How to Disinfect Toddler Toys

How to Disinfect Toddler Toys
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As parents and caregivers of young children, you have a responsibility to them. Not only do you have to care for them and prevent them from accidents, but you also have the responsibility of looking after their health.

Looking after their health does not only mean that you have to ensure that they are fed. It also means that you have to protect them from germs.

Toys need to be disinfected regularly because children have a tendency to put all sorts of things in their mouths. Apart from touching, tasting is something they also do very well.

The thing is, as multiple persons come in contact with a toy, it falls on the ground, or even if the toy is not in use, just by being exposed to the elements, these toys attract germs. You should, therefore, know how to disinfect toddler toys.

Cleaning or Disinfecting

Cleaning is a word that often used with disinfecting, but they are not to be confused. Cleaning refers to the removal of germs whilst disinfecting means that your intention is to kill those germs permanently. Usually, you would clean the toy before you disinfect it.

When to Clean and Disinfect

Certain situations make it necessary for you to clean and disinfect your toddler’s toys. Whilst they should regularly be disinfected, especially if they put it in their mouth, there are instances where disinfecting a toy is mandatory.

If your child was ill, then you need to disinfect their toys. Also, if the toys seem dirty and dull, you should clean and disinfect them. Another reason why you would want to disinfect your child’s toys is if your toddler has a playdate.

Types of Toys

The type of toy and its material would dictate how you disinfect and clean each toy. For instance, it may be easier to clean solid, nonabsorbent toys than to clean toys that are made of fabric and absorbent materials. Also, you would want to exercise caution when disinfecting an electronic toy.

You also would not use bleach to disinfect a toy that is made out of wood. The material and type of toy would determine the method of disinfectant you use. Below, you would read further tips on how to disinfect toddler toys.

Bleach Solution

When disinfecting comes to mind, the first thing you probably would consider using is a bleach solution, right? There is nothing wrong with using bleach, but when disinfecting toys, it should never be used in its pure form.

It should be diluted. Bleach is poisonous, and toddlers might put their bleached toys in their mouths.

Before you disinfect with bleach, you should dilute it by making a solution. The only other liquid you should use with bleach is water. Some chemicals do not interact well with bleach, so for your safety, refrain from mixing bleach with anything but water.

Usually, an ideal solution would be one that has a ratio of one gallon of water to one tablespoon bleach. You can put some of this solution in a spray bottle and use with a cloth to wipe surfaces.


Stuffed toys should be washed regularly because they easily absorb dirt. Dirty, soiled toys are going to look fresh and smell clean if they are washed with a solution of soap and water.

You only have to put toys made of fabric into a washing machine. But keep in mind that you should not submerge battery operated or electronic toys into a washer.

The laundry process is actually one that follows the cleanse-disinfect process. The washer cleanses the toy, and the dryer does the disinfecting.

The heat of the dryer is able to kill germs and bacteria. For a more efficient clean and disinfect cycle, you should put toys in a pillowcase a spin on medium speed.

Boiling Water

Since the dawn of time, boiling water has been used as a disinfectant in the home and even for the treatment of wounds and other injuries that required sterilization. Just as baby bottles are placed in boiling water, toddler toys can be placed in the same water.

This works well for plastic toys and especially if you prefer not to use bleach. Place the toys in the boiling water for about five minutes before removing them. When that time is up, remove them from the water and let it dry.


Vinegar is probably the least expected method you would expect in an article about how to disinfect toddler toys. Well, vinegar is useful when you can’t use bleach. In cleaning a wooden toy, you should use a vinegar solution because a bleach solution would damage the wood.

A vinegar solution should be half water and half vinegar. To disinfect with vinegar, you can dip a cloth in the solution and wipe the toys.

Alternatively, you can put the solution in a bottle, spray it on the toys and then wipe the toys with a cloth. Vinegar is sometimes used with rubbing alcohol as well, but it is not necessary.


Dishwashers not only wash dishes but you can get your kids’ toys disinfected in there. Some persons use either vinegar or bleach in their dishwashers along with the soap.

If you chose to put non-fabric and non-electrical toys in the dishwasher, you are not only disinfecting your toys; you are also getting them cleaned. To make sure the toys don’t fall, you can put them in a wash bag or colander.

How to Disinfect Toddler Toys: Conclusion

There are so many things you can actually do to disinfect toddler toys but what was listed above were the most commonly used methods. Apart from the methods listed above, a quick and easy way to disinfect toys is to wipe them with rubbing alcohol.

Whilst some parents may think germs are good for a child in helping them to develop their immunity, that is not always the case, and dirty toys can cause a child to become really ill.

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