Our playroom is in full-time use! Madalyn is loving pulling out all of the baskets and dumping out the toys everywhere. One basket of toys at a time, just isn’t enough for her! 🙂
I don’t know about you, but our family has been sick with some sort of cold/cough/blah-ness the last few weeks. I am a clean-a-holic, but I have not been super strict about keeping to a system for cleaning Maddy’s toys. She is usually the only one playing with them, so I figure, what is the point? I’m going to clean it, and she is going to go right ahead and put it back in her mouth! (Note: The exception to this would be had she spit up on a toy, or if I noticed a dirty toy, I would definitely clean it up!) Given how sick she had been, I decided that it would probably be a good idea to just go ahead and clean everything.
I grabbed all her toys together and began!
I separated the toys into three categories: (1) toys that could go into the washing machine (2) toys that could be soaked in the sink, and (3) everything else.
(1) Washing Machine: I washed all of her stuffed animals that didn’t have batteries or sound, or any other item on them that would make them a bad candidate for the washing machine. For her stuffed animals that were more delicate, I place them into a pillowcase before putting them in the washing machine. I washed everything on the gentle/delicate cycle and used cold water, to prevent color-bleeding between toys. I dried everything on the normal drying cycle, but I ran the dryer three times through the cycle to ensure that even the inner core of those stuffed animals was super dry. Damp stuffed animals = breeding ground for germs!
(2) Soaking Toys: I filled the sink with Dawn dish soap and really hot water. I put all of her toys that could soak in the sink (i.e. anything that wouldn’t retain water or didn’t have batteries, etc.) in and allowed them to soak until the water started to cool, but wasn’t completely cold. I rinsed them all off and set them on towels to dry on the counter. I let them air-dry overnight, to ensure that there was no remaining water on them before I stored them away.
(3) Everything Else: For the remaining toys, I used my trusty toy cleaner: BabyGanics “Toy and Highchair Cleaner.” I have used this since Madalyn was a newborn, and it is so convenient! You just spray it on, and wipe it off with a paper towel or clean cloth. I love using it on the toys that can’t be immersed in water. It also has the added bonus of being a green cleaner, which although I don’t only use green cleaning products, it’s a nice touch! I feel better about using it on things Maddy will put into her mouth, since I know the chemicals in it are clean. If you don’t have a cleaner like this that you use, you could mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and it would work much the same way. For stuffed animals and cloth toys that weren’t put into the washing machine and that I didn’t want to spray with this cleaner, I used a cloth with Dawn soap and warm water and rubbed them down. I laid these all these toys out on a towel to dry overnight, as well.
While the toys were drying, I wiped down all of her toy baskets with Dawn soap and a warm. wet cloth. It would seem pointless to put all of her clean toys into the bins they had been in, without first cleaning them. I also allowed these to air-dry overnight.
Phew! Toys are clean…if only until she wakes up in the morning!
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