How to Clean and Disinfect Baby Toys

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The health of our children is our number one concern as a parent. From the minute they are born, we know that there’s a great responsibility upon us. As they grow up, you see every potential threat to their health and their defenseless bodies. That’s why as parents we’re constantly learning how to prevent them from any discomfort we can.

One of the ways to take care of their health is through hygiene. When they’re babies, we take care that everything that comes into contact with them is both clean and sterilized. They’re not ready yet to fight off even the most common health issue. So it’s a priority that we make everything as clean as possible.

Once they start growing, they admittedly make this task harder and harder for us parents. When their teeth start to come in, they just want to grab everything and it goes straight to their mouths. When they start crawling that hand-to-mouth reflection grows even more. Now it’s not just about keeping their bottles, their clothes and their bedclothes pristine. We have to expand that cleanliness to the whole house and everything they might take to their mouths.

For people having their first child, this can be quite a stressful period. As a first-time parent, your main character is that you’re a worrier. You worry about everything! But that’s good when it remains within reason. If you’re worried, then you’re paying attention and you’re doing everything you can to be certain of your own knowledge on how to take good care of your child.

Eventually, you won’t have to worry anymore because you’ll have all of this knowledge by your side. You’ll know exactly what things you’ll be able to avoid for your child. But you’ll also know what you can’t avoid, so you can be better prepared for it.

This is why today I chose to bring you the ultimate glossary to help you keep your children’s toys clean. I’m going to cover all of the main questions, but if you feel like there’s anything missing feel free to comment!You already know how much time your kids spend with their toys. Until they’re not able to even think about the concept of “cleaning” to do it themselves, which is a value you should always install in due time, you have to keep them clean. Toys are in constant contact with the floor and all of the surfaces that re unavoidably inhabited by germs and bacteria.

You already know how much time your kids spend with their toys. Until they’re not able to even think about the concept of “cleaning” to do it themselves, which is a value you should always install in due time, you have to keep them clean. Toys are in constant contact with the floor and all of the surfaces that re unavoidably inhabited by germs and bacteria.

You can’t actually avoid germs and bacteria, and that’s okay. You don’t have to, but you can guard yourself and your children towards it a lot better if you practice good hygiene habits even with your toys! So here we go, let’s get started!

How to disinfect toys with vinegar?

Vinegar is not just for dressing your salads, a lot of other things can be done with it. One of those things is keeping your children’s toys clean! What’s best about vinegar as an alternative to disinfect and get rid of germs is that it is natural. You don’t have to worry about exposing your children to strong cleaning chemicals, and you won’t have to spend that extra money on specific chemical-based solutions that might not even work.

When children are growing up, they are constantly reacting to the world and everything that’s in it. That’s not true only cognitively, but also physically. You never know what might cause allergies, so it’s best to avoid the exposure to strong chemicals. That’s where vinegar comes in to save the day!


Make your own sanitizing spray

All you have to do is get clean and disinfected spray bottle. Mix a cup of water with a cup of vinegar and shake it a bit to get it mixed. That’s it! Now when you’re cleaning the toys all you have to do is spray it on and wipe it off with a cloth.


You’ll be amazed at how much dirt can be in those toys! Just spray, wipe, and repeat until you don’t have to anymore.

How to clean baby toys that can’t be washed?

There are some toys that you can’t just throw in the washing machine or wipe up with sanitizers. These toys happen to be your child’s favorite and they haunt you at night! Well, that can stop today. There are ways to disinfect them just like any other toy, so you can be relaxed every time you see your child going for it.

These toys are often in the soft category, meaning any kind of stuffed animal and push-toys. They’re so fragile, that even if it says they’re fit for the washing machine, they’ll probably come out ruined. That’s not an option if you don’t want to break your baby’s heart! We know how stubborn they can be about their favorite toys.

