This article describes a few do-it-yourself cleaning tips you can use to help keep toys germ-free and ready for playtime.

Raising a toddler, baby or both in the house requires a lot of attention. And as if bottles, diapers and meals aren’t keeping you busy enough there are the toys that get left all over the house. It's not enough to just pick up the toys and put them away. Bacteria and mites love those toys just as much as your toddler likes to put them in his or her mouth. We recommend cleaning the toys monthly. That can still be tough, but if you follow the advice below, you'll at least have a plan to help you clean those toys in as little time as possible.

How to Clean Toys in the Washing Machine

The good news is that many plush toys can be washed using the washing machine. It's always best to check the labels for special instructions first though. Something as simple as using the wrong water temperature or dryer setting could ruin your child's favorite plush friend. For smaller toys made of hard plastic, place them inside a mesh bag or pillowcase to keep them from clunking around.

How to Clean Toys in the Dishwasher

Cleaning toys in the dishwasher is another option. The dishwasher detergent and the hot water will clean and disinfect the toys. Be careful of putting any toys in the dishwasher that have plastics or adhesives that may melt. If you don’t have a dishwasher, that's OK! You can wash the toys by hand in your sink with hot water and your normal dish detergent. Larger toys, toys with electronic components, and wooden toys will need to be dusted and disinfected individually.

How to Clean Toys with Bleach

This works only if you're cleaning toys and nothing else. If you're using the washing machine or dishwasher, add a half-cup of bleach to the cycle. If you are soaking your toys in the sink or a plastic bin, we recommend adding a half-cup of bleach per gallon of water. Let the toys soak for about five minutes, rinse very well and then let the toys air dry.

It's best keep a separate plastic bin that’s only used for collecting and disinfecting toys. Keep this bin out of reach of your kids as well.

How to Clean Toys with Vinegar

Vinegar a more simple and natural cleaning solution. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar to a spray bottle. Spray the dirty toys and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Wipe away any remaining vinegar-water solution. This helps to reduce the strong vinegar scent. This is only recommended for hard toys not for stuffed animals or other toys that are not water safe.

Cleaning toys is not a service that Spring Into Clean provides, but we can help you keep the rest of your home clean.

Spring Into Clean is a professional housekeeping service in Alameda, Emeryville, Oakland and Berkeley, CA. We specialize in the following cleaning services:

  • House cleaning, apartment cleaning, condo cleaning

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Go to for a description of our services or use our online booking form to get a free instant quote. We can also be reached via email at 7 days a week.


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