Kids can’t get enough of their toys, especially those that are their favorite. They want to bring it anywhere and everywhere, feeling proud of their little treasure. When he plays outside, he tends to bring his toys, making it sit on muds and dust, getting wet and dirt. What is more dangerous is that they tend to kiss or put the toys or part of the toys in their little mouths. That can be very unhealthy and it may pose risks to them. The kids’ immune system is not strong enough to fight germs and viruses that dirty toys might contain. What can parents do?
They will clean and wash it with soap and water. It can physically remove dirt and grunge. But there are times when it is not enough. Kids’ toys need to be disinfected to make it cleaner and safer for them. Disinfecting stops the multiplication of germs. Many commercial disinfectants can clean and sanitize toys. On the contrary, it can be dangerous to your little ones. Some contain harmful chemicals and bleaches that are unsafe to kids when inhaled, ingest or absorbed by their skin.
Why and when do we need to clean and disinfect toys? As a rule, cleaning always comes first before disinfecting. Toys need to be cleaned regularly, but there are certain cases that it needs extra cleaning and disinfection. When one of your child’s playmates get sick, it is just necessary to disinfect the toys. Shared toys can aggravate the spread of germs from one kid to another. When playing, you can’t stop other kids from putting your kids’ toys in their mouth and your kids might touch, kiss and bite it too. That can cause the transfer of germs. Toys that fall on the ground and other dirty surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected if needed. Also, toys that have gotten food, milk, vomit or mucous should be sanitized. Toys that sit long enough and haven’t been played for a while need cleaning before giving it to a child.
Non-toxic methods of cleaning toys
When cleaning toys, always its manufacturers’ guidelines and procedures. It is often located in the package when bought. Cleaning can also depend on the size of the toys or the materials where the toys are made. Here are some natural methods for sanitizing toys.
- You can clean non-electronic, heat-resistant plastic toys in a dishwasher. Just put the toys in a lingerie bag on the top rack of a dishwasher. Opt for homemade dishwashing detergent and proceed with washing o a normal cycle. Turn on the dishwasher’s sanitizing feature for a cleaner result.
- Boiling toys is also one advisable way of sanitizing them without using detergent. Again, check on the manufacturer’s guide if this applies to a particular toy. In a large pot, bring an ample amount of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Submerge the toys for five minutes. Be careful in removing the toys. You can use long tongs and let it air dry in a rack. This is best for toys made of plastic and silicone.
- Toys made of fabric such as stuffed animals and knitted dolls can be cleaned with baby wipes. For deeper cleaning, put the fabric toys in a washing machine. Put it in a lingerie bag and spin in the clothes dryer for 15 minutes on medium heat. Make sure that it doesn’t have battery packs that laundry can damage them.
- If we think that bath toys are always clean since they frequently get soapy wet, think again. You can clean it at least once a week by soaking it in an equal part of hot water and white vinegar. You can also put it in the dishwasher for a more thorough cleansing.
The easiest and yet effective way of disinfecting toys is by using homemade sanitizer spray after washing. To prepare the mixture, these are what we need:
- A glass spray bottle (Plastic containers can cause a chemical reaction that may affect the concoction.)
- A cup of distilled water
- A cup of white vinegar
- 30 drops of essential oil of your choice. Lemon oil is often used for a citrusy scent
Here’s the procedure:
Pour the water in the glass spray bottle. Slowly add the white vinegar and stir gently. Finally, add in the essential oil and gently shake the bottle. Put in the spray cover of the bottle and it is ready to use.
It’s that easy and it always comes in handy if you need it any time or anywhere. You can adjust the ingredients if you need more, just pay attention to the 1:1 proportion of the water and the vinegar. You can put it in large spray bottled and you can fill small ones so you can put one in your bag.
For an effective result, spray the mixture liberally on toys. Allow two minutes before wiping it with a clean, damp cloth and air dry. It is applicable to all toys that are allowed to be sprayed. When used in electronic toys, you can spray the mixture on a clean, damp cloth and wipe. It is also applicable in metal toys like trucks and trains. It is also applicable to wooden toys. Just spray it with the mixture, wipe with a cloth or sponge and air dry.
This DIY mixture is an all-purpose sanitizer. Not just on toys, it can be sprayed on any surface that you want to disinfect – restaurant chairs and tables, household stains, sink, bathroom tiles, and playing areas. It is naturally effective since vinegar has a low pH and contains acetic acid that hampers the growth of microorganisms. Its high acidity level loosens mineral deposits like lime, calcium and soap scum.
For a fresh, herbal wash, dried neem leaves are boiled with the right amount of water. Allow it to cool off. Soak the toys in the mixture. It the toys can’t be soak, you can instead spray it with the herbal mixture. This is said to be effective in disinfecting toys after a disease.
As parents, it is better to switch on natural products to clean your children’s toys. Since toys are always in close contact with children, cleaning them with chemicals and bleaches can pose dangers to your little ones. The shift for the cheaper, yet healthier alternative.