So, here’s what you’ll need:

  • baking soda
  • plastic bag
  • vacuum cleaner with a hose
  • soft-bristle brush

Now this is what you have to do to get rid of the dirt on those particular toys:

  • Measure half a cup of baking soda and put it in the plastic garbage bag. If the toy is a lot bigger than the standard, add a cup or more of baking soda so you make sure it will be fully cleaned.
  • Put the toy in the plastic bag and squeeze the excess of air out of the bag. Leave enough room for the toy to move around when you shake the bag.
  • Tie a knot and close up the bag the bad the same way you would tie up a balloon.
  • Pick up the bag from the bottom with one hand and grab the top with the other. Now all you have to do is shake it gently both up and down and left to right in a sort of circular motion. Do this for two minutes and be careful not to damage the bag.
  • Keep the toy in there for fifteen minutes. What are the baking soda and the toy doing in there? Well, the baking soda is both deodorizing the toy and making all of the dirt easier to fall off from the fabric. They toy is just enjoying its sort of bath.
  • Once the fifteen minutes have come and gone, all you have to do is shake the excess and get rid of the bag. Be careful not to inhale it, don’t spread the baking soda everywhere. Be neat.
  • Now you have to remove what’s left of the baking soda on the toy by using the vacuum cleaner. You can also use a soft-bristle brush to make sure you get all of the dirt and the baking soda off. Once you’re done, pat the toy gently with your hands to make sure there’s no excess baking soda.

There you go! A brand-new cleaned toy!

How to clean baby toys in the dishwasher?

Now here’s a cleaning hack to cherish for life! Dishwashing machines are not only great for disinfecting kitchen utensils; they can disinfect a whole bunch of things as well. As a parent, this is an amazing thing to know.

Sometimes you just don’t have enough time to get everything free of germs, so it serves to have a method that can disinfect quite a few things at once. Among the things you can get cleaned in the dishwasher are: toothbrushes, hair brushes (please do remove the hair first!), tub toys, dog food and water bowls, retainers, binkies, pacifiers, and the reason the dishwasher made it into this article: tub toys and various other kid toys.

When it’s time to use the dishwasher, you have to make sure that the toys are fit for this method. No battery-operated toys, no wood, they shouldn’t have loose or removable pieces, no fabrics, and no strings! You want to be careful not to ruin the toys or your dishwasher in the process! Also, all of the toys that you can throw in the washing machine, provided they don’t have strings or batteries, can also go in the dishwasher.

To get your toys cleaned you don’t really have to do anything, just sleep 🙂 Okay, I’m just kidding, but that’s partially true! Load your dishwasher before going to bed and have it running while you’re sleeping. By the time you wake up they’ll already be dry and, most importantly, germ-free!



Here are some tips on how to organize a dishwasher full of toys. There is indeed a structure to it:

  • All of the smaller toys go into the silverware dish! That’s how you make sure they won’t fall through and get stuck or something.
  • All of the medium-sized toys should go in the top rack. Put as many toys in there as you can fit. It doesn’t matter if they overlap, the hot water can reach through all of them. So don’t worry!
  • All of the big toys go on the bottom rack; they should be big enough not to fall through.
  • Apply gentle was and air dry. Once you’re loaded, choose your settings. Just remember to turn off the heated dry! Otherwise, you’ll wake up to a big mess of melted toys.
  • Use the detergent of your choice and that’s it!

How to clean baby toys in non-toxic ways?

Babies are the most vulnerable both to germ and bacteria and also to the chemicals that might help us get rid of it. Luckily, there are many ways to keep your baby’s things disinfected and squeaky clean without using any toxic chemicals that might end up doing more damage to their health.

One of the ways to achieve a toxic-free toy disinfection is by either learning how to make your own natural disinfectants or by researching and buying toxic-free products. That’s why I’m going to show you some simple ways to clean your toys in a toxin-free and DIY manner for you to try out at home.

I already mentioned vinegar and baking soda so far. Those are two of the best ways to get your baby toys cleaned without having to use any strong chemicals. If you’ve never tried this method before you’ll truly be amazed and you’ll be using them to clean all sorts of things around the house.

Then we have essential oils. I know that they come in tiny little bottles, but they’re a powerful little substance. Two of its powers are cleaning and disinfecting! They kill germs and they even have antimicrobial properties. Plus, they just smell delicious! And guess what? You can make the essential oils a lot more powerful and boost up their cleaning properties by mixing them up with a few other things such as vinegar, baking soda, water or alcohol. That way you can play around a bit and make your own deliciously smelling cleaning solutions! DIY all the way!

All-purpose DIY disinfectant:

  • a spray bottle
  • a cup of water
  • ¼ teaspoon of peppermint essential oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of lavender essential oil

The making: get your water and your essential oils mixed well and then pour into your spray bottle.



Lemon also makes for an amazing non-toxic, natural disinfectant thanks to its acidity levels. It has some very powerful, naturally antibacterial and antiseptic properties that make it up to the task of cleaning your baby’s toys. It’s best used as a natural alternative to bleach and you can even mix it up with vinegar to make it even stronger.

