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How to Clean Toys Naturally

How to Disinfect Toys Naturally

We know, kids put their hands in their mouths. They put their toys in their mouth. They play with their toys on every surface of the house - ie. everywhere from the kitchen floor to the dinner table. They bring their toys with them while they eat their lunch, they nap with them, and they share them with others to play with. It is because of these reasons, and many more, that these beloved toys, teddy bears and electronics can harbor bacteria and other gross things - things that you definitely don’t want your child playing with. That’s why while we do our best to keep our homes safe and clean, we need to be taking a few extra steps to ensure that toys are clean and safe as well.

Children hold their favourite teddy bear or toy about as close as you hold them, so what you clean their toys with matters the most. Toys should be disinfected and washed regularly. Choosing to disinfect them using natural, non-toxic cleaning products is the best way to ensure that your child’s most cherished items are safe for them to continue to play with! We’ve got you covered on how to disinfect your child’s toys naturally, without harsh chemicals.

There are many types of toys out there - and cleaning them can be different depending on the materials they are made of and the style of the toy. Here are some easy common children toys and the best ways to clean and disinfect them, naturally!

Plastic Toys

Action figures and dolls, cars and tea sets - most children toys are made of plastic, which means that as long as they aren’t electronic, they’re pretty easy to clean and disinfect! To clean plastic, non-electronic toys, grab a clean, designated bucket and fill with 50% warm water and 50% natural, non-toxic dish soap. Our natural dish soaps are formulated with plant-based ingredients and free from chemicals like chlorine bleach, phthalates, parabens, and ammonia. 

They are hypoallergenic and soft on your hands, making them safe for even sensitive skin. 

Your bucket doesn’t need to be completely full of your soap & water mixture, just enough to cover the toys you wish to wash. You may choose to wash a few toys at a time. Place the toys into the bucket, leaving them to soak in the soapy mixture for a few minutes, to lift any dirt. After they are done soaking, remove them from the bucket. Take a clean vegetable brush (this should be strictly designated and used for cleaning your children’s toys) and use this to gently scrub each toy, ensuring that any dirt or bacteria left in any crevice is removed. Once scrubbed, rinse the toy in warm water and wipe them with a clean, dry cloth. Leave them laid out on a towel to air dry. Make sure to change the dish soap and water mixture a few times, depending on how many toys you are washing at a time, to get rid of any dirt or grime that's come.

For bigger toys that cannot be placed into a bucket, take a cloth and soak it in fresh, warm water and dish soap mixture. Make sure you are wearing latex gloves for this and ring out the cloth. Wipe the toy using the cloth. Then take your vegetable brush, again scrubbing along all surfaces and in any crevices. Wipe them down again with a wet cloth. Once done, wipe with a dry cloth and leave the toy to air dry. 

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals or plush toys can be tricky - tricky because of the material they are made from, and also because we know it can be hard for your little one to part with their beloved stuffed toy. But washing your child’s favourite plushy on a regular basis helps to reduce the amount of germs and bacteria they harbour, making them much safer for naptime and for hugging. 

When it comes to washing your child’s favourite stuffed animal, it’s always good to read the label. More than likely it will tell you if it is best to be machine washed (it is recommended to place it in a wash bag) or hand washed. This will ensure that the stuffed animal remains fluffy and soft and prevents it from getting tears. When choosing a detergent to wash your child's plush toys we recommend a gentle, toxin-free detergent, made with natural, plant-derived ingredients. This baby laundry detergent will remove any dirt or stains, but is designed to be gentle for sensitive skin.

Since plush toys are filled with stuffing which can clump when wet, we recommend massaging the toy to reduce any clumping during the drying stage. We also suggest that you do not put plush or stuffed toys in the dryer, but instead lightly press the water out of the stuffed animal and leave it to air dry. You can hang it on a clothesline, just make sure that most of the water has been released first.

Bath Toys

Splish, splash we recommend washing your child’s bath toys at least once a week! They can be washed the way you would your child’s other plastic toys, using non-toxic dish soap and a vegetable brush. However, many bath toys that contain a small hole to release air (think of the beloved rubber duck) should be washed differently. This small hole can also cause water to collect inside the toy, thus creating breeding grounds for mold and mildew. When washing them, take a cloth and dip it in the soapy mixture. Ring the towel until most water is removed and cloth is left damp. Use the damp cloth to wipe the toys. Once wiped, leave the toys to dry completely. They should be placed upside down, so the hole is exposed, and ensures that any water inside the toy can dry. 

Make sure to inspect these toys before each use for mold growth. This can be done by squeezing them to see if any residue leaks out. Ensure that you are replacing them on a regular basis as well, just to be on the safe side.

Dress Up Clothes & Costumes

Princess dresses, superhero costumes - kids love to dress up! And like regular clothes, their dress up clothes and costumes need to be washed regularly too. Before washing a dress up costume, always read the label of the garment first. If you are choosing to hand wash the costume, make sure to remove any extra pieces of the garment (ie. any light up/electrical features, belt, wings, etc). We suggest using a natural, perfume-free detergent like method Laundry Detergent Free & Clear, which is delicate on clothes and suitable for sensitive skin. Wash the garment using a mixture of water and detergent. Gently ring out the garment to remove most of the water. Since most dress up costumes cannot be placed in the dryer, we suggest laying it either lay flat to dry or hang on a clothesline. You may wish to steam the garment to remove any wrinkles. 

Electronics

Whether it’s a computer for e-learning or a tablet to watch their favourite tv show, chances are your child has a few electronics in the house. Ensure any electronics are unplugged or shut off before cleaning. Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth or disinfectant wipe when cleaning all electronics. If you are using a disinfectant spray, spritz lightly onto a soft, microfiber cloth and then use that to wipe down the electronic. Then take a dry, clean cloth and wipe all surfaces. Any electronics with crevices or a keyboard that can trap dirt or grime can be very lightly brushed away using a clean toothbrush and gentle, short strokes, so as not to scratch the electronic.

Toy and Storage Bins

It’s good to get into the habit of washing your child’s storage and toy bins, as often as you wash their toys. The bins can be washed using non-toxic dish soap and water, or depending on their size you may be able to fit it into the dishwasher, using a natural, fragrance free dishwasher detergent. For bins that are too big to wash in the sink or dishwasher, mix warm water and dish soap in a small bucket. Dunk a clean cloth into the mixture and use the cloth to wipe down all inner and outer surfaces of the bin, ensuring to get all the dirt from the bottom and the corners. Let the bin dry and one dry only place clean, washed toys back into the bin.

Conclusion

Keeping your children's toys clean is easy with our natural, non-toxic cleaning products! With plant-derived ingredients and free from toxic chemicals, you can rest assured that your little one is safe and healthy, so they can keep on playing - because isn’t that what being a kid is all about?

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