How to Keep Toys Clean Under the Covid-19 Epidemic?

Toys are kids' close friends, they touch them, squeeze them, share them with friends, or even place them in mouths. But toys will inevitably be covered with numerous germs and bacteria, especially under the severe epidemic situation, kids may easily get infected through dirty and contaminated toys. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although children do not have a higher risk for covid-19 than adults, they may get infected through contaminated toys. To reduce the risk, it is really important to wash toys regularly to protect the sanitary safety of kids. But how to wash toys, especially toys with particular materials? And how often do we need to clean them? Next, we will provide some practical suggestions on the washing methods of different types of toys


How often do we need to clean toys?

The frequency of washing and sanitizing toys depends on the frequency kids play with them. If kids love their toys very much and play with their toys every day, it is better to wash them once a week. Other special situations that require immediate wash and disinfection are listed below.

  • Your child has playdates at home, and your child or their playmates have been sick.
  • Your child gets sick.
  • Get food, drinks, or other unknown substance on toys.
  • A toy falls to the ground.

Due to the situation of the coronavirus pandemic, it is much better to wash kid's toys and their belongings more frequently. Keep in mind that wash kids' hands before playing with toys.


How to Clean Toys of Different Materials?

Rubber or Plastic - Bath Toys, Plastic Toys 

clean plastic toys

Some parents may think that bath toys are soaked in water every day that need no extra washing, but bath toys can also be dirty, and they also need regular cleaning. Rubber bath toys are many like plastic toys, such as plastic blocks, plastic shape sorter pieces, even teethers, they share the same washing methods. Remember to clean and disinfect the toys storage box at the same time that you clean the toys. And do not soak to wash toys with built-in batteries packs.


Read the label of your toys carefully, if they are dishwasher safe, it is much easier and cleaner to wash them in a dishwasher. 

  • Put toys on the top rack of the dishwasher to avoid melting.
  • Use regular dishwasher detergent which has disinfectant.
  • Put larger toys between the tines of the rack and put smaller toy pieces into a washing bag to keep them from jostling around with the water spray.
  • Select the normal or sanitizing cycle and heated dry.
  • After the washing process is done, air or towel dry all toys thoroughly.

Manual Hand Washing

If you don't have a dishwasher, hand washing can also be helpful. 

  • Clean toys with hot soapy water. You can use a brush to clean some hard-to-reach areas.
  • Rinse toys under the running water.
  • Soak toys fully in an appropriate disinfectant for the required amount of time.
  • Use 10 ml (2 tsp) sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) as a solution, and mix it with 1 liter (4 cups) of water. This requires 2 minutes to react. Only mix bleach with water, do not mix with other disinfectants or cleaners.
  • Since the Covid-19 pandemic, you can use a mixture of 20 mL (4 tsp) of bleach with 1 liter (4 cups) of water to disinfect hard surfaces for 1 minute. It is significant to make a fresh new bleach solution each time you disinfect, or at least every day. 
  • Rinse toys with clean running water to remove the disinfectant solution.
  • Completely air-dry toys.
  • Record when you clean and disinfect toys.
  • Bath toys always have holes in their bottom, but it can be troublesome. The water trapped inside toys helps to nurture molds and bacteria. Please shake or squeeze out as much water as you can and allow them to thoroughly air dry after each use.
  • To prevent corrosion and damage, it is better to take the batteries out before cleaning toys with batteries. Wiping with clean sponges or clothes damped with diluted bleach solution is a wise way to avoid damaging the built-in battery packs. 


Fabric - Plush Toys, Baby Dolls, Cloth Books

clean stuffed toys

How to clean stuffed animal toys or cloth books properly? Carefully read the labels before washing them, for some baby dolls specifically state they cannot be washed. And do not wash toys with built-in batteries packs or other electronics.

Washing Machine

  • Hide plush dolls inside a pillowcase or washing bag before putting them into the water machine to protect them from distortion.
  • Select the gentle cycle, warm water, and a slow spin.
  • Roll the dolls in a thick, clean towel to help remove moisture.
  • Air dry the toys, or use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
  • Use a soft brush to fluff the fibers.
  • After washing, check for any loose eyes, seams, or other attachments to ensure the plush toys are still safe for your child.

Manual Hand Washing

Tossing plush toys into washing machines may cause distortion and transformation. If the plush toys cannot be washed, here are the ways to clean them.

  • Dip a cloth or sponge in a warm solution and go over the toy thoroughly.
  • Rinse with a clean cloth that you've dipped in clear water and wrung out well.
  • Air dry the toys, or use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
  • To eliminate bacteria, dust, and other allergens from plush toys without washing them, you can also go over them with a garment steamer.


Notice: Baking soda can absorb odor, grease, and dust. If the dolls are slightly dusty or soiled, put them in a resealable bag with baking soda or cornstarch, then shake them vigorously. Finally, remove the toys from bag and shake off the powders, you can get your toys without weird odor or grease.


Wood - Board Books, Wooden Blocks

clean wooden toys

Parents may be confused about how to wash wooden toys for they cannot be soaked or submerged in water to avoid mildewing. It is a wise choice to clean and disinfect them in a wiping way. 

 Manual Hand Wiping

  • Using alcohol-based surface wipes or spray to go over the toys thoroughly.
  • Keep the alcohol cleaning liquid on the toy's surface for at least 20 seconds to sanitize. 
  • Let the surfaces dry completely.


To avoid virus infection, some might hide their kids’ toys to reduce the risks. But trying to take away kids’ favorite things is never a wise choice. Toys provide happiness, imagination and comfort, which are what we need right now. Apart from giving them a safe and sanitary playing environment, we can also give them great toys gifts. Not knowing how to choose toys gifts for your kids? Read this blog to get some suggestive guides for buying gifts! 

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