Can You Wash Lincoln Logs? (How To Wash Both Types)

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 10:58 pm

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Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 10:58 pm

Lincoln Logs are great building block toys that have been around for what seems like forever. In actuality these fantastic wooden logs have been a staple children’s toy in the United States for over 100 years, and it is still extremely popular to this day.

Parents who purchase these logs may want to clean them off once in a while (for obvious reasons) and of course then the question comes up as to whether or not they can be washed. 

While there are two different materials that make up Lincoln Logs (plastic or wood), depending on when you purchased your set, they can both be cleaned in relatively the same way. Since they are washable you never have to worry about your kids playing with them if they have messy hands or have spilled something on them. 

Of course, in many cases it’s easier to simply not get the Lincoln Logs dirty in the first place so not letting your kids play with them while eating or drinking is a good first step, however, when it comes to kids and toys they always seem to be able to find a way to get them dirty no matter what you do! 

Assuming you end up with dirty Lincoln Logs and want to clean then off then you will want to keep reading the rest of this article as I will go into detail about the best ways to clean them. 

Can You Wash Lincoln Logs?

You can definitely wash your Lincoln Logs as needed if they get food, dirt, or just germs on them. In fact, you should honestly wash them regularly in order to keep them clean and ready for play whenever your child wants to pick them up.

There are actually two different types of Lincoln Logs, and each one needs to be washed and taken care of in a different way.

Two Types of Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs have been a popular toy ever since they were first introduced way back in 1924 by John Lloyd Wright. The son of the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, John crafted these little logs out of pieces of wood with notches in them at either end.

For many years these toys were made out of redwood which is ironic being that the largest trees in the world were used to create these tiny little logs! Parents adored the sturdy and all-natural nature of these toys, and they grew steadily in popularity among the American people through the years.

In the 1970’s, however, the company that manufactured Lincoln Logs decided to release sets that were entirely made out of plastic. These sets proved less popular among parents and Lincoln Logs went back to being crafted out of real redwood again. 

Both of these materials you will be able to wash, though the techniques used will vary depending on which type of Lincoln Logs that you own. Plastic Lincoln Logs will need to be cleaned differently than wooden Lincoln Logs will be. 

How to Wash Wooden Lincoln Logs

For wooden Lincoln Logs you will want to use natural disinfectants for cleaning. In general, you will want to use a cleanser that is quite gentle so as not to damage the wooden toy.

This could come in the form of a 1-part vinegar and 10-parts water solution, which is very simple to make. Alternatively, you may choose to use an environmentally friendly brand of dish soap that is mild and mix this with a bit of warm water.

Another option is using an all-purpose cleaner, making sure that it is non-toxic, and then diluting it with water as this will work quite well also. Any of these options will serve to clean your Lincoln Logs effectively.

After choosing the solution that you would like to use to wash off your Lincoln Logs, simply take a sponge or cloth and wipe down the toys after spraying them with solution. After wiping down the toys allow them to dry in the open air or out in the sun.

Placing your Lincoln Logs out in the sun will not only speed up the drying process but will also help to kill even more germs while they dry.

How to Wash Plastic Lincoln Logs

For plastic Lincoln Logs you do not need to worry about getting them too wet, as the plastic should not suffer from any adverse effects after being left in water for some time. To clean off the plastic pieces simply use one of the same solutions previously mentioned and clean the logs off the same way.

Forgo leaving them out in the sun though, as the heat may damage the pieces. Instead, dry them in the open air inside of the house or in front of a fan if you want them to dry faster. 

You may also choose to soak your plastic pieces in a soap solution. After soaking, simply wipe down the pieces thoroughly and then allow them to dry.

Finally, one of the easiest ways to clean off your plastic Lincoln Log pieces is by using Lysol Disinfectant spray. This spray works wonders on these pieces as it kills 99.9% of germs, and all you need to do is wipe down the pieces after spraying using a cloth or paper towel.

What Not to Do When Washing Wooden Lincoln Logs

You never want to use any harsh chemicals or bleach to clean your wooden Lincoln Logs. These substances can serve to dry out the wood of the toy and reduce the integrity of the pieces, while also potentially fading them and ruining their appearance.

Another thing to take note of is that you do not ever want to soak your wooden Lincoln Logs in water or chemicals. This is because wood is porous and water can get inside of the small holes and cracks of the wood and slowly change the shape of the toy. If the shape of your Lincoln Logs becomes warped then they may not fit together anymore and will essentially become useless.

Aside from this, water that gets trapped within the Lincoln Logs becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. If your toy does not dry out properly then germs and other gross things will love to hang out inside of the logs.

If too much water gets inside of the toy, then the wood may swell and cause cracking or other forms of damage as well. This can adversely impact the appearance of the log as well as cause potential safety hazards for small children if splinters begin to come off.

For any substances you use to clean off your Lincoln Logs always make sure that they are non-toxic. Since children will be playing with the toys you do not want to have any substances left over that could potentially cause them harm.


Cleaning off Lincoln Logs is a simple and easy task that you can get done in almost no time at all. Whether you have plastic or wooden Lincoln Logs they can be washed off and ready to play with again in no time.

Just make sure to take proper safety precautions when washing off your Lincoln Logs. Do not soak wooden pieces and stay away from potentially toxic cleaning solutions and you should be fine. 

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 10:58 pm

Matthew R

Hi, My name is Matt and I am all about toys! When trying to find accurate information online about toys I was finding it difficult so I decided to make this site.

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