When I first became a mom, I wanted everything to be as clean as possible for my new baby. That especially meant anything he would pick up and put in his mouth. I soon realized that I had no idea how to clean baby toys the right way!
How do you clean plush toys? How do you clean bath toys? What about the toys that you can’t necessarily wash? Those were all questions that I had initially, and you can find those answers and many more in this article!
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How To Clean Baby Toys
Many baby toys have care labels attached to them, and it’s best to follow those instructions. If you have found that one of your little one’s toys has no care tag, go ahead and use the options below!
How To Clean Soft Toys
Soft toys tend to get dirty fast, especially if they are one of your child’s favorites!
If the soft toy has no batteries or other noisemaker parts, you can wash it in the washing machine. It’s best to use the gentle cycle with mild detergent, cool water, and no fabric softener.
After the toy has been through the washing machine, you have two options for drying. You can either use the dryer or use a hairdryer.
Many soft toys can go through the dryer, but it’s best to use a low-heat setting.
If the plush toy has long hair or is pretty sturdy, you might want to consider using a hairdryer on low-med heat. Using a hairdryer can prevent the long hair from possibly melting or matting, and it can help the toy keep its shape.
If the soft toy that needs washing can’t go through the washing machine, fill a basin or cleaned sink with warm water with some mild soap. You can either scrub the toy in the water or spot clean it with a washcloth. Then, you can leave the toy to air dry or use a hairdryer.
How To Clean Bath Toys
You might not think that bath toys get dirty because they are in soapy bath water every day. Well, it turns out that bath toys can be disgusting.
When cleaning your child’s bath toys, look at the toys that have holes in them. No matter how well you squeeze those toys out, they can trap water and start to mold!
If you have bath toys that have holes in them, you might want to consider replacing them with mold-free bath toys. If your child loves those certain bath toys and you do not see any mold in them already, you can try boiling them and then gluing the holes shut with hot glue after they have thoroughly dried.
Just remember, if you have any doubt that a toy your child is playing with is clean, just throw it out. It’s better to be safe!
For the rest of your kiddos bath toys, here are a few washing options:
- Vinegar – If the bath toys start to get some calcium buildup, you can soak the toys in a mixture of vinegar and water. After they have soaked for a little while, you can scrub them, rinse and then leave them to dry.
- Dishwasher – If your child’s bath toys don’t have holes, you can throw them in the dishwasher.
The best way to use the dishwasher to clean bath toys is to use a laundry bag so the toys don’t fall out of the rack. Just fill the bag with the bath toys, lay them on the top shelf of the dishwasher, and run a normal cycle.
How To Clean Electronic Toys
These days, so many baby toys are battery-operated, and it’s commonly known that these toys can’t be submerged in water or put through a washing machine. That doesn’t mean you can’t wash them! Here are the top three options to use:
- Damp Cloth With Soapy Water – Fill a bowl with warm, soapy water. Dip the cloth in the water, wring it out well, and scrub the whole toy. Use a damp cloth with clean water, wring out the cloth, and wipe the toy again to remove any soap residue. Dry with a new towel.
- Disinfectant Wipes – Similarly to using a damp cloth, you will use the disinfecting wipe to scrub the toy until it’s clean. Then, leave the toy out to air dry.
Remember: Make sure to take the batteries out and replace the cover before cleaning. And, as I mentioned above, don’t submerge the toys!
How To Clean Wooden Toys
Wooden toys are such great tools for learning while playing, but they can be a little tricky to wash. One thing to keep in mind is that you should never soak wooden toys in the water! This can make them warp or lose paint.
There are two main options for cleaning wooden toys:
- Spot Clean – Using a bowl of warm, soapy water, wet a washcloth and scrub the toys; make sure the cloth isn’t dripping wet. Then, you can lay the toys on a towel to air dry!
- Disinfectant Wipes – Take your disinfectant wipe and wipe the whole toy. Let air dry, so the disinfectant has time to work!
How To Clean Plastic, Rubber, Or Silicone Toys
A lot of children’s toys are made out of plastic, rubber, or silicone. Some common examples would be toys like building blocks, balls, and stacking toys. The good news is that you can wash most of these toys the same way!
