How to Sanitize, Disinfect and Clean Baby Toys

Image of mother and children collecting toys

Kids will play virtually anywhere; they don’t care too much about germs, bacteria, and other nasty stuff that tends to accumulate on various surfaces. While some of those germs aren’t inherently harmful and are even helpful for the development of your kid’s immune system, many of them are a health hazard because they can spread flu, cold, and other types of dangerous viruses.

You, as a parent, ought to keep your young ones as safe as possible. It means you should pay attention to your child’s playing habits, and on top of that, ensure that their toys are clean and safe to use.  Failing to do so can potentially jeopardize your kid’s wellbeing and consequently cause a lot of issues.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to clean baby toys:

The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting

Before you even begin to battle against the predicament of having dirty toys scattered around the house, it’s essential to understand the difference between these two terms.

Cleaning usually refers to physically removing germs and dirt by using conventional soaps and water.

Disinfecting refers to killing most (if not all) germs by using strong disinfectants.

The crucial thing about these two processes is that cleaning always comes before disinfecting.

How to Safely Clean Baby Toys

There are a couple of methods you can use to clean your baby’s toys safely. Here are some of the most frequently used ones:

Using a Dishwasher

A lot of modern toys are dishwasher-friendly, meaning you can place them on the top rack of your dishwasher and let the hot water and soap sanitize and clean them properly. This is an excellent method for cleaning toys made of plastic (as most of them are dishwasher-friendly) and it’s also great for cleaning bath toys.

Soap and Water

This is usually the go-to method of many parents as it’s the simplest and easiest one to execute. Contrary to popular belief, it’s quite an effective method, especially when it comes to preventing the spreading of various bacteria.

With that being said, make sure you avoid washing battery-powered as well as electrical toys because you risk shorting the components and consequently destroying the functionality of the toy itself.

Image of cleaning gloves

Disinfecting and Sanitizing Baby Toys

When it comes to disinfection and sanitation of baby toys, there are a couple of popular DIY methods most parents often resort to.

Here are some examples of how to sanitize baby toys:

Sanitizing With a Bleach Solution

This is a rather popular method among many parents because it’s relatively cheap, safe, and easy to execute. All you have to do is mix one tablespoon of 6% chlorine bleach with a gallon of clear water. Make sure always to use the aforementioned ratio because otherwise, you might end up with a highly concentrated solution which can potentially cause some issues.

Using Antibacterial Surface Cleaning Wipes

Surface cleaning wipes are a perfect solution for battery-powered and electric toys. As we’ve mentioned, submerging the above mentioned toys is not something you should ever do, but then again, you must clean them somehow. Wiping the toys with disinfectant surface wipes is one of the best alternatives to washing them.

One other great thing about this particular method is the availability of these wipes. In other words, you can find a package of wet wipes in any store for quite an affordable price. Therefore, as far as this particular method goes, you don’t have to worry about budget nor complexity; it’s cheap and easy.

How Often Should You Clean Your Kid’s Toys?

While there aren’t any hard-written rules as to how often you should clean your child’s toys, you should do it at least once a month. Even if nothing that might prompt you to clean the toys happens within a month, you should still clean the toys for good measure.

Apart from that, you should also clean up after your baby has visitors. It’s quite likely that other kids who came to play have touched some of your child’s toys. In other words, other children can contaminate your kid’s toys and jeopardize their health.

Many parents go straight into panic mode when they realize they don’t have the answer to the question of how to disinfect baby toys. It’s critical to stay calm and collected; it’s not a big deal as long as you know what you’re doing during the process.

The vital thing you should remember is to be thorough, precise, and patient when cleaning your kid’s toys. It’s always better to swipe or wash a particular toy twice instead of risking and exposing your child to various illnesses. On the other hand, overdoing it is as risky as not doing it at all because it might cause your child’s immune system to be more fragile and sensitive to outside influences. As always, being moderate in your actions is the key to success.

Author: Mary Lynn Holden
Author: Mary Lynn Holden

Proud mom and stepmom to an adorable bunch of kids aged 7 and up. Deeply appreciates three things in life: the help of older siblings in the house, texts on parenting, and strong coffee. Shares her stories and experiences in order to help others navigate the unpredictable waters of parenting.

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