How to clean toys

Let’s be honest, when was the last time you cleaned your kid's toys? For a few of us at Toptoys2u, the answer to that is never. That was until we found out about how many germs and viruses can attach themselves to your kid's favourite toys.

With a large toy collection, keeping every single one clean can feel like an impossible task. However, when you consider the potential for bacterial or viral infection from a lack of cleanliness, the risk just isn’t worth it. 

Check out this article to see not only how to clean your toys, but the easiest ways to do it with keen tips for different toy materials.


How Often Should You Clean Toys?

The recommended cleaning frequency for a toy will depend on the type of toy and its size. For example, if your child is constantly playing with their favourite Octonauts toys, then they should be cleaned once a week.

For plush toys, we find that most of them are machine washable and dry-able, so you can easily throw in a couple of these along with your weekly washing.

On the other hand, we wouldn’t recommend putting electronic toys in the washing machine, as the water could cause a short circuit. The best (and safest) method for cleaning electronic toys would be to give them a wipe down once every week or so. 

If you’re wondering how to clean plastic toys, the cleaning process gets slightly more involved.

Some plastic toys can be bathed in hot soapy water for an all-round clean, while others may need a little more attention. Which option you choose ultimately depends on what’s inside the toy.

As above, if there’s any form of electronics, you’ll want to stay very clear of any water, instead choosing an antibacterial wipe to rid the plastics of any harmful substances.

The only toys that need cleaning on a daily basis would be baby toys as babies are much more likely to pick them up, throw them around and put them in their mouths.

Top Tip:

When using the soapy water method, you can use toothpicks and old toothbrushes to gently rub in the hard-to-reach crevices.


How to Disinfect a Large Amount Of Toys

As most toys nowadays are usually made from hardshell plastic or bath-toy squishable material, it makes cleaning them much easier compared to older toys, like porcelain dolls or mohair teddies. 


For most plastic toys, bleach can be a great way to eliminate most germs. However, we advise using heavy precaution as using too much can remove colour and bleach can also be harmful to your children if ingested. The recommended amount of bleach to use when cleaning toys would be around 1.5 teaspoons of bleach per 4.5 litres of water, then scrubbing and wiping them down afterwards.


How to Disinfect Toys Without Bleach

There are many more ways to disinfect your children's toys without bleach. The main one being to boil them in water. The boiling process eliminates disease-causing germs like viruses and bacteria by raising the temperature surrounding them. This results in critical components of cell DNA to be disrupted. 


Boiling plastic toys may result in warping as the material begins to melt, so we recommend cleaning plastic toys in room temperature water to preserve their shape. However, there are some types of plastics that can stand up to boiling water. To put it simply:


Plastics containing polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) which will soften in boiling water, but plastics like acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) are much more resistant.


How to Clean Toys With Vinegar

Thankfully, boiling water isn’t the only toy cleaning method that doesn’t involve bleach; vinegar can be a great alternative! 

Not only is vinegar more eco-friendly than mass-produced cleaning products, but if you dilute vinegar with water and some essential oils, your kids' toys will be clean, and they’ll smell great too! Unless you don't like vinegar, there is no need to be salty.



Things to Keep In Mind

  • Bath toys can sometimes retain water and will start to grow mould inside of them, so it is important to try and squeeze them out after each use and allow them to air dry. If you do start to see mould growing inside of them, immediately throw them out. 
  • Some toys, such as Fisher-Price Little People animal figures, building blocks and other solid plastic toys can actually be put in the top rack of your dishwasher! 
  • Using heavily diluted bleach with water is still safe for use on baby toys! 
  • Remember to check if the toys are electric. If you do want to clean this type of toy, be sure to turn it off, remove the batteries and do not get the circuits wet.


Looking for Discounted Toys? We Can Help

Now that you know how to clean your kid’s toys, it’s time to get some new ones to play with. 

At Toptoys2u, we stock all things from baby toys to collectibles made from all sorts of cleaning-friendly materials. Have a browse through our website and find the toy of your young one’s dreams, today.

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