How to clean wooden toys

How to clean wooden toys

If you’ve invested in beautiful, safe, wooden, natural toys that stimulate your child’s imagination and have the potential to last for generations then it’s definitely worth thinking about how best to clean and care for these toys.

Unlike plastic toys you can’t just throw them in the dishwasher at the end of the day. And because they are porous you don’t want to be spraying them with any harsh chemicals that could be harmful to your child.

Equally though as all toys (or at the very least hands) tend to end up in children's mouths it’s good to have a cleaning routine to help ensure that no nasty bugs get passed around. And also keeping toys clean is part of looking after them and preserving them.

Easy cleaning for wooden toys

First of all, keep it natural. Wood is naturally antibacterial is much less likely to be harbouring germs than plastic toys. There’s no need for harsh chemicals. A simple solution of water and organic dish soap or white vinegar will do a great job. Vinegar is great as it acts as a disinfectant and can be used to remove stains. If you don’t like the smell (don’t worry it goes quite quickly) you can add a few drops of essential oils to the cleaning mix.

Secondly don’t soak wooden toys. Wood is porous and submerging it in water may cause toys to swell and become misshapen. Instead, spray them and wipe with a clean damp cloth. This will remove any dirt. Then simply allow them to air dry. Brushing any obvious dirt of first is also a good idea and will stop you from spreading it around or rubbing it in.

Sunlight will speed up the drying process and kill germs and mould. But make sure you don’t leave them in direct sunlight for too long as this can fade colours and cause cracking.

Additional care tips

Moisturising your toys occasionally will also help preserve them and keep them at their best. Olive oil and beeswax are both great natural options.

Don’t think of a toy as broken if the paint or varnish starts to chip. Because they are made of wood you can simply sand down the area and repaint. You could even change the colour entirely if you wanted to. This is just one of the many reasons why wooden toys are better than plastic.

If your toys have got really grubby a more concentrated vinegar solution can be used to help get out stains. And really stubborn stains can be sanded down and repainted. You can get water-based child-safe stains fairly easily so it’s just a case of finding the perfect colour although we definitely think a few marks and stains give toys character.

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