Right now, health is at the forefront of all of our minds. We all want to do what we can to keep our homes clean and our children as safe as possible, so Spares2You have asked me for the best tips on disinfecting children’s toys.

Cleaning children’s toys is not always a straight forward matter. There are so many toys, each with different types of materials from wood, to plush teddy bears, fabric toys, bath toys or toys with batteries which can’t be immersed into water… so how do we handle these, and how often do you need to clean your child’s toys in the first place?

Bath toys 

Bath toys are great fun, but if you’re not careful you might start to spot some mould building up in these toys – particularly the squeezy water squirter variety! One way to get around this issue before it even begins, is to seal holes in your bath toys shut using a hot glue gun. Some bath toys are also made specially with no holes nowadays, to help combat this common bath toy cleaning issue.

Regardless of the holes, bath toys are still an area which need extra care due to the possibilities of mould. You may want to check the bath toy storage caddies too, and regularly clean these out. After your baby or child has finished their bath, it’s best to take out all of the toys and dry them, squeezing out any water that has seeped inside any of the toys, before putting them away.

Wooden toys

Wooden toys last forever, and can be passed down from older siblings, or often picked up second hand and still in great condition – but how do you thoroughly clean wooden toys, especially if you have bought them second hand or passed them on down, and want to be extra careful?

Hot soapy water can do a great job of cleaning wooden toys – but dry them thoroughly afterwards. I would not recommend fully submerging wooden toys in water on a regular basis – as this can damage the wood. If you can it’s better to wet the wash cloth and use that to clean all part of the wooden toy. I also find anti bacterial wipes can do a great job at cleaning and freshening up wooden toys, particularly if you need to remove any sticky marks.

Electronic toys

This is another type of toy that you won’t want to submerge in water due to the electrical parts, and batteries. If you soak these toys, they won’t work any more and it can be dangerous if water gets into the batteries. You can use a similar method to the wooden toys, by wiping these down with a wet cloth, or antibacterial wipes. If you are giving them a really good clean, then it may be a good idea to remove the batteries first just to be on the safe side. Electronic baby toys may need cleaning more often than your older children’s electronics as baby will put them in their mouths, and handle with their sticky fingers. Sometimes grime can build up around the chunky buttons of light up baby toys if they are not regularly cleaned.

Plush toys

With plushes, if they are machine washable then it’s always worth giving them a quick spin in the machine now and then, for peace of mind. Even a gentle wash can help to keep them sanitised. Always read the care label on your child’s teddy before putting it in the machine – you don’t want to be responsible for any mishaps with their favourite snuggle friend! To help protect teddy in the wash, you can place him inside a pillow case and secure it with a loose knot. Check whether it can be gently tumble dried, or dry naturally outside in the sunshine.

Be aware that teddies with light up features or sound effects come under the electronics category so won’t be able to be machine washed.

Fabric toys

If you have fabric toys that can be not machine washed such as the teddies containing electronics that we just mentioned, or even items like baby fabric and textured books, these are best cleaned using a wet cloth to give them a wipe over as best as you can, or carefully hand wash a specific area if needed to remove a stain or mark. You can also clean some fabric toys and teddies using attachments from your vacuum cleaner to help remove dust and dirt!