How to Clean a Toy Kitchen
How to clean a wooden play kitchen
Toys have a tendency to get pretty grimy. It comes with the job. They get chewed, picked up by grubby fingers and, toy kitchens, in particular, are often kept on display so they get dusty as well. Most wooden play kitchens will have some kind of finish making it easy to give them a quick wipe down.
A wooden toy kitchen is one of the best toys you can give your child to play with. And teaching them to help keep their play kitchen clean is a great way for them to learn as well. After all, they see you cleaning the real kitchen so mimicking that while they play is all part of the process.
Whether you have a plastic play kitchen or wooden play kitchens, you're going to have the same dirt build up to deal with- though plastic material can withstand water a good deal better than wood can.
Although it’s a big item cleaning a kids kitchen doesn’t have to be a big task especially if you keep it clean with a quick wipe down on a regular basis. However, a kids kitchen usually comes with plenty of toy kitchen accessories and lots of little bits of play food to get grubby so giving these items a clean down as well every now and again will help keep everything sparkling.
As wood is naturally anti-bacterial you don’t need to worry about cleaning them too often, which is just as well as you can’t just throw them through the dishwasher like you can with plastic toys. If you do, however, feel a need to give a deeper clean, you can make up a solution with water and baking soda, or follow your spot clean with some rubbing alcohol on a dry cloth. There really shouldn't be a need for chemical soaps though, just a little water in a clean bowl- or perhaps a squirt of baby shampoo if they want a nice smell!
Always, always ensure to thoroughly air dry your toy kitchen after a clean. The same goes for the toys inside- towel dry then leave them out to dry on a clean towel rather than putting them away in the toy kitchen while still damp.
Getting the kids involved
A good place to start if to give your little one a clean cloth and show them how to wipe down the surfaces in their kitchen, showing them how to get into the narrow spaces and corners and clean behind the taps is great fun and will largely keep their kitchen dust and dirt free.
It's no bad idea to teach them how to maintain good hygiene practices, even when it's not a real kitchen! Clean toys will last longer and can even be passed down to siblings or friends.
When they are in a good routine of keeping their toy kitchen clean, you can turn their attention to all its accessories. These two can be cleaned using a clean cloth, simply mix vinegar or baking soda with warm water. Cleaning play foods can take a little more patience, so it's a good idea to do this on rotation.
You may want to let your child have their own cleaning cloths and a clean spray bottle to store inside their kitchen- this helps develop the play value, as well as promoting a sense of responsibility. If you teach them how to clean a toy kitchen, you're setting them up with some great life skills too!
Natural cleaning with Vinegar
When your kids toy kitchen is in need of a deeper clean a solution of warm water and white vinegar is perfect, just like you would use for other wooden toys.
Use a clean cloth and dampen it with your vinegar solution or mix up some water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the surfaces. Then wipe with a damp cloth making sure you get into all the corners and crevices.
This is a good opportunity to empty out the cupboards and clean wooden food and utensils at the same time. Giving them a wipe over to remove any dirt and get rid of germs.
Then give them a second wipe with a clean damp cloth to get rid of any vinegar and leave to dry. Don’t worry, the smell of vinegar will dissipate within a few minutes.
If you have a steam cleaner at home this is a great way to clean both baby toys and older children's toys. Don’t add any chemicals, the steam alone will be enough to kill germs.
Steam cleans and sanitises at the same time so it’s great for toys and you can use it to clean soft and plastic toys as well. A word of warning though- wooden toys is a bit different to cleaning plastic toys- wood needs careful treatment when it comes to water.
While most steam cleaners leave next to no water residue, if yours does, it's better to hold back. Repeated exposure to moisture will shorten the life of your wooden toy kitchen. Additionally, don't use too high a temperature setting if you do choose to use the steam cleaner on your wooden toy kitchen.
No matter how you choose to clean your play kitchen, be sure to gently wipe over with a dry cloth afterwards, air drying thoroughly afterwards.
And there you have it, your child's play kitchen will be clean in no time. Kitchens are great for children of all ages and it's never too early to them used to the idea of keeping things clean. It's actually very easy to incorporate this cleaning in to part of the fun of owning a toy kitchen!