Home Current Sweepstakes Keeping Your Toys Germ-Free When Your Kids Are Not

Keeping Your Toys Germ-Free When Your Kids Are Not

Am I the only one who thinks kids are a conundrum? We’re always encouraging our children to share. Share toys, share space, share mommy time. At times it goes well, other times it’s difficult. But the minute they get a cold and I only want to keep them in a bubble – they decide to share freely.

Snotty noses are wiped on the back of hands and toys are passed between them. It also seems about this time that they want to TOUCH everything. With two boys close in age we have many toys that they like to share. One of their favorites is the Step 2 Tool Set from Home Depot. Thinking about all of the germs they pass while playing is enough to make me start to feel a cold coming on. With four people living in one househould it’s easy for the cold or flu to get passed around repeatedly so I’m slightly neurotic about disinfecting. I took the Scoth-Brite Challenge and purchased the Home Depot Tool set from Toys R Us with a gift card provided by 3M. I cleaned it daily because that is one of the toys my kids L-O-V-E and play with the most. It was so easy to keep it clean. Just wipe up and done. It even cleaned up spilled chocolate milk.

The 3M Scotch-Brite™ Botanical Disinfecting Wipes really came in handy this season. They disinfect 99.9% of pesky household germs (including the dreaded cold and flu viruses), which means the kids can share freely. The wipes are also really handy for cleaning up messes. I think there its a rule of thumb that if I declare “food is only eaten at the table” that I find smushed raisins (at least I hope they’re raisins), cracker crumbs and even the occasional juice spill in the toy room. Do you know how hard it is to get sticky juice out of all the nooks in a toy? I found out after one of the boys spilled juice all over their Step 2 Tool Set. Thankfully I was able to just wipe it down with the Botanical Disinfecting Wipes.

Did you know most disinfecting wipes require rinsing after wiping? Not so with  these. The handy “no-rinse” feature cuts cleaning time and is a safe way to clean toys and surfaces alike. It feels good that I don’t have to worry about a toy inevitably ending up in someones mouth (because you know it will.)

One of my readers will win a $100 Toys “R” Us gift card and samples of 3M Scotch-Brite™ Botanical Disinfecting Wipes, just comment on the blog telling me a toy cleaning tip that you have.

*Kills over 99.9% of household germs: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, Methicillin Resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Enterobacter aerogenes, Influenza A virus, Rhinovirus type 37, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Type 1. Sanitizes hard non-porous non-food contact surfaces of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter aerogenes in the presence of light or moderate soil load with a 30-second contact time.


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  2. I clean my kids toys at least 2 times a month in a bath of watered down bleach!! I usually use my bathtub because there are so many toys!!

  3. I make sure to have wipes readily available when the kiddos are over. When they leave I clean them off and put them away for next time/

  4. One tip I can give about washing stuffed animals is to put them in a pillow case and then just put them in the washer.

  5. We buy those large Sterilite bins and organize toys by groups into them. (i.e. all Hotwheels cars in one bin, all Geotrax trains in another bin, track pieces in another bin, etc.).

  6. At the end of the day, I always wipe down the surfaces of most of my sons toys. Especially if hes been snacking on anything sticky. Also, washing toys in the sink with warm water and a few tablespoons of bleach. Thank you for the chance to win!

    Shannon M

  7. My toy cleaning tip is to clean everything at least once a week. I like to soak everything in a bleach/water bath.

  8. i like to clean the toys about once a week, i use wipes and wipe them down unless they need a more thorough cleaning.

  9. My kids have lots of stuffed animals that go everywhere with them. I put them in a pillowcase, tie the case, and wash on gentle with antibacterial detergent.

  10. For bath toys I stick them in a bucket with filled with hot water and bleach. I also make sure that if they are the kind that squeeze out water to squeeze out bleachy water a bunch of times to help keep it from getting moldy/germy inside where where the water stores.

  11. Wash all stuffies in the washer, and wash all non electronic toys in the tub or a bucket using either detergent or antibacterial dish soap.

