A clean play area contributes to overall health, making playdates a worry-free fun time.

Choosing Your Cleaning Products

Before delving into how to clean baby toys, let’s first talk about what cleaning products you should use. Some household cleaning products can be too harsh on your baby’s skin or might cause lasting consequences on your baby’s health.

When cleaning your baby’s playthings, you want something effective against germs but gentle enough for your little one’s delicate immune system. Here’s a quick guide to help you make the right choices.

How to Clean Baby Toys Properly

Different toys require different cleaning methods. There’s no one-size-fits-all cleaning solution that works for all kinds of toys. Some need a gentle wipe, others a bit of soaking, and a few might just need a quick brush-off.

Let’s break down the different methods you can use to clean various types of toys safely and effectively.


How to Clean Plastic Toys

Cleaning plastic toys can sometimes feel like a never-ending task for parents. Between playdates and everyday adventures, these toys can quickly become a breeding ground for germs and grime. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some simple steps to keep them clean and safe for your little one.

  • Check for Dishwasher Safety: Begin by checking if the toys are dishwasher-safe. This is often the easiest way to sanitise them.
  • Prep for Washing: Remove any batteries or electronic components first. Toys with these parts need a different cleaning approach.
  • Dishwasher Method (for Dishwasher-Safe Toys): Place toys on the top rack of the dishwasher. Then use a gentle dishwasher detergent and run on a warm cycle with a dry setting.
  • Hand Washing Method: First, mix warm water with dish soap to create a soapy water solution. Then use a clean cloth or a toothbrush to scrub the toys, getting into all the crevices. For tougher grime, a bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water) can be used. Just make sure to rinse them thoroughly after.
  • Disinfecting: If bleaching isn’t possible, you can use a vinegar and water solution or disinfecting wipes for a quick wipe-down. Always rinse with clean water after using any cleaning solution.
  • Drying: Air dry the toys or use a clean cloth to dry them. For hard-to-dry spots, a hair dryer in a low-heat setting can be helpful.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly wipe down toys with disinfecting wipes, especially after playdates or when your child has been sick.



How to Clean Wooden Toys

Cleaning wooden toys can be a bit tricky. Unlike plastic toys, wood absorbs moisture and can be damaged if not treated properly. Plus, you can’t just toss them in the dishwasher or soak them in water. From building blocks to rocking horses, here’s how to keep your baby’s wooden toys clean and safe for every playdate:

  • Spot Clean Regularly: Use a clean cloth slightly dampened with water. Add a bit of mild dish soap for those tougher spots. Then gently wipe the toy to remove dirt and grime.
  • Disinfect Naturally: Mix a solution of white vinegar and water (50/50) in a spray bottle. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and won’t harm the wood. Spray the solution lightly on the toy and wipe with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Dry Thoroughly: After cleaning, let your child’s toys air dry completely. Avoid direct sunlight, which can warp or fade the wood. Ensure they are fully dry before handing them back to your child.
  • Avoid Excessive Water: Never soak wooden toys, as it can cause the wood to swell and split. Also, make sure to always use a damp cloth rather than a wet one.
  • Wax or Oil Finish: For added protection, consider applying a natural beeswax or vegetable oil. This helps to seal the wood and keep it from drying out. Apply a small amount with a cloth and buff gently.
  • Check for Damage: Regularly inspect wooden toys for sharp edges or splinters. Sand down any rough spots to keep them safe for little hands.



How to Clean Plush Toys and Stuffed Animals

Soft toys like plushies and stuffed animals often go everywhere with your little one, gathering dirt, grime, and the occasional spill. But keeping them clean without damaging their softness or fading their colours can be a challenge. Here are some cleaning tips to keep your child’s favourite soft toy in tip-top shape:

  • Check Labels: Always start by checking the care instructions. Some plushies are machine washable, while others require a more gentle handwashing.
  • Surface Clean for Minor Spots: Use a clean cloth or a soft-bristled brush. Dip in a mixture of gentle dish soap and warm water. Gently scrub the spot and let it air dry.
  • Machine Wash for a Deep Clean: First, make sure your child’s toy is machine washable. Before putting it in the washing machine and starting the wash cycle, place the toy in a pillowcase or mesh bag to protect it. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild laundry detergent. Then, air dry or use a dryer on low heat if the label permits.
  • Hand Wash for Extra Care: Fill a basin with cold water and a bit of mild detergent. Submerge the toy and gently agitate the water. Then, rinse thoroughly with cold water. Afterwards, press out the excess water (don’t wring) and reshape the toy. Let it air dry completely.
  • Dealing with Delicate Features: For toys with electronic components or delicate attachments, spot clean only. Use a damp cloth to wipe around these areas carefully.
  • Freshening Up: To remove dust mites or allergens, place the toy in a sealed bag in the freezer for 24 hours before cleaning.



