Even with all the hullaballoo surrounding their safe use for kids, plastic toys are still the most common type of play objects you will come across in many homes.
Some of the most adorable toys you could buy for a child are made of plastic. They come in varieties, fitted to serve kids of different ages, from babies to toddlers and pre-teens in certain cases. From little ducklings that float on bathing lather in the bathtub to a walking bug, a colorful flying airplane to a floating warship.
Chance is, as a parent, your kid already has lots of toys made from plastic. Since we can’t get rid of plastic toys totally, for now, we can make them safer for our little ones by learning how to clean them properly.
Cleaning a plastic toy usually depends on some factors. Is the toy hundred-percent plastic? Or does it contain wood, metal or other materials? What kind of plastic? Does it come with electronic features? And does it have hard-to-access areas?
Answering these questions will allow you to find the perfect way to clean your kid’s plastic toys.
Why the need for regular cleaning of baby toys
Cleaning plastic toys in itself is needful to remove germs and unwanted stains that might have contacted the toy when the child plays around with it.
For example, anytime a child is infected with flu, whatever toy such children play with should be identified for thorough cleaning till after the recovery of the child from the ailment.
Cleaning of a toy is also of good use when you have observed that it has not been in use for a long period of time, spanning days or weeks, as it is likely to have seen an accumulation of dust and other dangerous particles, harboring bacteria, around it.
Toys that have been passed around the hands of babies or toddlers at school or during playtime have in most cases been tasted or chewed by them, leaving saliva on it. Such toys would need washing.
With those initial steps taken out of the way, here are some of the best ways to clean a plastic toy:
Check out in the manufacturer’s manual
Most times, the manufacturer will include cleaning guidelines in the user manual that came with the toy, especially for big toys like play kitchens, which are usually made up of several parts and materials. It pays to follow it, as you might just avoid making damaging mistakes while cleaning.
Create a regular cleaning time
By your judgment on the usage environment of the toy, you should set usage time frame, to help you determine the next cleaning dates. It could be weekly or monthly thing, once or twice a weekly, once or twice a month, just make a decision and stick with it. Please note that toys that your toddlers access daily should be cleaned every day.
Toys can surely spread germs around the home. Nothing is as bad as getting infected with cold, flu or some other dangerous infection through dirty plastic toys. So, make use of disinfectants when cleaning.
All toys that don’t absorb water (100% plastic) should be thoroughly washed in clean disinfected water, mop the water from the surface with clean wipes, which could be made of clothing material or wool.
Clean with damp clothing
Cleaning with a damp rag is recommended for some plastic toys containing moving metallic parts and batteries. It is best to remove batteries from electric powered toys before cleaning. The reason for this is to avoid a situation where rust will begin to form against the metals, batteries or the battery compartment that usually has metal objects.
Air or Sun-dry if necessary
Airing or sun-drying plastic toys may be needed, depending on the shape or design of the toy. Some toys may trap in some water in hard-to-reach corners. In such a situation, it is best to air dry or sundry such. You can easily do this by using a blower or just spread them outside.
Improvise with cleaning materials and tools
If you have a premium cleaning kit, like the Homitt Electric Spin Scrubber, it’s good. But instead of waiting till when you can have some cash for that, you can always improvise by turning everyday objects in the home to cleaning tools. Objects like toothbrush, toothpicks, etc can help you reach corners and crevices in the plastic toys’ structure. As earlier said, there will always be some internal parts that hands can never reach, to wash them out.
You can also wash plastic toys by loading them inside a laundry machine and run them through. This also depends on the sizes of the toys and whether they contain other materials. The bigger the washing machine, the more toys it can accommodate. This is especially useful if your kids have lots of toys.
Toys get the children busy and amused. And plastic toys take up the larger volume in most homes despite the controversies surrounding their safety for kids.
Parents need to ensure that their wards’ health is not endangered in any form by making sure the toys they regularly use don’t harbor germs and other disease-transmitting organisms. These can only be done through regular cleaning.
We have outlined some easy but effective ways in this post that parents can adopt to clean their children’s toys.