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Cleaning Toys: Need and Know How

Constant handling and playing with toys make them breeding ground for germs. Cleaning them is important.

A toy can be considered to be dirty if the child has put it in its mouth, played with it, or thrown it on the floor or dragged it around. Any toy that has food or drool smears on it, should be immediately put aside, out of reach of the child. Keep all dirty toys away and give it back to the child only after it has been cleaned.

Germs can pass on from one toy to another very quickly when the baby or others handle the toys. To ensure that your baby stays healthy, it is essential to clean and sanitize your baby’s toys on a regular basis. Babies will often handle toys with dirty, food smudged hands. They will pick up a toy that has fallen down and without fear of germs, will put them in their mouth and falling ill. It is up to the adults who look after the baby to ensure that the toys are clean and germ-free.

In warm places like Dubai, it becomes all the more important for the toys to be disinfected and sanitized properly. Germs proliferate in warm climates and spread very fast. To avoid your baby from falling sick by playing with dirty toys, create a schedule to clean and disinfect the toys regularly.

Dirty Toys Are Health Hazards

When toys are touched and handled, they come in contact with people who have cold, cough or other infectious diseases. The germs from these diseases pass on to the toys through touching or handling the contaminated toy. Every child who touches the contaminated toy is at risk of contracting the same infection.

The stuffed toys are the worst culprits. The furry toys are haunts for lice, flea and bed bugs. When children touch or play with such toys, the little vermin may pass on to the clothes of the child or bite the baby causing itching and infection.

In places where children share toys, such as crèches, baby care centres, playgroups or schools, the risk of infections is greater as a lot of children touch and play with the toys and children who may have cold or flu might pass on the germs through the shared toys to the rest of the children in the group or class. Hence it is extremely important that all toys at such places should be cleaned and disinfected daily.

Using Commercial Disinfectants

Though it may be easy to use a commercial disinfectant to sanitize the toys, it is not really advisable. Commercial disinfectants may contain harmful, corrosive and poisonous chemicals that could cause more harm than good to your child. Remember, children don’t just touch the toys, they may also put them in their mouth. Ingesting even a minuscule amount of some chemicals can be dangerous for the health of your child.

Look carefully at the label of the product you intend to use. Stay away from any product that carries the danger warning or sign. Do not use products that contain germicides or the label says germicidal action. These products could contain harmful chemicals. Ask an expert in childcare or a medical professional regarding the safety of a product before using it on your child’s toys.

It is best to use organic and natural ways and products to disinfect your baby’s toys.

Disinfecting the Toys

Different types of toys require different types of cleaning. You cannot clean and sanitize a plastic toy same as a plush toy or a soft toy. Each will require a different process for cleaning. Most toys will do fine with just a soap and water clean, but once in a while they will require a deeper clean than just soap and water. Soap and water is adequate for a light clean to get the grime off. For a deeper cleaning, sanitization and disinfecting of a toy, a more thorough process will be required. How you clean each toy will depend upon its type.

Disinfecting Agents

There are some disinfectants that are environmentally friendly and do not have an adverse effect on your child’s health. These include:

  • Bleach: dilute bleach in water and use this solution to disinfect toys. But bleach is a time-consuming process and needs to be rinsed out thoroughly before the toy can be used. Bleach needs at least 20 minutes to effectively clean a surface.

  • Rubbing Alcohol: if you are looking for a quick and easy way to clean toys, then use rubbing alcohol to disinfect toys. Just rub it on to the surface and rinse it off. You do not need to let it sit as in the case of bleach.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Another agent that can be used to quickly clean any surface is hydrogen peroxide. As with rubbing alcohol, this also doesn’t need to sit on a surface to disinfect. Just wipe the toy with hydrogen peroxide and rinse it off with warm water.

  • Vinegar: A solution of vinegar and water also works well in disinfecting the toys. If you find the smell of vinegar unpleasant, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to make it smell sweet.

  • Baking Soda: perhaps one of the best cleaning agents that you can use to clean toys is baking soda. It can be applied as a paste or just dry dusted on the toys to make them clean again. If you wish to learn more about the miracle cleaner, read our blog Baking Soda: Power Cleaner In Your Cupboard

  • Boiling Water: One of the safest methods of disinfecting toys is boiling water. Most disease-causing pathogens do not survive heat beyond 60 degrees Centigrade. When you boil toys in water, you ensure that all the pathogens die off and the toys are completely clean and safe. But all toys cannot be given this boiling water treatment.

Different Toys, Different Cleaning Methods

It is highly likely that you baby has many different toys made of many different materials. Not all materials can be treated the same. You may be able to boil some plastic toys, but others may become deformed if exposed to heat. Similarly, bleach cannot be used on all the toys. Plush toys or soft toys may lose their colour if treated with bleach. Here are some tips on how to clean different types of toys.

  • Cloth Toys: They can be washed in a washing machine on a gentle setting. Use a gentle detergent soap along with baking soda and a little bit of borax to clean these toys. Use a dryer to dry on a high setting. If you do not have a dryer, then dry in the Sun. It is an excellent disinfectant and you should expose your child’s toys and clothes to it from time to time.

  • Stuffed Toys: These too can be washed in a washing machine as you would cloth toys. Be careful to remove any plastic parts before washing. Dry on a high setting in the dryer. If you only want to kill the dust mites, then just put it into the drying on a high setting and dry for 20 minutes minimum to kill all the dust mites.

  • Plastic Toys: Most plastic toys these days can be boiled clean. Check the toy before immersing it into water. Boil the toys for at least 10 minutes in the water for a complete clean. Cool the toys and wipe clean with baby sanitizers. For toys that cannot be boiled, use either vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or bleach to wipe the toy clean.

  • Plush or Stuffed Toys that cannot be put into a washing machine: Some plush toys cannot be put into washing machines. You should check the labels before you clean plush toys. If a toy says it cannot be washed then use baking soda to clean it. Sprinkle baking soda over the toy liberally. Leave it for a few minutes and then brush off the baking soda. To kill off the dust mites, put it in midday sun for a few hours. You can also spray it with vinegar and water solution to clean it. Or, handwash it gently with a mild soap and water.

  • Plastic or Rubber Toys: Some plastic toys cannot take the heat of the washing machine. These should be cleaned by hand. Use hot water and a detergent to soak the toys and then scrub it clean. Dry and wipe with baby sanitizer before giving it back to your child.

  • Toys with Batteries or Mechanical Parts: Such toys should never be soaked or washed in water. Use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to wipe the toys down thoroughly. Then wipe with a damp cloth to remove all traces of the disinfectant.

  • Wooden Toys: Most toys are made with wood that has antibacterial qualities. So they are generally safe. But if you are still worried, use a mixture of vinegar and water to wipe it clean.

In The End

Cleaning the toys regularly will not only keep your baby safe from health risks, it will also keep the toys look great for a longer period of time.

In case you do not have time to do the cleaning yourself, you can always hire a maid or a cleaning service in Dubai to help you out. You can hire online cleaning service through the platform To book a cleaning service, or to hire a maid in Dubai now, contact now.

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