  12. I use the wipes a lot for small messes with toys and I will run the toys that can in the dishwasher once a month

  13. i usually just use soap and water but if it cant go in water i use disinfecting wipes because they dont get the toy too wet

  14. Keep disinfecting wipes handy. Help remove germs from your kid’s toys at least twice a month and when they are sick.

  15. I put them in the kitchen sink with hot water and a disinfecting cleaner and let them soak.
    Then air dry them by the sunny window.

  16. My toy cleaning tip is to soak toys in lukewarm water with soap and then scrub with a toothbrush to get clean.

  17. nothing too serious, just wipe them down or if washable either spot clean or throw in the washing machine.

  18. every other day after dinner the kids and I do ‘rag races’. I give everyone a wipe & an area to work on. We ‘race’ to finish our areas first then move on to the next.

  19. Before putting toys back in storage box, I take a damp cloth soaked in 3/4c warm water, 1/4 c disinfectant such as clorox or one of the clorox wipes and wipe the toys down.

  20. i dont have kids but i have dogs so i have to wash there toys. i have some pet toy cleaner and i also use hydrogen perixode to disinfect them.

  21. Wash the stuffed animals in pillow cases every week to keep them clean…Wipe off the toys that went into the store with the child with a wipe before handing it back to them in the car…

  22. Oh were talking about cleaning with disinfectant wiped my bad lol….well in that case I use the whips for cleaning all the time love them there very convient

  23. My toy washing tip is to throw all the toys that are water safe into the washer n run them threw a load of water n antibacterial cleaner works great especially bath toy that get the soap and water grim all stuck to them

  24. My toy washing tip is to throw all the toys that are water safe into the washer n run them threw a load of water n antibacterial cleaner works great eespi

  25. When I really need to get into crevices, I wash in warm water with a little bit of dawn and a capful of bleach.

  26. I picked up the habit of bleach/water solution after working in our church nursery 20 years ago. It works great for the young ones always putting toys in their mouths! Just be sure to rinse well!

  27. I have always used a combination of bleach and water to clean my childrens toys.
    Wash thoroughly and rinse well.


  28. When my children were younger I was more anal and cleaned their toys at least once a month or more; depending on if I saw them going into their mouths or they were dirty. I’d throw some liquid soap in the bath tub with hot water and let them sock all day. Now a days with the kids being older I do not do this as much, but I tend to use lysol disinfectant spray on their toys. Quicker and easier, but not always getting all those nasty germs out. So try to give all plastic and dirty toys a cleaning in the bath when I can.

  29. For toys that can be submersed: Fill a bathtub and add in 1/4 c. of bleach and soak toys for 30 minutes to kill any germs.

  30. Put all solid toys in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle. Great way to disinfect a lot at one time with minimal effort!


  31. i wash them in the sink with some bleach water! I have to admit I do not keep toys that can’t be washed this way.
    Same with “soft plush or stuffed” if they do not make it thru a wash and dryer cycle, in the garbage they go.

  32. For plastic toys I use a bucket with 1 gallon of water and 2 tbsp. of bleach. I let them soak for about 30 minutes and then rinse. I let them air dry before letting the kids play with them again.

  33. We still use baby wipes for the toys, even though our youngest is 5 we still buy them for little things like sticky toys and minor clean ups.

  34. Hot soapy water and a little bleach, bleach kills everything, then I let them sit in real hot water to take traces of bleach off.

  35. At least once a year I put stuffed animals in a plastic bag with one end of my vacuum cleaner then I create as airtight of a seal as I can and turn the vacuum on until the bag and animals start to flatten. It sucks out all of the dust that has settled into the stuffing.

  36. In between a major cleaning of the toys (with hot, soapy water and a touch of bleach) I wipe them down with vinegar and water.

  37. I wash and dry soft toys that can’t be hurt by water. I also wash hard plastic toys on the top shelf of the dishwasher. I use Lysol wipes on the larger toys.

  38. I wash stuffed toys in mesh bags in my washer & then air dry at least every other week during cold & flu season.

  39. Top rack of the dishwasher for plastic toys that can go in there and surface wipe with vinegar/water mixture for the rest.

