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How to Clean and Disinfect Children’s Toys

Updated: Jul 31



Children’s toys are subject to serious wear and tear! From frequent exposure to sticky hands, to being taste tested by your little ones, toys can acquire a microbiome of their own. That’s why cleaning and disinfecting toys should be an essential part of your cleaning routine. 


How often? 

How often you should clean toys depends on how often you child plays with them. Some toys may sit in the bottom of a toy box never getting touched, while favorite toys may not leave your child’s grasp all day. The frequency may also change if your child has recently been ill. Long lasting surface protectants such as Everest Microbial Defense’s EV360™ can reduce the frequency of disinfecting. Here are some general guidelines from the Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab: 


  • Hard plastic and bath toys: cleaned and sanitized weekly

  • Plush toys: launder them once a week (especially if children sleep with them), every other week, or as needed

  • Electronic toys: only safe for surface cleaning and should be cleaned weekly

  • Baby toys: every one to two days as they are often put in mouths and dropped


Cleaning Plastic Toys 

For dishwasher safe toys, simply place the toy in the top rack of your dishwasher and run it on the sanitize setting. For plastic toys that are not dishwasher safe, you can clean them in your kitchen sink with warm water and your favorite, effective cleaning product. Rinse them with just water after and then let air dry or dry off with a dish towel. You can follow up with applying a long lasting protectant such as EV360™ that continues to guard against damaging microbes for up to 90 days.


Cleaning Plush Toys Always check the tag on the toy first for the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Make sure and check to see if the toy has a battery pack and remove it. Most plush toys such as stuffed animals can be put directly into the laundry machine on the gentle cycle in warm water. Dry on low heat in the dryer or air dry. If you are concerned about mold or mildew on your child’s toy, add Laundry Shield™ Fabric Softener, a fragrance-free fabric softener that leaves your laundry soft and fresh and protects your laundry from the odors caused by bacteria, mold and mildew. 


Cleaning Electric Toys 

Electric toys usually require surface cleaning only. Start by turning the toy off and removing any batteries or power sources. Add your favorite, effective cleaning products to warm water. Dip a clean wash cloth into the solution, wring it out well and wipe down the toy making multiple passes over sticky areas until clean. Then rinse with a well wrung cloth dipped into warm water and let air dry or dry off with a dish towel. To extend your efforts, follow up with a long lasting protectant such as EV360™. 


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