With all the germs you can bring home, it’s imperative to keep your baby toys clean. Babies are continually picking up toys and other objects to put in their mouths and touching anything and everything that comes their way. In order to reduce your baby’s chance of getting sick (especially with flu season right around the corner), we wanted to take a moment to share our industry secrets on how to prevent catching illness by keeping your toys clean for the little ones.
1. Cleaning: This step is done with soap and warm water. One of the most effective ways to clean plastic toys (obviously, make sure all batteries are removed first!) is with hot water and soap. If you have a dishwasher, you can take care of a large quantity of smaller toys by using lingerie bags. You can pick these up at almost any home goods store like Wal-Mart or Target. You can also get these lingerie bags in almost any size (small/medium preferably). Once you have your lingerie bags ready, place all of the smaller baby toys inside, and then run the dishwasher for one cycle. If you do not have a dishwasher, however, you can simply fill up your sink with hot, soapy water. Next, find a clean sponge or cloth to wipe down the toys. For any plush or washable toys, throw them in the washing machine with regular detergent. Plan to dry the plush toys for two whole cycles. You’ll want to ensure the inside is dry and doesn’t become a breeding ground for germs. Both methods using soap and water should do the trick in killing germs and helping keep your baby healthy!
2. Disinfecting: A great way to disinfect your baby’s toys is by using a DIY home remedy of mainly white vinegar. The ingredients you will need for this at home disinfectant are as follows: white vinegar, tea tree oil and lemon oil. Get 1/2 a cup of white vinegar and 1/2 a cup of distilled water. Add a few drops of tea tree oil and lemon oil (these essential oils are used to fight bacterial and viral properties). Once you have a batch mixed together, pour this into a spray bottle and wipe down the toys you want to disinfect.
3. Sanitizing: In order to eliminate all germs, you will need to make a sanitizing solution — mix one quart of water with one tablespoon of bleach together. Then, moisten a paper towel with this mixture and wipe down all of the toys. Another alternative is to simply let them soak in the water + bleach solution in a bathtub or sink for about 10 minutes. Make sure all the toys are rinsed thoroughly afterward to ensure your baby is not in contact with any direct bleach.
Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing all go hand in hand when it comes to keeping your baby’s toys safe and germ free, so now you can rest easy knowing you did everything you can to maintain your baby’s health. Since these toys are often placed inside your baby’s mouth, we recommend you sanitize them at least once a week.
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