Mix 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water in a spray bottle and spray the wooden toys with the cleaning solution. Using a toothbrush, remove any remaining stains or grime. Finally, let the toys air-dry indoors or outdoors under direct sunlight.
Children have a natural need to put their toys in their mouths. Needless to say, this isn’t a hygienic practice since the toys go from the ground to their hands and then to their mouths.
And since they can’t really tell the difference between dirty and clean toys, you must ensure they’re playing with hygienic toys. In this article, we’ll teach you how to clean wooden toys, so let’s dive right in.
- Are Wooden Toys Hygienic?
- How to Clean Wooden Toys: Step-by-Step Guide
- Extra Cleaning Tips and Advice
- How Often Should You Clean Wooden Toys?
- How to Preserve Your Heirloom Wooden Toys?
- FAQs on How to Clean Wooden Toys
Are Wooden Toys Hygienic?
Parents prefer buying wooden toys for their young kids because they’re some of the most hygienic toys.
Wood is naturally antimicrobial because it’s porous, drawing moisture away from the surface and destroying the bacteria.
Plastic toys, on the other hand, make a great breeding ground for bacteria. Studies say that bacteria left on plastic toys will multiply overnight, while the same bacteria on wood will be gone by the morning.
Therefore, you can rest easy as they’re germ-free. However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be cleaned occasionally.
How to Clean Wooden Toys: Step-by-Step Guide
As we already mentioned, wood is a porous, safe, and durable material.
And although these properties make any wooden toy antimicrobial, they also make the cleaning process very different from cleaning plastic, metal, or tissue toys.
While plastic, metal, and tissue toys require cleaning with different special products and tools, wood doesn’t need cleaning with harsh chemicals.
All you need is a clean cloth, warm water, and mild products like white vinegar, mild soap solution, apple cider vinegar, or some other child-safe cleaning product.
Optional extras include a spray bottle and olive oil or mineral oil. Once you get the necessary products, follow the next cleaning steps.
Step 1: Prepare Your Cleaning Solution
If you opt for white vinegar, mix vinegar and water in a bowl or spray bottle in a 1:10 ratio.
Step 2: Clean the Wooden Toys Properly
You can either spray the wooden toys with the cleaning solution or use a clean cloth to wipe the mixture over the toys.
Using a scrubbing brush or toothbrush, remove any remaining stains or grime.
Step 3: Let the Wooden Toys Air-dry
Wipe the toys with a dry cloth to remove any remaining vinegar or soap residue and leave them to air-dry completely.
You can even leave them outside if it’s a hot day under direct sunlight. They will dry faster. The best part? The UV rays will destroy any remaining germs.
Extra Tips: Tackle Stains Immediately
Treat any stains with a mixture of vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and sandpaper.
If the wooden toys look faded, don’t worry; you can restore their original shine by gently wiping them with mineral or olive oil.
If you don’t have any of these oils at hand, use beeswax. It’s a child-safe option that will protect wooden toys from drying out and prevent scratches.
Extra Cleaning Tips and Advice
The following cleaning tips can help you take good care of wooden toys and ensure their cleanliness at all times.
Clean Wooden Toys Properly
Avoid soaking or immersing wooden toys in the water. Otherwise, they might swell and change shapes. They might even lose their colors.
You can easily clean wooden toys with a cloth and warm water or wipe them with a dry cloth for basic cleaning.
If they’re particularly dirty, use a mild soap and sponge to remove the dirt, then rinse under water.
Disinfect Wooden Toys Regularly
You can easily disinfect wooden toys every once in a while using white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Mix a small amount of vinegar and water in a small bowl, then, using a cloth, wipe the toys with it, and don’t forget to moisturize the toys using mineral or olive oil.
Furthermore, avoid using cleaning products and disinfectant wipes for wooden furniture. Otherwise, you might damage your child’s favorite toys.
Note that wooden toys can last for years if they’re properly maintained. So, although they’re antibacterial, disinfect them regularly, so you don’t have to stress about these toys ending up in your child’s mouth.
How Often Should You Clean Wooden Toys?
The best part about wooden toys is that they don’t require frequent cleaning, but the frequency of cleaning depends on certain factors.
For instance, if your baby has been sick or you see some type of residue on the wooden toys, make sure you clean them up properly.
If your child usually puts toys into their mouth, you might want to clean them more frequently. We also recommend cleaning your favorite teethers daily.
If you work at a daycare or childcare facility, follow their guidelines for toy sanitation.
How to Preserve Your Heirloom Wooden Toys?
You can preserve your heirloom wooden toys with proper and regular cleaning.
For instance, if you see any stains, clean them up right away with a stronger vinegar solution. Mix 1 part vinegar and 1 part water and apply the solution with a sponge.
If they persist, place the wooden toys in the sun.
The UV rays will not only act as bleachers but also kill germs. If nothing helps, use a fine sandpaper and lightly sand off the stubborn stains. Avoid sanding if they’re painted toys. Otherwise, you can ruin the colors or design.
If your wooden toys have been stored away for a while, make sure you bring their shine back by applying a natural oil.
You can even use beeswax as all-natural beeswax renews, moisturizes, nourishes, and protects the wood surface.
NOTE: If you plan on passing your heirloom wooden toys to your kids or grandkids, avoid using any toxic wood polish as it can harm kids if put in the mouth.
FAQs on How to Clean Wooden Toys
How Should You Clean Outdoor Wooden Toys?
Outdoor wooden toys tend to get much dirtier than indoor wooden toys, so they need extra care. You can clean them with a mild detergent or vinegar, a garden hose, and a good scrub brush.
How to Clean Melissa and Doug’s Wooden Toys?
You can clean Melissa and Doug’s wooden toys the same way you would clean any other wooden toys using white vinegar and water cleaning solution in a 1:10 ratio or mild soap and warm water cleaning solution.