  40. I like to place plush toys in a laundry bag and wash in hot water and detergent. On hard toys I use a bleach water solution and use toothbrushes and qtips for small crevices. On bright sunny days I like to put a sheet on the ground and place the toys outside after being cleaned for hem to dry in the fresh air and sunlight.

  41. Lysol disinfecting wipes on items that cannot be washed. Others that are washable I wash either in the sink or the dishwasher.

  42. Keep about half the toys you have out each day, the other half (washable) soaking in 1 to 10 bleach/water solution in a large tub IN the tub. Keep a screen dryer in your tub to dry completely…you have to rinse and dry well. No bleach around the kids and none on clothes or carpet.
    Trade out the toys every few days and wash obviously bacteria laden toys like teethers or small toys you know your kids are chewing on when you do dishes. wipe the bigger toys with wipes at END of day when kids are sleeping .

  43. My toy cleaning tip is Magic Eraser… for when black permanent marker just so happen to draw itself all over your computer screen/desk 🙂

  44. I use the steamer to clean and sanitize
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway

    pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

  45. I like clean up toys in the dishwasher and I am not sure if it’s on the market anymore but Clorox hard surface cleaner was very good too.

  46. all the plastic stuff goes in the tub once in awhile with a tiny amount of bleach and alot of hot water. the rest gets wiped down with disinfecting wipes as needed

  47. Especially before my daughter was born, when we’d buy used toys, I’d check the label if they were machine washable or see that I could wipe all the surfaces.
    The wiping I’d do with some disinfecting wipes.

  48. fill the bathtub with hot water & a little bleach toss in toys – swish, soak, drain – rinse with shower – let drain – done

  49. ugh – sometimes you just have to throw them in some bleach and start all over again – no more sticky, no more icky 🙂

  50. I actually put mostly everything that isn’t metal in the dishwasher and I use wipes to clean off things in between. I like to use alcohol for metal and I like the alcohol wipes or windex!

  51. I have my son organize his toys in small baskets…makes it easy to grab a basket of toys and wash them in the sink after he has gone to bed.

  52. We use soap and water for most things. The really dirty things we use one part bleach to 4 parts water and let it soak, then use soap and water.

  53. I use the Clorox Wipes on everything daily ! As well as washing everything that is machine washable (I have 4 month old twins so a lot of the stuff – like bouncers etc can come right off and thrown in the wash

  54. Depends on what I’m cleaning of course, but in general a soaking in warm soapy water is as fundamental as it gets.

  55. Dishwasher is great for cleaning plastic toys, also a mixture of bleach and water…make sure to rinse well.

  56. I boil what I can, Lysol what I can and I use my steamer on everything that’s fluffy. Toys get kept in rubbermaids and swapped out so they don’t sit and collect dust.

  57. The easiest way to clean bathtub toys is to toss them in with the towels, and let the towels do the scrubbing while they roll around in the washing machine. They come out clean and smelling great.

  58. My tip is to fill the tub with a water and bleach or even vinegar solution and soak all non-electronic toys. This works great for plastic blocks.

    • during cold season I used to soak all the plastic,non fabric toys in a strong bleach solution then air dry

  59. I usually fill up the kitchen sink with bleach and water let them sit then wash them down with soap and water and dry.

  60. I like to put plastic toys in a bath of hot water and a little bleach then rinse in soapy water and then hot water to get ride of germs and dirt.

  61. I put the water safe toys into a meshllaundry bag and soak em in some soapy bleach mixture. Might not be for everyone but my kiddos are rarely sick. 🙂 thanks for the giveaway.

  62. I don’t really clean them unless something spills on them – my kids hardly ever get sick. I think people over disinfect things these days

  63. I clean toys that cannot be laundered with vinegar and water on a regular basis and after an illness, I use bleach and water.

  64. first wash of some items goes in the dishwasher, for a quick clean up clorox works great! Scotch Brite pads are the best!

  65. I like to use the pacifier dishwasher baskets and silverware basket to wash other toys. I also put toys in the general area of the dishwasher. You wouldn’t believe some of the toys I’ve sanitized thsi way, it’s awesome!

  66. Grab an armload, wash with soap and water in the sink or tub, put them away and get out some new ones to play with for a few days. Repeat.

