Simple Tips for Cleaning and Disinfecting Baby Toys

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Babies explore their environment by touching and tasting-so you can bet that every single toy in her room has been chewed or drooled on at least once. And because things constantly end up in their mouths, babies can easily pick up germs and illness. Here are the best ways to clean baby toys and keep baby toys safe:


You can wash plastic toys with hot, soapy water or run them through the dishwasher if they are made completely of plastic (no fabric, batteries or buttons that might not be water-tight).

Cleaning baby toys


Toys made from natural wood will warp and become rough if dunked in water; instead, wipe them with a clean, lint-free cloth dipped in either a 50/50 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water or mild soapy water (think dish soap, hand soap, or a baby variety). Follow soapy cleansers with a towel dampened with plain water to remove residue (water and vinegar evaporate cleanly).


Stuffed animals, cloth books, tummy time blankets, and other knitted toys can be spot cleaned with a baby wipe or put in your washing machine.

Board Books and Rubber Toys

These can also be cleaned with a cloth moistened with that same 50/50 mixture mentioned above. Stand up books and separate the pages while they dry.

Bath Toys

No, these objects aren’t getting ‘clean’ each time your tot sits in the bubbles, so they do need attention more often than you think. Soak bath toys in a 50/50 mixture of hot water and distilled white vinegar every week.


Trucks, trains, and other metal playthings often have rubber wheels, so skip the dishwasher here because the heat may break down the material. Instead, sanitize them in a mixture of bleach and water.

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How often should you clean toys?

Don’t go crazy scrubbing your baby’s toys and other play equipment too frequently, but be sure to give them a good once-over when you notice they’re particularly gummed up with food or saliva.

You should also clean her toys thoroughly in the following instances:
• When your baby is recovering from an illness like diarrhea or a cold
• After a play date since other children have put your baby’s toys in their mouths
• If the toy hasn’t been played with in a while.