How Often To Clean Baby Toys
Let's face it, cleaning baby toys isn't always convenient. And as the busy mama you are, you have bigger responsibilities to take care of.
It is important to keep your baby's toys safe and germ-free, though ~ you'll want to avoid all the little bugs and colds you can.
For plastic toys or teething toys (anything your baby will chew on frequently), most resources suggest cleaning every 7 days. But for stuffed animals and dolls, the type of toys that accumulate filth gradually, you can get away with waiting longer between cleanings.
As a rule of thumb, make sure you clean your baby's toys every 1-2 days if they get sticky, are dropped on the floor regularly, or are placed in the mouth often. If your baby or one of their friends is sick, get those germs off asap with a washcloth and some warm water + dish soap solution!
What To Clean Baby Toys With
Truthfully, you don't need too many supplies to clean baby toys! You can usually use what you already have lying around the house.
Depending on the toy, you might even get away with tossing them in the dishwasher, washing machine, or bowl to soak.
For stuffed animals and plush toys, gentle detergent and a washing machine are perfect. For any other spot cleaning, a solution of dish soap and warm water works perfectly fine (5-10 drops of gentle dish soap in a large bowl of water works great).
You might also experiment with soaking your baby toys in a vinegar/water solution (50/50 raitio), which is a great natural cleaning option!
Read below to see what toys work with which cleaning supplies so you're using the safest methods. You'll be shocked at how simple cleaning baby toys can be;).
How To Clean Baby Toys
Plastic & Rubber Baby Toys
Plastic and rubber baby toys often get the dirtiest fastest. They're great distractions during dinner time, which means food will often collect in the crevices. They're often dropped on the ground (collecting dirt and dog hair if you have a fur baby!!). And when they're covered in slobber, they'll collect grime even faster.
By Hand: Thankfully, these baby toys are pretty easy to clean. It's easier to knock them out in a big batch by filling a large bowl with warm water and 5-10 drops of dish soap. Grab a dish scrubber and wash each toy by hand. Then rinse them off and let them air-dry over night.
In The Dishwasher: If your baby's toys are dishwasher safe (check the toy's label to make sure the plastic won't melt or warp in the heat), pop those suckers in the dishwasher and let them disinfect over night. This a great, hands-free option to cleaning your baby toys.
Wipe Down: For quick cleans, feel free to also use a wet wipe (safe for babies of course) to get sticky stains or smudges off.
Teething toys are some of the most important toys to keep clean because they go in your baby's mouth! Make sure you clean them more often than your baby's other toys, especially if they're dropped on the ground often.
In The Dishwasher: Some teething toys can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but many aren't designed to be thrown in with the dishes (make sure you check the toy's label to see if the plastic will melt or warp in the heat).
By Hand: If your teething toys aren't dishwasher safe, fill a bowl with warm water and 5-10 drops of dish soap and scrub them by hand. Then let them air dry or dry them with a clean towel.
Thoroughly Disinfect: It's important to thoroughly disinfect your baby toys at least once a month; just make sure you're using safe cleaner for your baby. As long as you clean your baby's teething toys frequently, your baby will happy and safe munching down on those teething toys!
Stuffed animals can be some of your baby's most beloved toys, but they can collect some nasty germs and it's harder to tell when they need to be cleaned.
Toss in the Washing Machine: Usually, tossing your baby's stuffed animals in the wash is a great way to clean them naturally and safely. Use your normal detergent to get rid of germs, stains, and accumulative grime.
With a Mesh Bag: If your baby's stuffed animal has fragile buttons or puff balls attached, play it safe by putting them in a mesh bag before tossing them in the wash. This should keep them safe while they tumble around and get clean:).
By Hand: If you'd prefer cleaning your baby's stuffed animals by hand (for stain removal or spot cleaning), mix together 10-15 drops of dish soap in warm water and use a wet washcloth to rub the stuffed animal gently. You can dry it with a hair dryer or by leaving it in the sun.
