When working with little kids doing early intervention, I need to clean my toys after using them with a child. There are a couple of techniques that I use to clean them, depending on how many toys were used that day, what type of toy it is, and the size of the toy.
Picture credit: signature photos | dollar photo club
For the small plastic toys with little parts such as Mr. Potato Head and shape sorters, I love to stick them in a lingerie bag (made for laundry) and place them on the top rack of the dishwasher. I will then run a load of just toys. I do this when I have used a lot of toys that day. I have a bin in my car of used toys, so if I use them with one child, then they go into the used toy bin to be washed when I get home.
If I have a small amount of toys that were used, and I don’t want to run a whole load in the dishwasher, then I put them in a bowl of disinfecting cleaning solution. As my cleaning solution, I either use water and bleach (although I have ruined a lot of shirts with bleach), or water and vinegar with some orange or lemon essential oil (or Germ Fighter) in it for the disinfecting properties. I let the toys soak for a while and then rinse them off with clean water. Then I lay them out on a towel on the counter to air dry.
When I have bigger items or things that can’t get soaked, I will wet a towel with one of the cleaning solutions and wipe down the toy. I have also used baby wipes with alcohol added to wipe toys down (make sure you label the wipes so no one uses them for anything else).
- equal parts water and vinegar
- a squirt of castile soap (or dish soap)
- 5-10 drops of orange or lemon essential oil ( or germ fighter)