Before I get into the homemade bleach recipe, I want to talk to you a bit about one of its ingredients: hydrogen peroxide. It is a chemical compound and it’s most commonly used as a disinfectant, an oxidizer, and a bleaching agent. It can be as corrosive as chlorine, but it really depends on the concentration of the solution. The hydrogen peroxide concentration you can find at a drugstore is 3% and that’s the one we’ll be using. Compared to the 30% solution that’s used industrially, I’d say we’re good to go. It is approved by the EPA as well, not just by me!

This is how you make your own bleach to kill 99% of the bacteria and 80% of the germs on your children’s toys! You’ll see that this is one of the ways of combining the different natural cleaners to create your own disinfectant solutions.

All-purpose DIY bleach:

  • an empty spray bottle
  • two cups of water
  • two cups of hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 10 drops of lemon essential oil

You know what you have to do, don’t you? Just mix them all up and pour the final result in a clean spray bottle. It might be worth mentioning that you shouldn’t use spray bottles that have stored other cleaning products before!

This DIY bleach has to be stored in the dark, so make sure you find a way to cover the spray bottle and a nice little dark spot to put it away once you’re done cleaning your toys. It lasts up to three months when you keep the bottle

dark on top of storing it in the dark, as opposed to lasting only one month if you keep the bottle clear.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is known to have antibacterial and germicidal properties. This makes it an excellent disinfectant for baby and kid toys! What’s more, tea tree oil smells amazing, fresh, and clean! All you have to do is add 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil into a cup or two of warm water. Apply this to the toys you want to clean and then wipe it off with a cloth. The result is a clean, fresh-smelling, germ-free toy!


There you have it! Those are some of the most common ways to clean toys in a natural, non-toxic way.

How to clean wooden toys naturally?

Wooden toys are still an all-time favorite. They’re durable, and they still stand out to children. Whether they’re wooden blocks with letters as the kids learn how to spell, wooden plains, car or trains, the fact is that they also get quite dirty! As parents, we have to find a way to clean all of the toys that our kids use. Wood is no exception!

For daily cleaning, just wipe them with a dry cloth once a day. If a lot of time has passed since you last cleaned them and they’re a bit dirty, just use a natural soap that’s unobtrusive and a then rinse them up. Once you get all of the soap and the dirt out, you can rinse them again with the water and the vinegar mix I already taught you how to make. Don’t soak them in water; you know that doesn’t do well for wood. That method can ruin your toys and swell them!

If the toys are beyond dirty, deeper cleaning has to be done. This is where bleach comes in! You can either mix bleach with water with a ratio of 1 part bleach to 10 parts of water. Or you can use your wonderful, new DIY natural bleach from the previous question. All you’ll have to do is dampen a cloth with your solution and clean the toy until your cloth comes out clean. Then you’ll have to let it air dry before using.

Some tips on wooden toy care:

  • Don’t leave them outside for too long! The sun can fade paint job and it can deteriorate wood pretty quickly.
  • Also, don’t leave them lying around humid places!
  • When you clean them once a week or so, make sure that they’re not broken, chipped or scratched because your kids can hurt themselves. If they are, just sand down the rough areas with a sandpaper.
  • Water is the wooden toys’ enemy! Remember never to soak them and if you clean do clean them with water, make sure you only dampen the cloth and let it air dry completely afterward.
  • By God, don’t use furniture polish! They’re toys, they go straight to your children’s mouths and they’re constantly in contact with them. Furniture polish is great for your furniture, but very toxic around your children.
  • Don’t use any harsh solutions! And if you do, water them down just like I told you about chlorine.

How to clean and sanitize second-hand baby toys?

There are many reasons for parents to go for second-hand toys; maybe they were given by a relative or you’re concerned about consumption and you don’t want to waste perfectly reusable things, maybe you’re on a budget or you just want your children to have some good old-fashioned toys that you can’t find any other way. The reason is not important because second-hand toys are a wonderful and inexpensive choice!

That being said, they should always be cleaned and sanitized before being handed to our kids because we just don’t know where they’ve been or how long they’ve been kept away in dusty places. Most toys can be cleaned with soap and water, vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice; it really depends on the material. Let’s take a look:

Soft plastic and wooden toys: You can make a mix of one part vinegar and one part water to get your plastic and wooden toys perfectly clean. Vinegar is a natural sanitizer and it will vanish bacteria and mold. Let the mix air dry instead of removing it with a cloth, and then rinse the toys with water.

