How Often Should You Disinfect Your Children’s Toys?

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As a parent, your top priority is seeing to the health and safety needs of your children. But for some reason, your tiny tots seem intent on getting themselves into all kinds of harmful situations, what with climbing the furniture and placing everything in reach in their mouths. And when it comes to their toys, you are understandably concerned about the level of contamination that can occur. Even if you keep your house spic and span, watching your kids drag their toys on the ground or drop their pacifiers and then put them back in their mouths can send a shiver down your spine. Who knows what kinds of germs just made their way into your child’s delicate system? You don’t have to be a germaphobe to want to keep your kids safe from the many contaminants in their environment. After all, you’re the one that has to stay up with them all night when they’re sick. So here are just a few guidelines when it comes to the frequency of disinfecting your children’s toys.

disinfect kids toys

Let’s just start with the fact that there are two main types of toys: those that are plush and those that are made from harder substances (plastic, wood, etc.). And while you are probably aware that there are different ways to clean and sanitize these types of toys, you might not have the first idea how often you should be doing so.

Generally speaking, you should probably run plush toys through the washer (and dryer, as recommended) at least once a week if your kids use them frequently. For toys that simply sit around, less frequent washings are fine to remove dust and other allergens that could build up. Monthly washings are probably enough for such items that your kids virtually ignore.

As for hard toys, these are a little easier to deal with since you can simply treat them with sanitizing wipes as they go back into the toy box each day. Again, there is little call to frequently disinfect toys that kids barely touch, so it’s not as if you need to clean every item on a daily basis, wasting a huge chunk of your time. In fact, if you want to make your job a lot easier, quietly move neglected toys into a box in the garage for donation. This will keep clutter to a minimum, and if kids notice that items have gone missing you can always bring them back before they get donated.

Of course, you may need to wash certain items more often than regularly scheduled on certain occasions, say if your dog slobbers on a stuffed animal or toys are getting passed from one set of hands to another and going into everyone’s mouths along the way.

But it’s important to remember that your children are relatively unlikely to encounter any truly harmful contaminants in your home, especially if you take precautions like using green cleaning solvents and taking off your shoes when you enter the home, just for example. And just like you can use Toybuzz to find the best products for kids of certain ages, you can look online for all kinds of natural recipes for cleansers (like vinegar, lemon, and baking soda concoctions) that will ensure your children’s toys are clean, sanitized, and safe.


  1. Thanks for the great information. I really need to toss a few plush toys in the washing machine!

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