(Photo Credit: TechCrunch)
When it comes to kids, it’s important to stop the spread of germs, especially during flu season, to keep them happy and healthy. From putting toys in their mouth to touching everything and anything they can get their little hands on, children are very susceptible to picking up germs, and therefore, colds. But you can decrease their chance of getting sick by cleaning and disinfecting their toys regularly (and yes, that includes sneaking their favorite teddy bear away from them for a bath).
When it comes to cleaning toys, material matters:
Smaller non-electronic plastic toys can be washed in the dishwasher. Toss a gentle dish detergent in to scrub away any dirt or grime, and the hot water cycle will disinfect.
Larger non-electronic plastic toys should be wiped down with or soaked in soap and warm water, and then rinsed thoroughly. To sanitize, mix a solution of water and white vinegar (1:1 ratio), and dip a clean cloth into the solution, and wipe down the toy. Make sure to focus on areas that are heavily soiled or are touched more frequently than others!
When cleaning porous bath toys, whether you use the dishwasher or vinegar solution listed above, always be sure to squeeze out all excess water to avoid mold growth inside. Heather from We Love Being Moms suggests covering the holes on toys like this with a small amount of glue to prevent this from happening—how creative!
For electronic plastic toys, mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the toy and then wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth.
(Photo Credit: WebMD)
Stuffed or cloth toys can be washed in the washing machine. Toss in a gentle, baby-friendly detergent (or a mini pac for the smaller load) and wash in hot water to disinfect. For any toys that are especially dirty or stained, drop in a Baby Booster Pac as well, which will lift the stains right out while still being gentle enough to never irritate sensitive baby skin. Place toys in the dryer, and run the stuffed toys a little longer than normal to ensure all of the stuffing is completely dry.
Bonus: Our Baby Essentials Bundle is perfect for keeping stuffed animals, onesies, bibs, and children’s clothes fresh and clean.
Remember to disinfect toys on a regular basis (every 2-3 weeks) and more frequently after a cold, virus, or playing with other kids to keep germs at bay.