First, let’s be honest for a second. You can’t really keep everything in the house perfectly clean at all times. Especially toys which kids tend to drag everywhere.
This is normal and not really that bad. We always have germs around us. Still, a regular cleaning of the toys is important. It lowers the amount of those germs to healthy levels, for one.
But it also helps keep the toys in better condition for longer. And it helps keeping some of those allergens away, Huffington Post Canada reminds us.
Usually, parents focus mainly on stuffed animals. The more you kids play with their stuffies, the more often you should clean them. Always check the label of the toy first for any cleaning recommendations and follow them. If such are missing, then wash the stuffed animals in a washing machine with a gentle setting. Don’t use the hot settings as they can damage the plushies.
What parents often neglect are the plastic toys. Especially the smaller ones like LEGO bricks. It’s easy to give a quick clean of big trucks and so on. But actually you can and should clean toys with soap and water. Board games can be wiped down with disinfecting wipes. You don’t want to clean thousands of LEGO bricks one by one? You don’t have to. Pop them in the dishwasher. All fully plastic toys can go through it. Simply place the small ones in the silverware holder or a colander. Use the gentlest setting and let them to air-dry.
Next up, wooden toys and board books. Make a 50/50 mix of distilled white vinegar and water. Or mild soapy water. You can gen wipe them down with a soft cloth and let them to air dry. Don’t make them too damp, as it can ruin the wood.
Rubber bath toys also need care. They can be quite dirty. You can lower the bacteria build up with a special monthly bath for rubber toys. Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar to a gallon of water. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Then scrub them and squeeze them into the mix, so they can get it inside. Then let squeeze the water out and let them to air dry.
If you want to be really pedantic, you then have to clean the entire room. Including the walls, switches, radios, stands, keyboards, etc. It can take time, but it’s a good thing to do from time to time as dirt builds up.
Finally, the question is how often to do all of this? Well, it depends on how often kids play with certain toys and where. During flu season is a good idea to clean stuffed animals weekly. If your kids bring toys outside, also clean them more often.
Don’t go too crazy, though. You don’t have to do it all the time. You can find the perfect balance which works best for you. But for most toys, once a month or two, should be enough.