How To Clean Baby Toys With Vinegar, Bleach, Clorox Wipes, Or Alcohol


There’s no doubt that your child’s toys are their most precious possessions. This means they endure a lot of handling, and before you know it, that beautiful new toy looks just about ready for the dumpster.

A common mistake that many parents make is to think that baby toys require little to no maintenance. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

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Aside from visible dirt, toys tend to harbor a lot of germs and even mold if you aren’t careful. How you should get rid of the dirt and grime differs depending on the type of toy you’ve got. 

Knowing how to clean baby toys using different methods is essential if you want to keep your baby healthy. A clean toy improves the welfare and happiness of your child.

Sure, baby toys aren’t high maintenance, but you definitely need to keep a regular cleaning routine. 

So how do you clean baby toys with vinegar? Can you use bleach? How safe are Clorox wipes? And is alcohol effective?  

In this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more. Covering everything you need to know about cleaning your baby’s toys.

To see the best cleaning products for your baby toys just click here. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Baby Toys? 

Toys in the toilet, toys on the floor, toys in the mouth; babies are known for dumping their toys anywhere they want.

The question of how often to clean toys comes up frequently, and there is no clear-cut answer other than toys should be cleaned when they are dirty or when more bacteria are going around.

The first thing you need to do is to set a cleaning schedule for the different toys. 

How often you need to do it depends on the kind of toy you want to clean. Factors that come into play, for example, include whether the toy comes into contact with water frequently or whether it has any electronics.

You also need to think about how much your baby plays with the toy.

When they get sick with the flu or some other illness, you’ll need to amp up your cleaning methods and frequency. In addition to a regular toy-cleaning schedule, hand-washing is also an excellent habit to form. 

Wash your and baby’s hands as often as you can with soap and water to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses.

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that will influence your cleaning schedule.  

Cleaning Plush Toys 

Those soft and squishy plush toys are often machine washable and easy to dry. So adding them to your weekly laundry regime will likely be a breeze if they are heavily loved (i.e., played with 24/7). 

If your baby doesn’t play with the toy as often, you can get away with cleaning it once every other week. For non-washable plush toys, you can freshen and spot clean when needed.

Cleaning Hard Plastic Toys

The majority of baby toys are made from hard plastics. 

Babies are consistently placing toys in their mouths and dropping them on the floor. So you need to pay particular attention to these toys and clean them every other day.

Cleaning Electronic Toys 

Electronic toys will do well with just surface cleaning. So a gentle sanitizing wipe down once a week should suffice. 

Increase the frequency when your child is sick.

Cleaning Bath Toys

Bath toys are especially tricky because they spend a lot of time in and around water. If water gets trapped inside, mold is likely to develop. 

Cleaning these types of baby toys will involve you making sure that you pour out as much water as you can to allow the toy to dry completely.

Remember, not all germs are harmful. Different kinds of bacteria are beneficial for your baby to be exposed to. These bacteria help to build their immune system.

How To Clean Baby Toys With Bleach

Bleach is suitable for many things, including cleaning baby toys. While there are some concerns about the safety of bleach on baby toys, diluted bleach is completely safe to use. 

A 1:10 solution of bleach and water should sufficiently disinfect and sanitize your baby’s toys. Once this dries out, it’s completely non-toxic and will not smell like bleach at all.  

Equipment you’ll need:

● Bleach

● Water

● Spray bottle

● Soft cloth

● A bucket

Step 1: Check whether there are any cleaning or disinfecting guidelines from the toy manufacturer.

Step 2:  Ensure that there is no organic matter such as dirt or snot on the toy. Wipe down any visible signs of dirt with a soft, damp cloth.

Step 2: Mix a 1:10 solution of water and bleach in a bucket and add it to a spray bottle.

Step 3:  Spray the solution on all non-absorbent toys and allow them to air dry before wiping them down with a soft, damp cloth.  

While cleaning baby toys is undoubtedly not something you’d want to add to your to-do list, it is crucial to keep your baby safe from germs. 

Always check whether the toy you want to clean will be affected by bleach. The last thing you need is to ruin a perfectly good toy. We suggest doing a spot test first and avoid using bleach on plush toys.  

How To Clean Baby Toys With Vinegar 

Vinegar is a great household detergent with many uses. It’s an effective grease cutter; it can remove limescale and even kill some germs. However, it’s not as powerful as other detergents, so cleaning the toys with hot soapy water might be better.