  67. Clean regularly, but not so often that your time is consumed. If there’s a virus spreading around daycare or school, clean toys aren’t going to stop it. Using bleach is a good fall/spring cleaning project, but be careful if using it in winter …the bleach residue and vapors can also cause sickness and nausea.

  68. my toy cleaning tip is to keep a basket for those toys that have been in the mouth, sneezed on etc and do them daily.

  69. Every few weeks I would take the toys that are made of plastic and soak them in a mild bleach solution then rinse them off with the shower wand. Toys that couldn’t be soaked I would wipe down and rinse off. This is especially important after a playdate when one of the other children may not be feeling well.
    I wipe the surface areas of the play kitchen and table & chairs at the end of the day. Play dishes or like items are often washed with the days dishes at the end of the day.

  70. Depending on the toy, some can go in the dishwasher or washing machine. Thanks for the chance to win!
    mrsmchappell at gmail dot com

  71. We have older dresserd that we keep toys and activities in. They are labelled on the outside. It works really well, esp with my daughter’s Barbie stuff. She has a dresser just for that and she organized the drawers…clothes, furniture, small items, and dolls – she did a good job.

  72. Follow label instructions; warm soapy water & hang to dry (stuffed animals), if they can be torn away from them!

  73. For plush toys that cannot go into the washer I fill a large paper bag with salt and shake the “Teddy” vigorously for a few minutes. This at the very least removes dust and debris.

  74. Disinfecting wipes are great! Stuffed animals go in zippered laundry bags in the washing machine, maybe with a little bleach.

  75. Most of them go into a hot tub with a little bleach. I find it easier to keep up with the cleaning if I wipe down everything after play time during her nap. Makes less work when it’s not piled up

  76. a mixture of bleach 1 part to 10 parts water. put in a spray bottle. store toys in a plastic bin that can be sprayed and let toys air dry in bin.

  77. I had a bunch of my kids old toys saved in the attic. I got them down & got out the bleach. Some I had to use a hose because they were big. Worked great, but it was summer.

  78. Fill a tub with vinegar and warm water and put appropriate toys in, use a vinegar and water spray mist to mist toys you cant wash this way.

  79. The toys that can go in liquid i put them in a bleach bath the ones that can’t I wipe down with a disinfectant cloth, stuffed animals go in to a dryer on high heat!

  80. We have mostly wooden toys, so I can just throw them in the bathtub, wash them, then set them on a towel!

  81. We have mostly wooden toys, so I can just throw them in the bathtub, wash them, then set them on a towel!

  82. Now that both boys can walk, I have them bring washable toys to the “toy wash” so they can get cleaned like the car.

  83. All toys get washed before use. The hard toys and soft toys that cannot go through the washer get cleaned with dish soap, the ones that can handle it get boiled.


  84. Water and vinegar for normal use. When they’re sick, then I do bleach, or some sort of disinfecting wipes. Cloth ones that can, go into the wash.

  85. I usually wash plastic toys right in the sink with some dish soap & a little bleach and then I boil some water in the tea kettle and and pour this over all of the toys in while they are in the strainer.

  86. Dishsoap with hot water. I’m always afraid to take cleaners with toys. My kids put them in thier mouth and i don’t want to take hard stuff

  87. i really try to keep my grandkids toys germ free with lysol and i love the new Scotch Brite wipes for the smell and the safety of this product and the feeling i have done good in protecting my grandkids from germs!!

  88. When I was trying to get rid of thrush, a 10% bleach and water mix seemed to do the trick for disinfecting toys

  89. I throw all the toys in the bath tub with lysol to soak and then turn the shower on hot to rinse them off

  90. If the toy is made of plastic with no electronic parts it goes into the dishwasher. Works like a charm 😀

  91. I throw dd’s toys in the tub (the ones that can be thrown in water at least) and soak in hot water with some RnG and a little bit of bleach. Then rinse well.

  92. I use all-natural cleaning products every few days on my children’s toys. I don’t obsess and clean daily as I have twins and I just don’t have time. I think “some” germs are okay so I’m not the crazy cleaning lady. Just my two cents!

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