How to Clean Baby Toys
Keeping baby toys clean
As a parent you realise pretty quickly that anything your baby can get hold of is likely to end up in their mouths. Your clothing, car keys and fingers are just as likely to go in their mouths as their favourite toys.
I distinctly remember having to have a word with myself at my first baby group while my little man was chewing anything and everything he could reach, regardless of whether it was covered in another child's saliva or not.
The fact is you can't sanitise everything they come into contact with, and neither should you. But, that said, once you have kids cleaning toys will become part of your routine.
Different toys should be cleaned in different ways. And it's a good idea to disinfect baby toys after illness to prevent the spread of nasty bacteria and viruses.
Cleaning wooden toys
Cleaning wooden toys is easier than you might imagine. Although wood is porous, meaning you can't soak it in hot soapy water or chuck it in the dishwasher, it is also naturally antibacterial, meaning germs are less likely to breed and spread.
To clean wooden toys first get rid of any dried-on food or other obvious dirt with a brush. Next, either wipe with warm soapy water or spray with diluted white vinegar and wipe with a damp cloth. Vinegar is good as it acts as a disinfectant so will kill germs without being harmful to babies. Then air dry, in the sun if you can, although be careful not to leave in the sun for too long.
Cleaning plastic toys
Plastic toys might seem like they are easier to clean but they often contain batteries and or lots of small nooks and crannies which makes cleaning more difficult.
Many toys that are made 100% from plastic, such as the fabulous Green Toys range made from recycled milk cartons, can simply be put in the dishwasher if you have one or washed in hot soapy water. An old toothbrush or a straw brush is a handy tool to help you clean any tricky bits.
Any electrical toys, either plug-in or battery-operated obviously can't be submerged or put through the dishwasher. In this case clean in the same way you would wooden toys using a damp cloth.
Cleaning soft toys
Soft absorbent toys are great at sucking up food, saliva and other bodily fluids so they're going to need a clean every now and again, no matter how hard it is to prise them away. Fabric can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth to get the worst off, and most kids' cuddly toys can go in the washing machine (check the label) providing they don't have batteries.
Sunlight is also a fabulous disinfectant and great at getting rid of stains. And the heat from the tumble dryer will help kill bugs when the sun isn't shining.