We should, however, make mention of the fact that vinegar is not technically a disinfectant. The vinegar sold in grocery stores is only about 5% concentrated, with the rest of the solution being water. This means you are likely to remove only 20% of germs on any surface you clean using vinegar.

On the other hand, if you want to avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach, vinegar is a perfect eco-friendly and chemical-free solution.

Equipment you’ll need:

● Distilled white vinegar

● Warm water

● A bucket

● Spray bottle

● A soft cloth

How to clean baby toys with vinegar:

Step 1: Ensure you clean the surface of the toy to remove all visible dirt.

Step 2: In a bucket, mix together distilled white vinegar and warm water. If you are cleaning a non-absorbent baby toy, then soak it in the mixture for 15 minutes. If you are trying to clean a wooden, plush, or electronic toy, then soak a soft cloth in the solution and spot clean or wipe down the toy.

Step 3: Use clean, warm water to rinse the toy and allow it to air dry.

How To Clean Baby Toys With Alcohol 

Using alcohol to clean baby toys can be quite a complex subject. There are different types of alcohol used for cleaning, and rubbing alcohol is one of them.

While rubbing alcohol is pretty effective as a cleaning agent, it might not be the safest option for cleaning baby toys. You see, this type of alcohol is toxic if it’s absorbed by the body through inhalation or ingestion.

And since you want to clean toys that will most likely end up in your baby’s mouth, it might not be a good idea. 

While the risk of toxicity is minor, there is still a chance that your child will swallow any residue. This is not a chance you should take.

If all you have is alcohol, then stick to something like vodka. Its composition is different from that of rubbing alcohol, and it’s safer for human consumption (although still not something that a baby should ingest a lot of)! 

Additionally, vodka evaporates quite rapidly, so there is very little likelihood of it leaving any residue that might endanger your child.

Equipment you’ll need:

● Alcohol

● Water

● Spray bottle

● Soft cloth

How to clean baby toys with alcohol

Step 1: Wipe down the toys with a clean damp cloth.

Step 2: Pour some alcohol into a spray bottle and spray generously along the surface of the toy. If you’re cleaning an electronic, plush, or wooden toy, then spray the alcohol on a cloth and gently wipe down the toy.

Step 3: Allow the toy to air dry so that the alcohol evaporates.

Step 4: Wipe down the toy with a clean damp cloth.  

How To Clean Baby Toys With Clorox Wipes

Sometimes you need an on-the-go solution, and Clorox wipes are a great option when you need an emergency clean. Clorox also offers a spray and a bottle of bleach concentrate that you can use at home.

So is using Clorox wipes safe for babies? Yes, it is. 

Clorox is a perfectly safe detergent to use. It kills 99% of germs while being gentle on sensitive baby skin. 

Although you’d need to be careful about using Clorox on plush toys which might get damaged by the bleaching agent.

Equipment you’ll need:

● Clorox concentrated bleach solution

● Water

● Spray bottle

● Soft cloth

● Bucket or bowl

How to clean baby toys using Clorox:

Step 1: Check whether there are any cleaning or disinfecting guidelines from the toy manufacturer.

Step 2:  Ensure that there is no organic matter such as dirt or snot on the toy. Wipe down any visible signs of dirt with a soft, damp cloth.

Step 2: Wipe down the toy with the Clorox wipe making sure to thoroughly clean every part of the toy. 

Step 3:  Allow the toys to air dry before wiping them down with a soft, damp cloth. Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue of the Clorox before you let it air dry again.

How To Clean Baby Toys In The Dishwasher  

Although it’s not the best method, tossing certain toys into the dishwasher can be a viable option. However, you have to exercise extreme caution because while the dishwasher is indeed convenient, there are some downsides.

For starters, you have to be careful about throwing in toys that won’t do well in the dishwasher. If you try to wash the wrong toys in it you might end up having to pick out melted pieces of plastics from your machine. 

Wooden toys also won’t fare well in the dishwasher due to the amount of water. So always check the manufacturer label on the toy. If it’s not specified, then you should stay clear of the dishwasher.  

What’s The Difference Between Cleaning And Sanitizing Baby Toys?  

There is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing. 

Cleaning involves removing any germs from the toy’s surface and washing them from the surface of the toy. You can easily clean a toy using a regular dishwashing detergent. 

On the other hand, sanitizing involves killing the germs using chemicals that prevent them from reproducing and spreading. 

You should have a schedule for both cleaning and sanitizing your baby toys frequently.

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