Stuffed or fabric toys: If you have second-hand or really old stuffed toys, the first thing you need to do in order to get them clean is put them in a bag and keep them in the freezer for 2 to 3 days. This is meant to kill any dust mites that might be present. Now, depending on the toy and the state of it, you can wash it by hand or you can put in the washing machine.

Sometimes the best way to make sure the toy is as clean as can be is by washing it with your own hands. If the toy smells, soak it in a mix of one liter of water with four full tablespoons of baking soda. If that still doesn’t work, try the same mix of water and vinegar as before and then let it air or sun dry.

How to clean and sanitize second-hand baby shoes?

Just as it happens with toys, the method to clean and sanitize baby shoes will depend on the material. Most baby shoes, including leather shoes and foamy crocs, can be washed by hand; all you need to do is scrub them with soap and a toothbrush. Some materials, on the other hand, are washing-machine friendly so you can remove the shoelaces and toss them in to get them clean. Remember that suede, leather or any other delicate material can’t go in the washing machine.

If you need to deodorize, soak sneakers or shoes made of cloth in rubbing alcohol. If the material is more delicate than that, use a rag to scrub them with alcohol. You can also mix equal parts of vinegar and water to disinfect the inside of the shoes or you can use baking soda; just pour a couple of tablespoons inside the shoe, spread it evenly, and let it sit overnight.

You can wash the insoles with a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent and use a sponge or rag to scrub them; rinse them and lay them out to dry. If they’re smelly, put them in a plastic bag, pour in a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and let it sit overnight.

How often must I wash and clean baby toys?

How often you wash your baby’s toys really depends on the type of toy and on how often they’re used. If they’re plastic toys that you can wash in the washing machine or the dishwasher, it’s better to get them clean once a week. You can wash stuffed animals as they get stained, smelly or dirty-looking. You should wash pacifiers every day; just wash them along with baby bottles so you don’t forget. Things such as rattles should get cleaned every two days or so because they spend a lot of time in our babies’ mouths. Overall, it’s good to wash all of your baby’s toys at least once a month.

How to disinfect baby toys after illness?

After an illness of any kind, whether it’s a bug, the flu, just a cold, or, God forbid, anything a bit more serious, it’s necessary to disinfect everything in your child’s way. You know how they get sick in the first place, they’re always putting things in their mouths, running and crawling around and just overall being curious about things.

Not to worry though! This is just part of the process of growing up. There’s little you can avoid on that department, they will get sick. What you can do is minimize the frequency by having everything cleaned out, disinfected and sanitized on a regular basis, especially after coming out of an illness.

The first thing you need to take care of is the tub. Any of the DIY disinfectants I’ve shown you will do the trick, but if you want to leave this work to the brands of products you already know, that’s also acceptable. Make sure you clean your tub at least once a week and don’t forget all of the toys that the kids take with them when they take a bath.

Next thing you’ll have to do is sort out your toys and get them cleaned accordingly. Classify them: the ones that can go in the washing machine and dishwasher, the ones that need that extra attention are to be disinfected with your vinegar spray or other solutions, the stuffed animals to be cleaned with baking soda, the wooden toys, etc. Separate them and get them clean!

If you don’t have a dishwasher, once you clean up your tub you can fill it up with warm water and add your favorite baby-friendly liquid soap and let them sink there for a few minutes. Rinse them, partially dry them with a clean cloth and let them finish air drying before using them again.

How to make homemade disinfectant cleaner?

You might have noticed that I love me some DIY projects! Especially if it saves us a few bucks and if it poses no threat to our kids. I’ve shown you quite a few options so far, but I just want to add a few more to make sure that you have a varied cupboard.

Here’s a disinfectant and deodorizing multi-use spray that will be perfect to disinfect your kid’s toys on top of everything else!

All-purpose DIY disinfectant cleaner:

  • 1/2 a cup high-proof vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • ½ a cup of vinegar
  • ¾ cup of water
  • about 60 drops of tea tree essential oil or lavender essential oil

The making of this disinfectant is as simple as the others have been: pour all of the ingredients into your clean spray bottle and shake it up a bit. That’s it! Ready to use.

