They hold it every minute and younger ones bite it, lick it, drop it on the floor, then put it back on their mouths.
Yes, toys. Plush, rubberized, plastic, wooden, they are all fair game on our kids’ mouths.
So what can we do? Personally, i wash the toys everyday. I use this homemade dishwashing liquid, boil the toys if they could withstand high temp, if not just submerge in really hot water, after washing, then air dry.
Anyway, here are some quick and easy ways to clean and disinfect toys:
1. For rubberized and plastic toys that can withstand boiling (like this) — Wash them first with a dedicated sponge and the usual dish soap. And then boil the toys for ten minutes. After that, I air dry, dry with a clean cloth, and inspect if there are holes or cracks where water may have gotten in before i give the toys back to the littles.
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2. For toys that cannot withstand boiling, but are washable (like this). I wash it as usual. Dunk them in very hot water for 30 seconds. Then air dry.
3. For toys that cannot be washed like battery operated musical instruments etc, encased in hard plastic (like this). You may want to make a water-vinegar-scented oil solution that you can put on an old spray bottle. Spray on the toys and leave the solution for about 10-15 minutes. Wipe with a clean cloth. Ratio is 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water, then 5-10 drops of your choice of scented oil. I have a small atomizer with this solution in my little baby bag for the toys that we bring along outside the house. Yes, just like your kids, my kids are notorious for dropping their toys on the ground!
4. For plush toys like dolls and teddies, and play gyms like this as well as cloth books. I just take a look at the washing instructions and wash accordingly. I also make sure they’ve been dried well in our washing machine, and then dried out in the sun to kill germs further. Remember, damp toys an be a breeding ground for molds so make sure they are dried properly. Line dry if needed using clothespins.
5. Wooden toys (like this). Can also be sprayed with the water-vinegar solution. Just make sure to wipe them down after the 10 minute wait.
6. Bath toys. These horde a lot of sickening potential because if it is not dried and cleaned properly, molds can grow on them. I earlier wrote about this on my blog post on hidden bathroom dangers (read here if you’ve missed it), and gosh, we moms should be extra vigilant. I reco now toys which float but do not have holes where water can seep in. Fairly easy to clean too. Anyway, to clean bath toys make sure that those which can be boiled be boiled and those which cant be washed in a warm soapy solution. Make sure to drain the water inside and do not leave them on bathroom floors or tubs.
As much as possible choose toys that are BPA free like this. I have come to realize that toys are indeed an investment, and the somewhat expensive toys we bought for Achi are still fine and being used by Shobe now. They do not need a lot of toys (it is clutter too), what they need are safe, high quality toys that will last all the throwing, tinkering, and biting!
Having a good rotation of toys would also help you a lot in making sure that the toys remain clean. Why? Because you can wash a batch now while they play with a clean batch. When the day is done, wash the batch they played with and give them the clean ones you washed and dried the day before.
Happy and healthy homemaking mommies!
Leaving you with this video guide in disinfecting toys:
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