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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Disinfecting Small Toys

Disinfecting Small Toys

Most parents do not know that there is a right way and a wrong way to clean and disinfect small toys. At a glance, it seems with all of the products that are currently on the market, cleaning your child's toys should be a snap. Unfortunately, there are many points to consider when you choose a product to use and a technique with which to use it. Since some products are unsafe for use on certain materials, and some products leave a residue that can be harmful for your child, you may find yourself buying numerous products when only one will do.

The most convenient, not to mention least expensive, option for disinfecting your child's toys is to make your own safe, multipurpose cleaner. To make this cleaner you will need a plastic spray bottle and some regular bleach. It is usually best to make a big batch of cleaner up each time and store it in a gallon container. Then you can refill your spray bottle as needed. To make a large batch, simply mix ¼ cup of bleach with one gallon of tap water.

This cleaner is safe to use on most surfaces, especially the plastic surfaces of most children's toys. Do not use this solution on cloth toys as it will bleach out and maybe erode the material.


For daily cleanings, simply spray the solution directly onto the toys or onto a clean cloth and wipe the surface of the toys, being sure to get into every corner and crevice.

This technique can also be used to clean large surface, such as tables or slides that your child has been or will be using.

To use this solution to disinfect surfaces you must apply enough of the solution so that the surface remains wet for at least two minutes. This will allow the solution to sit and kill the bacteria and germs that are present. After the two minutes are up, you can either wipe the surface dry or allow it to air dry. If time permits, air-drying is the preferred method since it allows the bleach to make contact with the surface for a longer period of time.

Daily cleaning techniques should be used after your child has finished playing with a certain toy or surface for the day. To make this easier, you can collect a bucket of small toys and immerse them in the bleach solution instead of wiping each one individually.

Disinfecting techniques should be used as least once a week and more often as necessary. For example, if your child has a cold or has a playmate over who has a cold, toys should be disinfected before they switch hands or as each child finishes playing with them. This technique is especially important if you have more than one child. By disinfecting the toys between turns, you will be able to cut down on the spread of germs and hopefully prevent your children from spreading the same virus around from child to child over and over again.
Toys made from cloth, such as stuffed animals, can be washed and dried in the washing machine and dryer, the heat from the water and the detergent will usually be enough to not only clean but also disinfect these items.

Toys made from wood can be wiped down quickly with the bleach solution but they should be dried rapidly and thoroughly and the solution should never be allowed to sit on the surface. For wooden toys that you may think will be harmed by this technique, you can purchase commercial wood cleaner to clean and disinfect them.


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