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Thorough Disinfection of Childrens Toys

March 4, 2024

Thorough Disinfection of Childrens Toys

As a parent, keeping my children’s toys clean is a top priority. Toys can harbor bacteria, viruses, and other germs that can make kids sick. A thorough disinfection routine is essential for safe play. In this article, I will provide an in-depth guide on how to thoroughly disinfect children’s toys.

Why Disinfect Toys?

Toys can collect germs from multiple sources:

  • Saliva and mucus from a child’s mouth and nose
  • Fecal matter if toys are mouthed or brought into the bathroom
  • Dirt and germs from outside play
  • Germs from being shared with other children or handled by adults

When kids put these toys in their mouths, the germs can be ingested. This exposes them to illnesses like:

  • Common colds
  • Flu
  • Pinkeye
  • Diarrhea
  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis

Regular disinfection kills these germs and viruses, preventing sickness.

How Often Should You Disinfect Toys?

The frequency depends on the toy type and usage:

  • Plastic toys – Disinfect 1-2 times per week.
  • Plush stuffed animals – Disinfect 1-2 times per month.
  • Wooden toys – Disinfect 1-2 times per month.
  • Electronic toys – Disinfect every 1-2 months.
  • Bath toys – Disinfect 1-2 times per week.
  • Toys mouthed by infants – Disinfect after each use.

Toys that are often mouthed or dropped on the floor need more frequent disinfection. Also disinfect anytime a child is sick to prevent spreading illness.

Disinfection Methods

There are several effective methods and products for disinfecting toys:

1. Dishwasher

The hot water and soap in a dishwasher can sanitize many plastic, wooden, and metal toys. Place toys in the top rack and run a normal cycle. Allow to fully air dry.

2. Washing Machine

The washer can disinfect plush stuffed toys. Use hot water and add bleach or a disinfectant designed for the washing machine. Air or tumble dry.

3. Bleach Solution

Make a bleach solution by mixing:

  • 1 tablespoon bleach per 1 gallon of water

Soak toys for 5 minutes, rinse with clean water, and air dry.

4. Disinfectant Wipes

Wipes containing sodium hypochlorite effectively kill germs and viruses. Carefully wipe each toy surface.

5. Disinfectant Sprays

Spray toys thoroughly with disinfectants containing ethyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Allow to air dry.

6. Natural Options

Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, and essential oils can also be used to make natural disinfectants.

Cleaning Steps

Follow these steps for manual cleaning:

  1. Wash hands thoroughly before handling toys.
  2. Remove any dirt, sand, or debris from toys.
  3. Scrub toys with soapy water using a clean cloth or scrub brush.
  4. Rinse toys under running water.
  5. Disinfect using preferred method. Let air dry completely.
  6. Store in a clean container or area when fully dry.

Safety Tips

  • Always follow product instructions carefully.
  • Keep chemicals out of children’s reach.
  • Rinse thoroughly after soaking.
  • Check for damage before reusing toys.
  • Throw away toys that cannot be thoroughly cleaned.

Thorough, regular disinfection keeps my kids healthy and safe. Taking these steps provides peace of mind that their toys are free of harmful germs and viruses.

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