Kids love their toys. They love playing with them, touching them, tasting them, and, while germs are always a concern for parents, it’s especially important now during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can live hours to days on a variety of surfaces. In this article, you’ll learn how to clean and disinfect your child’s toys, no matter what they’re made of.
How Often Should I Clean Toys?
Certain toys get more love than others, meaning that they’re the ones your child plays with most often. Those should be cleaned more frequently, especially if they’ve been sick. Here are some guidelines for regular cleaning:
- Hard plastic and bath toys. These are the easiest toys to clean and should be cleaned and disinfected weekly.
- Plush toys. These toys are usually machine washable, so throwing them in the wash once a week is a good idea.
- Electronic toys. Clean the surface with a sanitizing wipe once a week, more often if your child is sick.
- Baby toys. These are the toys that find their way into your baby’s mouth and are dropped on the floor. Clean these every one to two days.
How to Clean Your Baby’s Plastic Toys
Solid plastic toys can easily be cleaned in your dishwasher’s top rack by:
- Putting smaller toys in a mesh bag and nestling larger toys securely in the rack.
- Selecting the normal or sanitizing cycle and heated drying cycle.
You can also disinfect all colorfast baby toys with:
- Clorox or Lysol wipes.
- A wet cloth with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
- ½ cup chlorine bleach and one gallon of water.
With wipes, leave the surface wet for at least 10 seconds before drying off. If you’re disinfecting with bleach, let the surface stay wet for five to 10 minutes before drying off.
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How to Clean Plush Toys in Your Washing Machine
Check the care labels and make sure they’re machine washable. If they are, here’s how you can clean them safely in your washer:
- Protect them by putting them into a pillowcase and knotting the top or use a mesh bag.
- Select the gentle cycle, warm water, and slow spin.
- Dry the toys in the pillowcase in your dryer on a low heat setting
How to Clean Plush Toys That Can’t Go into Your Washing Machine
Some plush toys, especially those with built-in battery packs, can’t be thrown in the wash. For these toys, hand wash them by:
- Dipping a clean cloth in warm soapy water and wiping over the entire toy.
- Rinsing with a cloth dipped into clean water.
- Allowing the toy to air dry or using a hairdryer to speed up the process.
How to Clean Board Books and Wooden Blocks
You can’t submerge these toys in liquid, but you can wipe them down with a disinfectant wipe or a bleach solution.
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