Dolls are super tricky because they come with multiple different materials to clean! If they can't be thrown into the washing machine like your baby's stuffed animals, you might have to get a little creative.
For Plastic Parts: For plastic parts, scrubbing with a warm water and dish soap solution is a great option. You can use a damp washcloth or old toothbrush to get in the cracks.
For Baby Doll Hair: For baby doll hair, try using baby shampoo and make it a fun activity with your kids! They will love washing their baby doll's hair and it will keep your children's toys clean.
For Cloth Areas: For any cloth areas, spot cleaning with dish soap and a washcloth works for lighter stains. For more stubborn stains, try using Shout or another stain remover. Make sure your baby's doll has ample opportunity to dry!
Bath Baby Toys
Bath toys are some of the hardest to clean, mostly because bath time is so hectic already. Once bath time is over, you're already trying to dry your baby off, keep them warm, and drain the water. Going the extra mile to make sure you baby bath toys are dry and clean is nearly impossible.
Drying is the Key: If your baby goes to bed after bath time, we suggest cleaning and hanging up their bath toys to dry right after they are asleep. Rinse them with warm water and soap, then hang them up in a mesh bag to dry. Make sure no water collects in the toys as they rest overnight.
When To Throw Them Out: Bath toys usually go bad faster than other baby toys, so if your baby's bath toys starts developing black mold, throw them out. It's better to keep your baby safe, and they can always be replaced!
Wooden Baby Toys
Wooden baby toys are tricky to clean. Getting wooden toys wet can cause them to warp, and if they don't dry dry properly the porous wood can develop mold. Plus, wooden toys are often more special than normal plastic ones, so you'll want to take good care of them.
Warm Water + Vinegar: Mixing warm water and vinegar together (50/50 ratio) is a great solution for cleaning wooden baby toys. Use a gentle washcloth or toothbrush to get in the grooves and wipe out all that grime. Make sure your baby's wooden bath toys are fully dried before letting your baby play with them again.
All-Purpose Cleaner: You can also rub your baby's wooden toys with a gentle all-purpose cleaner for a faster option! Don't overthink it ~ as long as you're cleaning your baby's toys, you're already going above and beyond.
Electronic Baby Toys
You can typically clean electronic baby toys the same way you would normal plastic ones, as long as you keep in mind the electronic element:).
Wipe Down: Remove the batteries from your electronic baby toy before clean and wipe down with a wet wipe, paper towel and all-purpose cleaner, or dish soap/warm water solution (mentioned above).
Clean the Battery Compartment: To clean the battery compartment, gently scrub with a dry toothbrush. Then pop those batteries back in and it's good as new!
How To Clean Baby Toys: Final Tips
Cleaning your baby's toys is quite the chore, and we know it can be a little overwhelming. Bottom line: as long as you are making sure your baby has a safe playing space, you are doing an amazing job already!
It's not the end of the world if you go a little longer than you should between cleaning baby toys ~ heck, I think my mom cleaned our toys maybe twice a year when we were little and we survived! As long as you are careful and conscious about keeping your baby's environment safe, you are doing great.
Happy cleaning and good luck! Let us know how you like to clean your baby's toys in the comments below ~ we love to hear other mama's tips!
Check out our favorite cleaning baby products below ~ they will definitely help you in your baby toy cleaning quest!
^^ Our Rope Storage Basket is great for small laundry loads or serving as a catch-all for baby toys in your play room
^^ Soak up all that drool so it doesn't get on your baby's toys with our soft Bandana Bibs! They're dry, absorbent, and safe for your baby through all the teething seasons. And we simply can't get over these Cuddle+Kind Dolls 😍
^^ These 100% Organic Muslin Cotton Washcloths are perfect for cleaning baby toys! Made with safe, absorbent cotton that's sensitive and soft, they're the perfect safe option for baby toy cleaning.
^^ Our Rope Storage Cubes are great for baby toy storage and they fit almost all cube storage systems! Keep those baby toys off the ground and organize them with these simple, tasteful storage bins (all baby-proof!).