There are so many reasons to love wooden toys and wooden puzzles. As we become more aware of the issues surrounding plastic toys, and learn to fall in love again with slow play, wooden puzzles and toys are once again in fashion. However, unlike plastic toys, you can’t just chuck your wood toys in the dishwasher or blast them with bleach. Cleaning wooden puzzles requires a bit more thought, but thankfully not much! Here are some suggestions on how to keep your wooden toys and puzzles clean.
- 1. Use Appropriate Materials
- 2. Wipe down before you store
- 3. Do not submerge in water
- 4. Oil or Wax periodically
- 5. Store at a suitable temperature
Use Appropriate Cleaning Materials
When it involves cleaning up a wooden puzzle, it’s best to use a combination of warm water and a mild, non toxic detergent. We recommend avoiding bleach and other harmful substances which may affect the wood stain or varnish and prove toxic for your little ones. Vinegar is an ideal alternative, it’s safe, effective and works wonders!
Do not submerge the toy in water
Before you put together a special cleaning solution for your wooden puzzles, take them apart and examine them carefully. It’s best to take a rag and clean up any messes left behind on the toy first. Before you put toys away after playtime, its worth dusting or cleaning them down so things like mould etc can’t grow on them. It’s important to avoid soaking anything in water or your detergent solution. Soaking wood may cause warping issues when they are drying out, and may cause the paint to fade or chip off (depending on how it is painted. If the toy is damaged by the solution, it’s okay to remove it with a washcloth; otherwise, it could cause further damage to the toy.
Consider Polishing with Natural Oil or Wax
Because they’re made from natural wood, they may need to be oiled occasionally; this is done by applying a little oil or wax to them once in a while. The most common oils for your needs are mineral oil and beeswax; they’re both safe to use as long as they’re not harmful to your health. You could also coat your toys by applying a little of the oil to a washrag and letting it dry for a few days. This is usually done on unpainted or unvarnished toys.
Store at a suitable temperature
If you have any old toys, you should keep them in an area that’s warm and dry. It’s best to keep your toys in an area that’s not too hot or too cold. Extreme temperatures may warp or damage your wood, so if your garage etc is not insulated, then keep them inside the house and not too close to hot radiators.
Next Up: When Can Babies Do Wooden Puzzles?