From Grime to Shine: A Step-by-Step Guide to How to Clean Wood Toys




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If you’ve invested in beautiful, safe, wooden, natural wooden toys that stimulate your child’s imagination and have the potential to last for generations then it’s definitely worth thinking about how best to clean and care for these toys.

Unlike plastic toys you can’t just throw them in the dishwasher at the end of the day. And because they are porous you don’t want to be spraying them with any harsh chemicals that could be harmful to your child.

Equally though as all toys (or at the very least hands) tend to end up in children’s mouths it’s good to have a cleaning routine to help ensure that no nasty bugs get passed around. And also keeping toys clean is part of looking after them and preserving them.

It is not necessary to sanitize wooden toys, as wood is naturally antibacterial.

To clean wooden toys, use a solution of warm water and mild soap or white vinegar.

Avoid soaking wooden toys, as they may become misshapen.

To oil wooden blocks, use mineral oil or beeswax.

How to clean wooden toys

Knowing how to clean wooden toys is important and it’s really simple.

First of all, keep it natural.

Wood is naturally antibacterial is much less likely to be harbouring germs than plastic toys. There’s no need for harsh chemicals.

A simple solution of warm water and mild soap or white vinegar will do a great job. Vinegar is great as it acts as a disinfectant and can be used to remove stains. You can use white or apple cider vinegar, whichever you have to hand to clean your wooden toy.

If you don’t like the smell (don’t worry it goes quite quickly) you can add a few drops of essential oils to the cleaning mix.

When adding a drop of essential oil to your cleaning solution use a safe for children oil such as tea tree, lemon, or eucalyptus. These oils have natural antibacterial properties and can help to further disinfect the toy.

It’s important to ensure there is no soap residue left on the toys, so ensure to clean off with a damp cloth.

Secondly don’t soak wooden toys.

Wood is porous and submerging it in water may cause toys to swell and become misshapen. Instead, spray them and wipe with a clean damp cloth.

This will remove any dirt. Then simply allow them to air dry. Brushing any obvious dirt first is also a good idea and will stop you from spreading it around or rubbing it in.

Sunlight will speed up the drying process and kill germs and mould. But make sure you don’t leave them in direct sunlight for too long as this can fade colours and cause cracking.

Cleaning wooden toys is easy and natural. You can also use sunlight to speed up the drying process and kill germs and mold, but be sure to avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading and cracking.


Summary Remember wood has a natural antibacterial quality and you only need a natural solution like vinegar and water to clean.

Additional care tips for natural wooden toys

Moisturising your wooden blocks occasionally will also help preserve them and keep them at their best. Olive oil and beeswax are both great natural options and its very handy to have these premixed in a spray bottle ready to go.

Don’t think of a toy as broken if the paint or varnish starts to chip. Because they are made of wood you can simply sand down the area and repaint. You could even change the colour entirely if you wanted to. This is just one of the many reasons why wooden toys are better than plastic.

If your toys have got really grubby a more concentrated vinegar solution can be used to help get out stains. And really stubborn stains can be sanded down and repainted.

You can get water-based child-safe stains fairly easily so it’s just a case of finding the perfect colour although we definitely think a few marks and stains give toys character.

FAQs on how to disinfect wooden toys

Do wooden toys need to be sanitized?

It is generally not necessary to sanitize wooden toys, as wood is naturally antibacterial and less likely to harbor germs than plastic or other materials. However, if your child’s wooden toys have come into contact with any bodily fluids or other potentially hazardous substances, it may be a good idea to disinfect them to prevent the spread of germs.

To disinfect wooden toys, you can use a solution of warm water and mild soap or white vinegar. Simply lightly dampen a cloth with the cleaning solution and gently wipe the toy down. This will remove any dirt and grime, and the mild soap or vinegar will help to disinfect the toy. Allow the toy to air dry, or if it is small enough, you can dry it off with a clean cloth.

Keep in mind that it is not recommended to soak wooden toys, as they may become misshapen. Additionally, avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach to clean wooden toys, as these may damage the wood or cause fading or discoloration. Simply cleaning and disinfecting the toy with a mild solution should be sufficient to keep it safe and hygienic for your child to play with for many years of creative play.

How do you clean kids building blocks?

To clean kids’ wooden building blocks, you can follow these steps:

  1. Gather all of the blocks and sort them by type or color.
  2. Dust off any loose dirt or debris with a soft cloth or a dust brush.
  3. Mix a solution of warm water and mild soap or white vinegar in a bucket or sink.
  4. Lightly dampen a cloth with the cleaning solution and gently wipe down the blocks. Be sure to get into any crevices or grooves to remove any dirt or grime.
  5. Rinse the blocks thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  6. Allow the blocks to air dry or pat them dry with a clean cloth.

Avoid soaking wooden blocks, as they may become misshapen.

How do you oil wooden blocks?

Trust me, it’s super simple and it’ll help to preserve the wood and keep it looking its best. After you have cleaned your blocks in a soap solution (see above) then for proper care, its time to oil them to keep them in the best condition.

  1. Mineral oil or beeswax work great for wooden toys. Just make sure to steer clear of any oils that contain synthetic fragrances or additives – they’re not safe for little ones.
  2. Place a small amount of oil on a clean cloth or soft brush.
  3. Gently rub the oil into the blocks, making sure to cover all surfaces.
  4. Let the oil soak in for a few hours or overnight.
  5. Wipe off any excess oil with a clean, dry cloth.

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