A lot of parents have been asking for information on the best way to clean wooden toys. Children can be rough with their toys no matter what material they’re made of and it’s always a good idea to periodically clean your child’s toys. Whether they play with them outside or indoors those toys will inevitably get dirty and it’s important for you to know the right way to disinfect and clean wooden toys since wood is a porous material.
Children are full of curiosity and very young children will frequently pick a toy up from the ground and place it right in their mouth. And usually when they do this they were also just playing with the dog or digging in the dirt which means that not only is the toy dirty but their hands are too. This behavior is only natural. It’s your child’s way of exploring and it’s not something you can easily discourage. But if you want to protect your child from germs and grime you’ll need to know the proper way to clean wooden toys because you have to handle them a little differently than you do metal or plastic toys.
To begin with, when you clean wooden toys it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between finished wood and unfinished wood. Finished wood will be either painted, varnished or dyed and unfinished wood is just that – it’s just plain wood with no protective or decorative coating. Fortunately, both types of wooden toys are easy to clean and disinfect.
For basic or light cleaning you can simply wipe either finish with a dry cloth. If necessary, use a damp sponge to remove dust and dirt from unfinished wood toys and finished toys should wiped gently with a mild soap and water. For tougher dirt or grime try using an alcohol soaked cotton ball and then wipe with a dry cloth.
Whether the toy is made of finished or unfinished wood you should never soak it directly in water as the wood could soak up the water and become warped. And after you wipe the toy with water you should dry it with a soft cloth and all the toy to completely dry before it’s used again.
And never be tempted to clean wooden toys with furniture polish! It might seem like the most natural thing in the world to do since you clean your wooden furniture with it, but furniture polish contains toxins that are not meant to be ingested. The porous wood will hold the polish and when your child puts that toy in his or her mouth, or gets that polish on their hands, those toxins can be transferred to their mouth.
To disinfect wooden toys use a solution of vinegar and water or a solution of 10 parts water to one part bleach. However, if you use bleach always rinse and dry the toys very well. Wooden toys are extremely durable and can last for years if properly taken care of. Just remember to disinfect and clean your wooden toys frequently since you know they’re going to end up in your child’s mouth.