The Expert's Guide to Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Child's Toys

As a pediatrician, I am often asked by parents about the best way to clean and disinfect their child's toys. With children constantly playing and putting toys in their mouths, it is important to keep them clean and free of harmful germs. But with so many different types of toys, it can be overwhelming to know the best way to clean each one. In this article, I will share my expert tips on how to effectively clean and disinfect your child's toys, including whether or not you can put plastic toys in the dishwasher.

How Often Should You Clean Your Child's Toys?

It is recommended that favorite toys be washed weekly, while other toys may benefit from monthly cleaning.

Although this sounds like a lot of work, plastic toys can be safely washed in the dishwasher, allowing for easy and effective cleaning. Plastic toys are the easiest to clean, as they are not easily damaged. The most effective way to clean them is to put them in the dishwasher. Secure larger toys between the spikes and place smaller toy pieces in a mesh bag to prevent them from being thrown away. The best settings are the normal or disinfection cycle and heated drying, and be sure to hand or air dry toys that are still damp when you're done.

Even if it's made for your dishes, a dishwasher can disinfect a lot of other things, including toys. The dishwasher is perfect for plastic toys, such as toys and bathroom shapes, although smaller items should be kept in a mesh bag so they don't get mixed up. Just be sure to avoid anything that has batteries, fabric, wood, metal, electrical components, and possibly buttons. Larger toys may also not be suitable for the dishwasher. I use mesh fruit and vegetable bags for all the smaller toys, that way you can put them anywhere in the dishwasher.

Plastic electronic toys should be handled with care to ensure that they do not affect their operation after cleaning.

How to Clean Wooden Toys

To clean your child's wooden toys, all you'll need is a microfiber cloth to remove dirt and dust. Keeping your children's toys clean is good, but there's a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. So leaving toys outside on a sunny day or storing them in a room that gets lots of sunlight for a few hours can do wonders. However, since children will inevitably be exposed to harmful germs, there are times when it is necessary to know how to disinfect toys.

The Importance of Separating Toys Before Disinfecting

The first thing you'll want to do before you start disinfecting your child's toys is to separate them.

And since disinfection doesn't actually clean them, you should always make sure to thoroughly clean your toys of any dirt and dirt before disinfecting them. Place the machine-washable plush toys in a pillowcase to protect their padding and tie it to make sure they don't come off. While you can't limit the germs they come into contact with outside, you can reduce those found on your children's toys.

How to Clean Different Types of Toys

When it comes to cleaning different types of toys, there are a few things to keep in mind. For plush toys, you can machine dry some in the low-temperature drying cycle after washing them by hand.

Just be sure to check the label first. If the toy has a battery compartment, remember to remove the batteries before cleaning it. The safest way to clean silicone toys is to use warm water and soap to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Then, you can wipe the toys with a cloth dipped in the solution, or you can spray the solution onto the toys with a spray bottle. For plastic toys, as mentioned earlier, the dishwasher is a great option for cleaning and disinfecting.

Just be sure to avoid any toys with batteries or electrical components.

How Often Should You Disinfect Toys?

In general, Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, clinical professor at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, recommends cleaning toys regularly at the end of each month. However, if your child has been sick or if there has been an illness going around in your household, it is important to disinfect their toys more frequently. This will help prevent the spread of germs and keep your child healthy.


Keeping your child's toys clean and free of harmful germs is an important part of maintaining their health. By following these expert tips, you can effectively clean and disinfect your child's toys without any hassle.

Remember to clean plush toys regularly and disinfect them when necessary. And for plastic toys, don't be afraid to use the dishwasher for easy and effective cleaning. With these tips in mind, you can ensure that your child's playtime is both fun and safe.

Myron Burglin
Myron Burglin

Extreme bacon enthusiast. Unapologetic twitter enthusiast. Avid web scholar. General music geek. Hipster-friendly social media advocate. Freelance twitter trailblazer.

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