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Toys are an integral part of your baby’s development. They help your child learn, provide hours of entertainment, and serve as a convenient way to catch a little “me time.” But with all of the drool, crumbs, and adventures, your baby’s favorite toy is bound to get dirty.

Here, we will show you how to safely and effectively clean your baby’s toys.

How to Clean Plastic Baby Toys

There are a few ways to clean hard, plastic toys, such as baby stroller toys or outdoor toys. Some toys and pacifiers can be boiled, but many toys cannot. Most toys will say on the packaging whether or not they can be boiled as a method of cleaning. When boiling toys, they only need about 3 minutes. This is great for silicone toys, some hard plastic toys, bottles, and pacifiers. Remember to always check the toy’s care instructions first to see if boiling is an option.

Other plastic toys can be placed in the dishwasher. This is great for toys that don’t have any batteries, cloth, or technology that is not water-resistant. Just put the toys in the dishwasher on the gentlest setting. For the extra careful parents, use natural washing detergent.

How to Clean Fabric Baby Toys

Fabric toys, like favorite teddy bears and baby dolls, can be a host for all kinds of germs, which is why it’s crucial to wash cloth toys regularly. But how can you safely wash your baby’s toys?

It’s important to first check the toy for care instructions. If the toys packaging and labeling say you can, you may be able to wash plush toys in the washer. If the toy labeling allows, put the washer on the gentle cycle and use detergent made for sensitive skin to be extra careful. Most toys will need to be air dried but make sure you read the label for drying instructions as well to make sure you don’t damage the toy.

You can also wash fabric toys by hand. Using a gentle dishwashing soap, scrub the toys with a toothbrush to really get the germs out. Toothbrushes and toothpicks are the perfect tools to get into tight crevices where the nastiest of germs may live.

How to Clean Large Baby Toys

Most large toys can’t just be thrown into the dishwasher or washer, so how can you clean things like activity tables, large bath toys, and other big toys? This is where DIY disinfectant spray comes in! Some parents may be wary of using harsh cleaning chemicals on their baby’s toys because these toys come in such close contact with their eyes and mouths. Below is one of our favorite all-natural sanitizing spray recipes that you can use to clean these bigger toys:

  • Combine 1 cup of distilled white vinegar, 1 cup of distilled water, and 30 drops of essential oil (such as lavender).
  • Put liquid into a spray bottle.
  • Spray onto toys and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
  • Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

This mixture also works well for wooden toys, as these toys will warp if dunked in water. Instead, spray the sanitizing solution on a cloth and wipe the toys clean.

How to Clean Bath Baby Toys

Cleaning your baby’s bath toys is a crucial part of the toy cleaning regimen. To prevent mildew from forming inside your bath toys, proper cleaning and care is absolutely necessary. Bath toys can become homes to many different types of mildew and germs because of their water and humidity exposure. The good news is, it's easy to avoid this by simply following a few steps to ensure cleanliness for your baby’s bath toys. The key is to keep water out, control the humidity that the toys live in, and give em’ a bath!

How Often Should You Clean Your Baby’s Toys?

Now that we’ve explained how to clean baby toys, you may be wondering how often you should clean these toys. For everyday toys, such as baby travel toys, those that are always in the diaper bag, or teething toys, clean once a week. For some toys, even just a simple soak in a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water will do the trick for regular cleaning. Always clean your toys after your baby has been sick, or if you have invited another child over for a playdate.

Keep an eye out on your baby’s toys and if you notice drool, food leftovers, or any other mess on them, clean the toy right away!

Toys are such a great learning tool for babies of all ages and they often get dragged around the house, playground, school, and more. Because of this, it’s important to clean your baby’s toys regularly so they stay happy and healthy!