It’s super common for parents to stress about germs, particularly in the first year of their baby’s life- after all, baby’s mouth absolutely everything, and they (and their toys) spend a large amount of time on the floor.
Using wipes for toys is a convenient way to keep your baby safe at playtime. Here we will look at the effectiveness of using wipes for different types of toys, the best disinfectant wipes and cleaners we could find and some other cleaning tips for baby toys too.
Keep your home germ free with our handy tips on how to prepare and use wipes for toys.
How Do You Disinfect Baby Toys?
The best way to go about cleaning baby toys will depend on the type of toy- stuffed animals for example will require a different method of sanitisation to cleaning bath toys.
Harsh chemicals and repeated runs in the washing machine can shorten the life of your baby’s toys, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with other ways to clean toys. Using wipes to clean baby toys is a safe and effective way to do so- as long as you follow our expert advice!
Your Tool Kit for Cleaning Baby Toys
- Lysol Disinfectant Wipes
- Cloth Cleaning Wipes
- Eco Friendly Cleaning Solution
- Disinfecting Laundry Detergent
- Sterilising Fluid
- Babyganics hypoallergenic soap
What To Consider When Cleaning Baby Toys and Plush Toys
The Age of Your Baby
It’s recommended that baby toys, pacifiers and bottles are sterilized for the first 6 months at least, with many parents continuing to sterilize everything for the first 12 months.
That’s because young babies put everything in to their mouths, spreading germs to themselves and potentially to others through their drool. If you have a very young baby you will want to have disinfecting wipes on hand at all times- they drop toys a lot!
The Material of the Toy and How It Will React To Cleaning Products
Wooden baby toys might require extra care, since too much water can cause the wood to swell, and harsh chemicals might damage the finish.
Also be aware of the inner stuffing of stuffed animals= this will take longer to dry and most be thoroughly dried to prevent mold setting in.
In times of illness or infection, thorough disinfection is even more important to prevent the spread of bacteria. A disinfectant wipe or cloth and disinfecting spray bottle will be essential.
When dishwasher or using the washing machine, you will want to consider higher temperatures to kill all bacteria.
Is The Toy Suitable For The Dishwasher or Washing Machine?
It can be tempting to wash baby toys in the dishwasher or washing machine, but you need to check that the toy is suitable first. Many won’t withstand hot water cycles or will require a delicate cycle. Clearly toys with batteries and wooden toys won’t be suitable.
It’s often better to give the toy a good scrub or clean with a wipe, even if it takes a little more effort.
The Safety of The Cleaning Products You Use
Remember that little ones tend to put everything to their mouths- so you will want to use gentle cleaning products that will shift the dirt but won’t harm your little one.
Avoid chlorine bleach and opt instead for natural bleach. In terms of cleaners, there are lots of eco friendly, plant based disinfecting wipes out there.
We have an entire blog post devoted to eco friendly cleaning products if you’d like to learn more about plant based cleaning products.
Disposable Vs Washable Wipes for Toys
Using a disinfecting wipe is one of the easiest ways to clean baby toys. The great news is, for eco minded parents who want to avoid disposable wipes like lysol wipes, you can also use a regular cloth along with warm water and dish soap.
To get rid of more stubborn dirt and germs, there are lots of gentle yet effective natural disinfectant sprays out there, along with natural bleach.
Using a cloth wipe and natural cleaner can save you money, along with being better for the environment. Additionally, it means you are in control of what products are applied to your baby’s toys particularly important if your child has sensitive skin.
The biggest benefit of single use wipes is that they are convenient for travel and bringing along in your change bag. They are ready to use and don’t require preparation.
Safe Cleaners to Use With A Wet Wipes On Your Toys
Fragrance-free soap or Dish Soap
For general cleaning, you can simply rinse a cloth in warm water, apply a little soap and wipe toys belonging to your child. Plastic toys are normally particularly easy to clean this way.
The likes of plastic blocks can be washed with a cloth at the sink and left on a rack to dry
Environmentally Friendly Surface Cleaners
To keep toys germ free, you can spray with disinfectant, rinse the spray off and then wipe down. Leave to air dry on a drying rack.
Vinegar or Lemon Juice to Disinfect Toys
You can clean baby toys the natural way using a solution of vinegar or lemon juice. The easiest way to do this is to add the solution to a spray bottle, spray the toys and then wipe down.
This is better for plastic toys- be aware that stuffed amimals can absorb smells!
Other Ways to Clean Baby Toys
Use the Dishwasher
Be sure to check the packaging of the specific baby toy, however in general you can clean plastic toys and pure silicone toys in the dishwasher.
Add smaller plastic baby toys to a mesh laundry bag on the top rack to ensure they don’t fall through the racks. The washing machine can be great at cleaning bath toys too, but ensure that they are left to thoroughly air dry after to prevent the growth of mold.
How to clean baby toys in the washing machine
Stuffed animals and other plush toys can be cleaned in the washing machine, but be sure to use a gentle delicate cycle with a low spin to prevent damage.
If you add a few tennis balls to the dryer with your plush toys, this can help prevent the stuffing from clumping. You can also air dry soft toys if you would prefer to avoid the dryer.
Using Sterilising Fluid To Disinfect Baby Toys
Some parents prefer to use the same sterilising fluid that they use for babies bottles and pacifiers to clean baby toys. This can be handy if you only have a plastic toy or two that needs cleaning and can be done at the same time as washing bottles.
This method is handy as you know you can use these around food, pets and babies without causing harm.
Can I Use Wipes for Toys to Sanitise Plush and Fabric Toys?
You can use wipes to quickly wipe down the fabric of your child’s soft toys, but be aware that this won’t sanitise the inner stuffing.
Wipes are fine for spot cleaning or small stains however.
Are Wipes for Toys Affective for Cleaning Bath Toys?
Wipes can be used to clean baby bath toys, however if your child’s bath toys have lots of little creases, you might prefer to use a toothbrush.
If your baby’s bath toys have a hole to allow water squirting, and if aren’t against using bleach, it can be helpful to soak bath toys in a solution of diluted bleach. This is because these toys can gather water, not dry out properly and therefore grow mold.
How to clean wooden baby toys with Wipes
A soft cloth wipe may be the best option if you are wondering how to clean wooden toys. You will want to avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the finish of your little one’s toys.
You also don’t want to add too much water- simply dampen a wipe or cloth. To gently sanitise wooden toys, you can use a solution of vinegar and water, spraying a fine mist over the toys and then wiping down.
Cleaning Plastic Toys With Wipes
Wipes are perfect for cleaning down plastic toys- and it’s so simple!
Simply wipe down the toy with your lysol wipe- or a dampened soft cloth- and then leave to air dry. If you use dish soap to clean, or a wet wipe thats safe for baby toys, you can give the toy to your baby as soon as it is dry.
Are disinfectant wipes safe for babies?
Its preferable to use a natural cleaning solution to wipe down your baby’s toys.
If you prefer to use a disinfectant wipe, the safest option for your baby is to choose a reliable disinfectant wipe such as Lysol disinfecting wipes, then rinse with a damp cloth and dry before handing the toy to your baby.