Its the worst of times for a parent when their kids are sick! But one of the few things you must do after they have fully cured is to disinfect all their toys. When a child gets sick they like to hold onto their favorite toy as it gives them comfort. But with them being sick it is highly likely that viruses and bacterias have got onto their toy! On top of that these microorganisms can stay there for over 48 hours which is no good, so how to disinfect baby toys after illness?
First, let’s look at how is cleaning different from disinfecting?
When you clean something you just remove the harmful gems it had on it whereas on the other hand disinfecting kills all the gems. So for that reason apart from cleaning disinfecting the toys every so often is very important to kill off all the harmful germs and bacteria.
Various methods can be used to disinfect the toy, few of which are:
- Disinfecting Wipes
- Washing Machine
- Bleach Solution
Wipes are widely available online and easy to get hold off, you can get yours from Amazon here. Many popular brands like Clorox and Lysol manufacture high-quality wipes. I would personally recommend Clorox wipes as they are said to be better and are more widely used by many parents to clean their baby’s toys. The process involved in cleaning toys using this method is not difficult at all! All you need to do is make sure to get any solid dirt or dust off the toy and then clean the toy using multiple wipes until the surface stays visibly wet for 5 mins.
Wipes like the Clorox ones leave behind a pleasant adore when used which I really like. Another reason why I prefer Clorox is that it does not contain any Chlorine based disinfectant which means it will not damage the surface it is used on. It is always a good idea to order bigger packs as you run out of wipes very quickly when cleaning multiple toys.
It is not recommended that you disinfect toys after every use as some exposure to bacteria is good for kids to improve their immune system. Also, do check if your kid is allergic to any disinfecting wipes although the chances are very less it is always a good idea to check for it.
One thing I recommend before using this method is to check the toy label (if it is still attached) and see if it is safe to wash the toy in a washing machine. This way of cleaning is most suited for plush or stuffed toys. Simply dress the toy with some baking soda before putting it in the machine and also add a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle.
Don’t use the dryer to dry these toys its best to sit them in the open air or if you are in a hurry you can use a hairdryer. Avoid cleaning wool toys this way as it can damage the toy! Also, make sure that the toy is absolutely dry and is not wet at all or else you can risk development of mildew which is a form of algae.
For toys that cant go in the washing machine like the ones which have batteries, it is best to hand wash them. Remove all the electronic parts from the toy that you can like the batties and the circuit if possible. Then spot clean the toy using a toothbrush using a solution of vinegar and water in the ratio 1:10 respectively. Again it is important to dry the toy fully before installing the electronics back or giving the toy back to the child for playing.
Bleach is my least recommended way from the list. Although dilute bleach can be a safe, cheap and easy way of disinfecting baby toys. First mix one tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water thoroughly. Next, soak the toy in the liquid solution for about an hour and then let it air dry. A hairdryer can be used to speed up the process of drying.
Some bleaches can erode the surfaces of the toys when used so make sure you do your research well before using the product. Bleach can also potentially discolor many surfaces especially surfaces of a stuffed toy thus keep bleach as your last resort when choosing what to clean with. If you are curious about what you can use to clean baby toys check out my other article on that here.
Going through this hassle all the times may not be convenient but considering the bad things that can happen, I will recommend to at least clean the toys once a week. Proper disinfection tho can be limited to ones per month or when the baby is sick. Cleaning is a vital part of giving your child a healthy environment to grow in. Even small unclean parts can lead to big problems in the future. I hope this article helped you answer your question – how to disinfect baby toys after illness?
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