Or a natural disinfectant solution of white vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). Place either solution in a spray bottle for easy application. Don't dip, soak or put your beautiful wooden toys in the dishwasher. Toys can swell and deform, causing wood to crack and damage paint or finish.
For the daily care of wooden toys, you can use natural soap and water or a cleaning solution of water and vinegar. The natural soap cleans the surface of the toy without drying it out or leaving streaks. Prepare a solution by mixing just a few drops of soap in a small amount of warm water (a pint or a quart). Vinegar is also a good cleanser that acts as a mild disinfectant.
Take apple or white cider vinegar and warm water and prepare a solution by mixing 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. You can also add a drop of aromatic oil (lemon, for example) to any solution to give toys a light and pleasant scent and, most importantly, it is safe for your children. Depending on how dirty the toy is, you can apply the solution with a soft brush, a damp cloth, a spray bottle, or by dipping the toy into the solution. A combination of these approaches is the best option depending on how dirty the toy is.
From an early age, children develop the natural need to put everything in their mouths by trying their toys. Fortunately, keeping them clean is simple and you can even involve your children in the process, as there is no need for bleach or harsh chemicals. After that, I will offer details on alternative methods and some things to avoid when cleaning wooden blocks and toys. If many children play with the same toy or wooden baby toys that accumulate a lot of saliva, I would recommend disinfecting them weekly.
Because wood is antimicrobial by nature, harmful bacteria and viruses do not accumulate in it in the same way as in plastic toys. Spray the toys with the cleaner of your choice, wipe them gently with a sponge or cloth and a little warm water, and then allow the toys to air dry. Here is a detailed resource for mixing a vinegar cleaning solution for the first time so that you get the perfect vinegar/water ratio. If your toy is painted, be careful not to rub it too vigorously when using a brush or cloth in the cleaning process, as it may damage the paint.
In addition, regular maintenance can help your wooden toys last a lifetime, something your child may appreciate when they grow up. However, wood will not be as affected by germs as plastic toys, due to its natural antibacterial quality. Finally, to avoid any infection, never use a wooden furniture cleaning product or disinfecting wipes. Melanie Garcia is co-owner of Oranges & Lemons, a small family cleaning company based in downtown Los Angeles, California (DTLA) that has been operating for more than 40 years.
On particularly dirty occasions, if the toy falls into the mud or spaghetti sauce, it is a good idea to wash it the same day. Thanks to their natural antimicrobial properties, wooden toys are easy to keep clean without the use of harsh chemicals.