Hey there, mama!
Does all the terrifying news about mutating viruses make you paranoid? Do you have little kids who like putting everything to their mouths?
Does it make you feel uncomfortable seeing their toys cluttered everywhere, not sure whether they have been properly sanitized?
Okay, we understand.
This is the time when moms (and dads) are becoming more conscious about health and safety. Even if you’re not letting your children go out of the house, they still can get exposed to viruses and bacteria through their toys.
Hush, mom. Breathe and take it easy.
We’ve rounded up some brilliant strategies to disinfect toys and prevent germs from spreading in your home.
Why It Is Important To Clean Toys and Surfaces?
Children love to explore. It’s how they learn!
One minute they could be collecting stones and pebbles in the garden, the next thing they are hugging their favorite stuffed toy. And before you know it, they are rubbing their eyes or grabbing snacks.
Unfortunately, the primary way children are exposed to viral and bacterial infections is through their eyes and mouths.
It’s easy to understand how bacteria gets transmitted from one surface to another and ends up in your child’s tummy or lungs.
Apart from making sure that they wash their hands frequently, we must also keep their surroundings clean. These include their toys!
Here are easy yet effective ways to disinfect toys and surfaces at home:
Have a Separate Bin for Dirty Toys
Germs and viruses easily spread between surfaces. To prevent contamination, designate a container where your kids can easily toss their dirty toys.
If your kids are old enough to read or understand commands, teach them where they should put the toys they’ve used for the day.
Labeling toy bins are also very helpful when you have visitors/playmates coming over. You also save time having to clean everything.
Use Eco-Friendly Techniques to Disinfect Toys
As much as you don’t want your kids to be exposed to viruses and bacteria, you also don’t want them to ingest toxic compounds from the cleaners you use.
Whenever possible, clean and disinfect toys and surfaces in your home using natural solutions.
Here are the best options:
The most common method is to soak toys in hot water until it cools down. Then, dry the toys with a towel or air dry them.
Make sure you only apply this method for items that cannot be damaged by water.
Alternatively, you can place the toys in the dishwasher. After several minutes, the toys are ready for your kids’ next adventures!
This method works well for wooden toys and those that cannot be cleaned with hot water.
Make sure to dry them properly because even a little moisture can trigger mold buildup.
Mix equal parts of water and distilled vinegar. Using a clean microfiber cloth, wipe down the toys. Let them dry a bit to get rid of the vinegar smell.
The vinegar-water solution also makes wonders for surfaces. Use them to clean counters, tables, and other high-touched surfaces in your home.
Bleach and Alcohol-Free Cleaners
If using commercial cleaners, choose those that don’t contain alcohol and bleach. Another easy way to clean toys and surfaces is to wipe them down using disinfectant surface wipes. Let the toys air-dry for several minutes before giving them back to your child.
This is a super helpful hack especially when your child can’t wait.
Be Careful Using Water To Clean Cloth and Plush Toys
For plush toys, it’s best to use the washing machine. You may or may not put them in the dryer. Just make sure they’re completely dry before your kids use them.
Generally, to clean stuffed toys, you can soak them into cold water with mild detergent. If using any cleaner or solution, test a small section of the toy first to see any reaction like discoloring.
Check the label for cleaning instructions. Some stuffed toys are not meant to be soaked in water.
If you think those plush toys won’t dry soon enough, or if they have electronics inside that make them less suitable for the washing machine, you can use baking soda to clean them.
Just cover the toys with baking soda for at least 20 minutes. Shake the soda off or vacuum the toy until none is left on the toy.
Pay Attention To Outdoor Toys
Outdoor toys are vulnerable to so many types of bacteria, including E.coli and salmonella from birds, pets, and animals.
These toys have to be disinfected regularly. Never bring them inside the house until they have been completely sanitized.
How Often Should You Clean Your Child’s Toys?
The toys your child plays with daily can be cleaned once a week unless of course, they are noticeably dirty. If someone in the family (or visitor) who is ill or has a cough and cold touched the toy, disinfect those items right away.
It might be tempting to hide most of your child’s toys during the pandemic to limit the infection risks. Paranoia is real! But try to refrain from taking away your child’s favorite toys as they provide comfort, which your kids need right now.
By regularly disinfecting their toys in the right manner, you’ll have peace of mind knowing those toys aren’t going to cause harm to your kids.