Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cleaning Baby Toys

Baby toys are filthy.  Henry sucks his toys all day every day.  I don’t clean them as often as I should, but here are a few tips on how to keep baby’s toys germ-free – or relatively germ-free. 

Lovey:  Henry has a favorite stuffed animal that he sleeps with.  I send it through the washing machine on gentle cycle every other week.  Air dry.  I have 2 extras as it takes a while to air dry, and he never is awake for more than 4 hours.

Bath toys:  Do not buy the squirt bath toys.  They grow mold inside, and eventually you will be able to see the black mold through the brightly colored plastic.  Most parents use bleach diluted with water to clean bath toys.  If you’d rather use a safe non-toxic cleaning agent try baking soda or vinegar mixed with water.

Teething toys:  I run these through the dishwasher on the top rack regularly.  These are constantly in Henry’s mouth and then he chucks them on the floor when he’s done with them. 

I generally clean the toys once a month, but more often if we have a play date or if Henry has been sick. 

Apparently, the most popular and most effective way to clean plastic toys is to hand wash or use the dishwasher and then wipe down with a cleaning solution: 1 tablespoon of bleach mixed with 1 quart of water.  Just using the bleach mixture won’t guarantee cleansing, as bacteria can hide in grease and dirt. 

Honestly, I haven’t used the bleach mixture.  It doesn’t sit well with me, but it is the most commonly used and apparently the most effective.  I’m ok with germs floating around. 

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