Your kids will come into contact with a lot of dirt and germs during the course of their infancy and early childhood, and this is actually a natural process through which their immune systems are strengthened.
Young children do, however, have the tendency of sticking everything they grab onto into their mouths, and this, in the long run, may make them more susceptible to the germs and bacteria found on things around them. Their toys are no exception. The cute bunnies and teddies that look clean may actually be harboring a lot of harmful bacteria if they are not routinely cleaned or sanitized.
This is not a major cause for concern, so don’t call up the housekeeping service just yet. You should just try to look at cleaning your child’s toys as part of your natural parental responsibilities in order to ensure that your child can remain as healthy as he/she can be. Let’s not neglect this important task as it not only safeguards your children but also helps with your peace of mind. Then, the next time you see your baby with a toy in the mouth, you know that it’s not going to cause him any trouble.
How of then should toys be cleaned?
Kid’s toys are usually made of different types of materials, and these materials absorb or retain dust and dirt to different extents. This means that even though there is no hard and fast rule about how often each piece should be cleaned, it is a very good idea to keep an eye on whether the toy looks like it needs to be taken away from your child a bit and cleaned.
There are certain specific circumstances you should look out for, or keep in mind when deciding how often to give the toys a clean. We have listed a few of them down below:
• When you see spills and stains on the toy, make sure you wipe them off as soon as possible, or if they are on cloth toys, spot clean them immediately.
• When a toy is visibly dirty, it should go in for an immediate clean. If you are not able to clean it immediately, have your housemaids know that you want the grimy toys taken away from the child and left in a separate basket out of the reach of your children, till you can actually get down to doing some scrubbing.
• If your child has thrown up or has been unwell, you need to keep track of the toys he has been playing with and disinfect them to get rid of any unwelcome viruses.
• Make sure you clean plush or woolen toys more regularly than other toys as they absorb and retain more dust and germs. Twice a week should be more than sufficient unless they look like they need the clean more often.
• If your kid has been outdoors, or to a place that is not so clean, make sure you give the toys a thorough wash.
Things to keep in mind before cleaning toys
If there are labels or manufacturer’s instructions, read then first as they may already have cleaning instructions.
There are a number of delicate parts to a toy, and to ensure minimum damage, it is generally recommended that you dry it in a thin cloth bag (like a pillow case), or even allow it to air dry to minimize damage.
Remove batteries and detachable parts of the toy before washing it.
How to wash different types of toys
• Wooden or metal toys: in order to clean wooden or metal toys, use a mild cleaning solution of 3 tbsps of bleach to a gallon of water. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the grime off, and leave to dry before allowing your child to use the toys again.
• Plastic toys: small, colorfast plastic toys can be added to your general dish-washing batch. If not, sanitize with the above-mentioned diluted bleach solution. For greasy toys, add a few drops of vinegar and a pinch of baking soda to soapy water and clean.
• Cloth or plush toys: it is important to spot clean stains off toys. Stain removers differ depending on the type of stain and the material, but make sure you use a natural remedy as they are child-friendly. Check for any label for washing instructions, but in general, if your child has any polyester or cotton blends, they should be fine a the washing machine with other clothes that is running on a gentle cycle. You can even add a cup of vinegar to a batch to sanitize it. Try not to machine-dry them as this may cause the stuffing to get clumped up.
Author: Cleanly Maids