- Warm, Soapy Water – You can easily wash plastic, rubber, or silicone toys in a clean sink with warm, soapy water. If you choose to go this route, avoid submerging any toys that have holes and can trap moisture.
After you give the toys a good scrubbing, layout some towels on the counter, and let the toys air dry.
- Disinfectant Wipes – Like washing in soapy water, you will take the disinfecting wipe and scrub the toy. Let the toy air dry, and you are done!
Keep in mind; if there is a chance your child will be putting the toy in their mouth, you should wipe the toy with a clean, damp cloth after the disinfectant has dried.
- Dishwasher – As I mentioned above, your dishwasher is a great place to clean toys!
Grab your laundry bag, fill it with toys (avoiding ones that can trap water), and lay it on the top rack. Run the dishwasher and let them dry!
Using the dishwasher to clean toys is my favorite method because it doesn’t use too much of your time, and it sanitizes as well as cleans. Although, if you doubt if a toy can go in the dishwasher, it’s best to leave it out.
How To Clean Teething Toys
Teething toys can often get overlooked when it comes time to clean, and that could be because they are a highly used item! But, because your child uses them so frequently, you should clean them every few days, if not every day.
- Boiling – If the teething toy says it’s safe to do so, boiling is an excellent option for cleaning and sterilizing teething toys.
- Soapy Water – Another great option for cleaning teething toys is using a basin of clean, soapy water. I recommend using a basin because it can be more hygienic than the sink, plus teething toys don’t take up too much room, so there is no need to fill up the sink.
When cleaning teething toys with soapy water, I always use a little bit of dish soap. Just be sure to rinse well, and then lay on a towel to air dry.
You’ll also love: The Best Natural Teething Remedies
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How To Clean Dolls
If you have a soft doll, you can usually use the cleaning steps you use for a soft toy. If it’s a doll with a plastic body and hair, you can use warm, soapy water in the sink.
You can use some mild soap like dish soap. Or, when washing hair, for example, you can use a little bit of shampoo. Make sure to dry the doll’s hair thoroughly, and maybe run a brush through it! Your kiddo might think it’s fun to help.
How To Clean Baby Toys That Can’t Be Washed
You might find that you have toys that you have no clue how to wash. Delicate toys, toys that aren’t colorfast, or unique hand-me-down toys that are a little older are great examples!
In these cases, it’s always best to hand wash with a cloth and mild detergent.
How Often Should You Clean Baby Toys?
Not all baby toys are the same; therefore, they don’t need to be cleaned simultaneously! Here are some things to keep in mind about when to clean baby toys:
- Wash As They Get Dirty – Washing your children’s toys as they get dirty is something that you probably already do. If you notice your kiddo’s toys are looking dingy or obviously dirty, it’s time for a wash!
- After Baby Has Been Sick – Any time anyone is sick, you tend to wash their heavily used items. The same goes for your baby’s toys! A good thing to keep in mind when your baby is sick is to limit the toys that they play with. Odds are, they won’t care to play with too many toys, and this will lead to less washing for you!
- Weekly For Well-Loved Toys – Any toy that your child plays with constantly should be scrubbed down once a week. This will help to keep their toys in good shape and never too gross. Also, if you often have other children in your home, it’s a good idea to wash the toys they play with weekly as well. The more kids playing with the same toys, the faster they will get dirty!
- Immediately For Second-Hand Toys – If you are given used toys, or if you find great deals on used toys, it’s a great idea to wash them before your kiddo plays with them.
And there you have it! I hope these tips take some of the confusion out of cleaning baby toys. And if you’re a first-time mom, don’t go overboard with the cleaning! Trust me, it’s easy to get carried away, but that just adds more to your already full plate.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- Mess-Free Finger Painting For Babies Or Toddlers
- Simple Activities For 6-Month-Olds
- The Best Activities For 9-Month-Olds
- Fun And Easy Activities For 12-Month-Olds
- The Best Toys For 0-6 Month Olds
How do you like to clean baby toys? What are some of your favorite cleaning products? I would love to know in the comments below!