If you’ve learned anything as a parent, it’s that little ones can be quite messy. From blowout diapers to food disasters, mess and germs are a part of your life. Doing away with germs is important when it comes to keeping your baby healthy, which is why you need to know how to clean baby toys.
Your little one’s toys travel in the car, go in their mouth, and get thrown around by their friends during playdates. It’s not surprising that those toys carry a lot of dirt and germs!
In this article, the baby experts at Mustela give you tips on how to clean your baby’s toys and be eco-friendly while doing it! Let’s start with how often you should clean toys, and then we’ll jump straight into our tips for getting all sorts of toys in tip-top shape.
How Often To Clean Baby Toys
Cleaning your baby’s toys is probably not something you want to add to your long to-do list. But once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t have to take too much time or effort. And getting rid of nasty germs will be well worth it!
For the toys your little one loves to play with every day, give them a simple cleaning once per week. Even if you don’t clean your toys that frequently, remember to give them a special, thorough cleaning after a playdate at your house or after one of your children has been sick.
In addition to cleaning toys regularly, don’t underestimate the power of a good hand-washing to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses. Wash your hands frequently, and keep your little one’s hands as clean as you can with soap and water!
Simply apply the cleanser to their skin with a soft cloth or cotton ball and get right back to your adventure — no need to rinse with water!
How To Clean Baby Toys
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to clean the toys you have lying around your house. You could clean the majority of your baby’s toy with a diluted bleach solution.
But here at Mustela, we’re committed to eco-friendly solutions that are gentle and safe for your home and family — from what you put on your baby’s delicate skin to how you clean the toys that they put in their mouth.
So here are our nine tips on how to clean baby toys the safe and eco-friendly way.
1) Use Wipes For On-The-Go Cleanup
You’ll probably get the urge to do an immediate clean if your baby’s toy falls on the ground while you’re out and about or if another child decides to put the toy in their mouth.
While you should definitely give the toy a thorough sanitizing once you get home, ease your mind by giving it a quick clean right away with a baby wipe.
Mustela’s Cleansing Wipes are great to have for quick clean-ups, whether it’s your baby’s sticky hands, their dirty bottom, or a germy toy. In fact, they’re so versatile that they can also be used to take off mom’s makeup at the end of the day!
Our gentle wipes are dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, made with 98% naturally derived ingredients, and safe to use even on newborns. Keep them easily accessible in your diaper bag, and use one to quickly wipe a toy off after a mishap.
2) Clean With Vinegar
Instead of using a harsh chemical like bleach, consider cleaning toys with an eco-friendly and chemical-free cleaning solution of vinegar and water.
Create a mixture of one part water with one part vinegar (add an essential oil if you want to cut the smell of vinegar) and get to cleaning!
If you’re cleaning small, 100% plastic toys, dip them straight into the mixture and let them soak. If you have bigger plastic toys, wooden toys, or toys with batteries or electrical cords, wet a cloth with the vinegar-water and wipe the toy down or spray the cleaner onto the toys before wiping them off.
3) Put Toys In The Dishwasher
Hard plastic toys (with no batteries or electrical cords) can usually go in the dishwasher. Always check the toy’s label or packaging first, though — some indicate whether or not they can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher.
When washing toys in the dishwasher, you may want to put smaller pieces in a dishwasher container or lingerie bag so they don’t end up all over the place at the end of the wash.
4) Boil Your Baby’s Toys
Boiling is an easy way to clean and sanitize hard, plastic toys. All you need is a pot, a stove, and water!
But just like washing toys in the dishwasher, make sure the label doesn’t recommend against this before sticking a toy in boiling water. Also, check that it doesn’t have batteries or electrical cords and that the boiling water won’t melt or damage the toy.
5) Use Warm, Soapy Water
Just like a good hand-washing, scrubbing toys by hand in a sink of hot soapy water can be super effective.
This is a great way to clean toys that can’t be put in the dishwasher or boiled (think soft plastic or rubber toys that can’t take the heat). You can also clean wooden toys by wiping them down with soap and water.
Use a cloth or toothbrush to clean any cracks or small spaces, then use fresh water to rinse the soapy water off or wipe the toy with a cloth soaked in plain water.
To disinfect the toys after they’ve been cleaned with soap, wipe or spray them with a one-to-one ratio mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. Leave the alcohol solution on for a minute and then rinse the toys with clear water.
6) Don’t Forget Bath Toys
Don’t forget about cleaning your little one’s bath toys. These playthings are in and out of the water every day, but that doesn’t mean they’re clean! You’ll need to clean bath toys just like any other toy.
Depending on what the toy is made of, you’ll probably be able to wash it with soap, clean it with the vinegar solution we mentioned earlier, or put it through a cycle in the dishwasher for an eco-friendly clean.
Speaking of bath time, if using natural and eco-friendly products is important to you, make sure you choose Mustela’s gentle and safe bathtime products for your little one, like our Gentle Cleansing Gel, Gentle Shampoo, and Bath Oil. All three are great for your baby’s skin and free of parabens!
7) Put Stuffed Animals In The Washing Machine
Most stuffed animals can be easily washed in the washing machine. Simply set the machine to a gentle cycle with cool or warm water, using a safe and baby-friendly laundry detergent.
To protect your baby’s furry friend during the wash cycle, consider tying it inside a pillowcase or placing it inside a lingerie bag. After it’s clean, set it in the sun for a fresh-air dry or put it in the dryer on low.
That being said, if you still have the label for the stuffed animal, check to make sure it can be laundered. Some stuffed animals are fragile, and you don’t want your little one’s favorite lovey to be ruined after the wash!
8) Vacuum Your Little One’s Toys
If your child’s precious stuffed animal is too delicate to go through the washing machine or it just needs a quick freshen-up, turn to your vacuum! Use a vacuum cleaner hose or brush attachment to vacuum the dust right out of their fur.
9) Use A Steam Cleaner
With a steam cleaner, you can clean practically any baby item, from plush toys to strollers and most all of the little toys in-between. Plus, steaming is a great way to sanitize without using any chemicals!
Care For Your Baby The Natural Way
If you’re like us at Mustela and want to use eco-friendly, safe, and gentle products around (and on) your baby, try these nine tips on how to clean baby toys to help keep your home as clean and germ-free as possible.
No matter what method you choose to clean your child’s toys on a regular basis, don’t forget to keep Mustela’s Cleansing Wipes on hand at home as well as in your diaper bag for easy, gentle clean-ups wherever you are!