Essential oils are actually the power ingredients of you disinfectant mixes. Remember the one of a cup of water and a cup of vinegar? Well, to that you can add the essential oil you like the most, to make it even stronger! That’s one of the best things about DIY disinfectant and sanitizing solutions: once you know which ingredients work best and what they do, you can use your imagination and mix them up to create combinations that will help you get everything cleaned.

What’s best is that by using non-toxic, natural ingredients you get a baby safe disinfectant spray that won’t cause your baby any harm or allergic reactions!

How to clean battery toys?

If the battery toys are made of plastic, what you need to do first is clean them out. Get a moist cloth and your favorite disinfectant or soap and clean the entire surface until your cloth comes out clean.

Then you want to rinse your cloth and clean out the excess disinfectant that might be left.

After that, it’s time to sanitize! Get your preferred sanitizer from the ones I’ve shown you or others you might like best and moist a cloth or a paper towel with it. Use this to rub the surface of the toy and there it is! A squeaky clean, bacteria and germ-free toy!

On the other hand, if they’re battery stuffed toys, the process is different. You know you can’t put them in the washing machine, so you’ll have to use other methods. If the toy is not that dirty and there are no stains on it, you can simply vacuum it with a hose and brush it gently with a soft brush. That should be enough to take care of the small particles and be good to go. Sticky lint rollers are also perfect for this job. The important thing is not to be too rough on these toys in order not to damage the fabric.

If the toy is really, really dirty you can apply the baking soda method I showed you above. Not only do you get rid of the dirt, you also deodorize the stuffed toys. We know how stinky they can get from being taken and thrown around everywhere!

If you need to remove a stain

you can wash the surface of it by using a stain remover such as Woolite. Just use it in the area around the stain, don’t dip the poor stuffed animal! Once you apply the product, use a towel to rub the stain away gently. If it doesn’t come off with gentle touches, then rub it out a little bit. You don’t want it spreading around though, so be careful. Once you get rid of the stains you can proceed to further cleaning and apply one of the methods I just mentioned.





Is it safe to clean baby toys with Lysol wipes?

There shouldn’t be any problem in using Lysol wipes. In fact, they’re quite wonderful to get everything perfectly clean, including your kid’s toys. However, if you’re worried about chemicals what you can do is you can wipe the toys with Lysol. Then, after you’re done, let it sink for a while and then soak them with antibacterial soap or use one of the disinfectants I showed you. That way you don’t defeat Lysol’s purpose, you set your mind at ease, and you get a deeply cleaned toy!

If you still feel like it might be too rough of a product to put in contact with your kids, then turn to the old soap or disinfectant and water combo! Either way, it should be fine. Many parents turn to Lysol or Clorox wipes to take care of the toys. They only make sure that they rinse them once these products have done their job, just in case!

How to get your baby car seat cleaned?

I know this is not a toy, but it’s just another one of those very important things that you have to maintain clean. Your babies and children spend a lot of time in their car seats and they can get filthy! They eat while sitting in them; they also drink and play, so there’s a high risk of spillage and just overall messiness. Not to mention the dust it can gather from being in the trunk of the car or just sitting there for days on end!

If there’s a big spillage, the faster you start working the better you can recover your baby car seat’s state! I know it’s tempting to leave it for later, but unless you can afford to buy a new one, that might not be such a good idea for you. Get the seat, a bowl of water, soap, baby wipes and cloth.

First, you’ll want to use the baby wipes to take care of anything that can be removed without rubbing, scrubbing or using a product. Then, take your cloth and your water and make sure you clean the harness. If it’s too dirty, and water is not helping that much, just add a little soap or disinfectant. Detach the buckle and soak it in water, but keep the webbing out of it. For this, you can use a jar or a cup. Move it around a bit to make sure you get out everything that might be stuck in there.

If you can remove the harness, lay it out on the sun for a few hours to get the smell out. If you find that it is still a bit stinky after that, just repeat the process of water and soap or disinfectant until it’s fresh. Don’t even think about putting it in the washing machine! It will ruin the strength of the webbing, that’s the last thing you want to do.


There you have it! All of this useful information is going to help you protect your babies a lot better from all of the nasty germs and bacteria that can threaten their health. Any of these strategies you choose to use will give you the best results. You’ll notice the difference in their toys and in their health!

Remember to get their toys and their bath cleaned once a week, so you limit the exposure a lot more. It has been a pleasure for me to assist you and to share the best tips for you to take care of the little ones. Until next time!

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