During this time, many of us are paying extra attention to how well we clean surfaces and items in our home. Our children’s toys are no exceptions. If you think about how many times your children put their fingers in their mouths and their toys for that matter, it’s enough to make you cringe. While you want everything to be clean, you want to be sure you’re cleaning the surfaces in a way that isn’t dangerous for your child.
Let’s take a look at some ways to clean your children’s toys during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Should I Clean My Children’s Toys With?
You don’t want to use any harsh cleaners because chances are your child will put the toy back in their mouths.
While you may be tempted to just clean them with a Clorox wipe, Clorox actually offers a different idea for washable toys.
Start by wiping the toys down with a wet sponge. Mix ½ cup of Clorox Regular Bleach with CLOROMAX with 1 gallon of water. Soak the toys in the solution for five minutes or scrub them. Rinse them with warm water and let them dry thoroughly before giving them back to your kids.
If you want to clean with a chemical-free alternative, the Seventh Generation products are also a good choice. But, it’s often recommended to leave the surfaces wet for at least ten minutes to get the full cleaning effect.
What about Plush Toys?
Your child’s little lovey toy may also need to be cleaned. This is probably one that gets a lot of love! The best for these, if they’re machine washable (most stuffed animals and blankies are) is to throw them into the washing machine.
It’s best to put them in a pillowcase to protect them and tie the pillowcase. Use detergent and put them on a gentle cycle, slow spin, in warm water.
You can dry the plush toys in the dryer on a low-heat setting. You can also take it out of the pillowcase and let it air dry, whichever you prefer.
If you have plush toys that can’t be washed in the machine or if you’re afraid they’re just too special, you can wash them by hand.
Start by dipping a cloth in a solution of warm, sudsy water. Use this to wash your toy by going over the entire thing. Let them air dry or use a hairdryer to get them dry.
If you want to get rid of bacteria or dust mites without washing them, you can use a garment steamer and then vacuum the toy with an upholstery attachment.
What About Electronics?
You should treat toy electronics just as you would any other electronic device in your home. This means no harsh chemicals and no immersing the entire device in any liquids. Dip a cloth in warm sudsy water and ring it out before wiping down the toy. You can also use the same solution you were using for the plastic toys. Just be sure that no liquids are getting into any crevices of the toy.
Let it stay wet for at least five minutes and then let it air dry. If this is a wind-up toy or one that you know is going in your child’s mouth, be sure to rinse it off again and let it dry.
How Frequently Should You Wash Your Children’s Toys?
This all depends on how frequently your child plays with them. Hard plastic toys should usually be cleaned at least once a week. During these times, you may want to ramp it up to a couple of times a week, if not every day.
For plush toys, you should try to wash them once a week. If you can rip them away from your child, you can try to sneak in another washing mid-week.
Following these tips should help to keep your children’s toys clean during this time. Don’t forget to also have them wash their hands frequently. This can also help to keep them healthy.