Now that we all live in a world where we’re washing our hands 10 times per day, wearing masks more than ever before, and basically bathing in Purel – it got us thinking of other things in our home that are, shall we say, less than clean. Yep, we’re talking about your kids toys. The good news is that they’re actually pretty easy to clean, so we’ll walk you through all the different ways (with and without chemicals) to disinfect them, whether you have little baby toys or even your kids favorite stuffed animals.
Now, while we are considered experts in choosing the hottest toys of the year (humble-brag), we’re definitely not experts in how to clean them. So, we decided to check in with the actual cleaning experts from some of the top brands in this space to see what kind of recommendations they’re providing their readers. Some of the info may surprise you a bit, as it surprised us.
One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that there actually is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting.
Overall, according to Dr. Karen Sokal Gutirrez you really should be cleaning your toys at least once a month. Yes, really. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be super complicated. Just make sure you clean them before you disinfect them. It’s really a two step process.
When it comes to your baby, you know they’re always putting everything in their mouth – like all the time. And while we’re believers in some germs being ok, give them a regular cleaning will help cut down on the germs and dirt entering their mouth.
The soap and water method is the easiest and fastest way in our opinion and – TBH – you don’t necessarily have to wait up to 10 minutes. Honestly, who has time for that?! If you want to kick things up a notch, try adding vinegar.
The only thing we don’t love about cleaning with vinegar is, at times, the smell. One way to avoid this is to make sure you wipe the excess vinegar/water off the toys once you’ve set them out to air-dry.
If you need something stronger, you can always go the bleach route.
Some parents aren’t into the bleach/chemical idea – which we can understand. If you want a safer solution and have some extra time on your hands, you can always go the old-school method, which some experts claim are one of the most natural ways to clean.
This method is said to kill all the nasty germs, but is pretty old-timey and can take a while – especially depending on how many toys you actually have to clean. At least it’s free of any kind of chemical!
Now, when we’re talking stuffed animals (and the like), believe it or not, some cleaning experts claim you can actually place most of them directly in the washing machine, regardless of how scary that idea may be.
And speaking of machine cleaning, some toys can even be cleaned in your dishwasher. Those who have tested this method recommend cleaning all dishwasher safe toys once per week because of how fast and easy it really is.
At the end of the day, we totally understand that – as parents and/or caretakers – we’re all trying our best and, let’s be honest, don’t really have a lot of time. So our final recommendation? Just do your best. You’ll never be able to keep everything your baby or your kids use clean 24/7 – and that’s ok. Think about it? Our parents basically never cleaned anything…and we’re still here!
Got Tips: Did we miss something (most likely, we did)? Drop us an email to give us your tips and tricks!