How to Clean Bath Toys

Cleaning bath toys might seem straightforward, but it’s a task many parents find tricky. Water can get trapped inside, turning these fun playtime items into breeding grounds for mould and grime. Here’s a simple guide to keep those bath toys squeaky clean and safe for your baby:

  • Empty and Rinse: After each bath, squeeze out all the water from toys that can hold water. Rinse them under running hot water to flush out any soap residue.
  • Soak in Vinegar Solution: Every week, fill a basin with a mixture of one gallon of water and a half cup of white vinegar. Soak the toys for about an hour. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that helps remove mould and mildew.
  • Scrub Away Grime: For toys with visible dirt or mould, use a toothbrush to scrub them gently. Focus on crevices where mould loves to hide.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: After soaking and scrubbing, rinse the toys in warm water to remove any vinegar smell and residue.
  • Air Dry Completely: Make sure to air dry the toys in a well-ventilated area. If they have holes, squeeze them during the drying process to remove trapped water.
  • Seal Holes: Consider sealing the holes in bath toys with hot glue to prevent water from getting inside. This step is optional but can extend the life and cleanliness of the toys.
  • Regular Checks: Regularly inspect bath toys for signs of mould. If you find any that are beyond cleaning, it’s best to replace them to ensure your child’s playtime remains healthy.


How to Disinfect Toys That Can’t Be Washed

Electronic toys, toys with batteries, and certain wooden toys cannot be washed. This poses a unique challenge because they can’t be tossed in the washing machine or submerged in water. Here’s a quick guide to disinfecting non-washable toys:

  • Choose the Right Disinfectant: Opt for disinfecting wipes or a cleaning solution that’s safe for children. Look for products that are free from harsh chemicals.
  • Use a Clean Cloth: If you’re using a liquid disinfectant, dampen a clean cloth with the solution. Wring out excess liquid to avoid moisture damage.
  • Wipe Down Thoroughly: Gently wipe the toy’s surface, paying special attention to crevices where dirt and germs might hide. For electronic toys, avoid getting moisture in any openings.
  • Air Dry: Let the toy air dry completely before giving it back to your child. This step is crucial to ensure no moisture is trapped, which could damage the toy or become a breeding ground for germs.
  • Regular Spot Cleaning: For toys that are used frequently, consider spot cleaning with a damp cloth and mild soap. This can help maintain cleanliness between deeper disinfecting sessions.
  • Check Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always check the toy’s care instructions for specific cleaning guidelines. Some toys may have specific requirements to prevent damage.

How Often Should You Clean Baby Toys?

While you don’t need to wash and clean all of your baby’s toy collection every single day, keeping a regular cleaning schedule helps ensure your little one’s play area is germ-free. Here’s a quick guide on how often you should clean baby toys:

  • Daily: Wipe down frequently used toys, especially after playdates or if your child is sick. Toys that come in contact with food or are used during meal times might also need cleaning right after use.
  • Weekly: Give a thorough clean to toys that are used often. This includes bath toys and favourite plush toys.
  • Monthly: Set aside time to deep clean all toys in rotation, including those that might not be used as often.

Make Playtime Safer Today

Aside from keeping your baby’s toys clean, making playtime a lot safer is also about making sure that your child’s playthings are not harming them. With so many toys flooding the market, we at Metro Baby understand how hard it can be to search for playtime essentials that are safe, non-toxic, and made only from high-quality materials.

That’s why our collection, from baby toys to prams, nappies, clothing, nursery essentials, and more is selected from only the most trusted brands. With this, you can rest assured that each baby product promises quality, durability, and adherence to Australian child safety standards.

Shop at Metro Baby today to ensure your baby enjoys the best – because they deserve nothing less.

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