Cleaning Toys

Cleaning Toys

Routine cleaning and sanitizing of toys will help to reduce the spread of infection and disease. School Boards have policies on cleaning and sanitizing in schools.

Learn the right way

  • Choose toys that are washable, sturdy and large enough to avoid swallowing or choking.
  • Choose toys that can be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Stuffed toys should be machine-washable.
  • Clean toys when visibly dirty and at least once a week. If toys are used a lot, clean them daily.
  • Remove toys, that children have put in their mouths or that have other body fluids on them, from the play area until they can be cleaned.
  • When cleaning toys, check them for sharp, jagged edges or small pieces that can be easily broken off. If toys cannot be fixed, throw them away.

Hard + soft toys

There are multiple ways to clean hard toys:
  1. Clean hard toys in a dishwasher with a sanitizer cycle. Use dishwasher detergent to clean the toys. The heat of the sanitizer cycle will sanitize the toys.
  2. Clean toys with dish soap and water. Rinse, then sanitize the toys with a mixture of one teaspoon (5 ml) household bleach (5% - 6% chlorine) in two cups (1/2 litre) of water. Allow the toys to air dry.
  3. Clean toys with dish soap and water. Wipe toys with a cloth soaked in a disinfectant or with a commercial disinfecting wipe. Be sure to rinse the toys thoroughly in warm water to remove chemicals left behind; some chemicals are harmful to children. Allow toys to air dry.

There are  many disinfectants in stores. Make sure that the disinfectant you use is safe for children and follow the maker’s instructions.

Clean stuffed toys in a washer with laundry soap.

Dry in a dryer on a normal setting.

Water tables

Water tables can be a source of germs. Children can introduce germs when they put their hands into the water and take germs away when they take their hands out.

Children should wash their hands before and after playing at a water table. Change the water in water tables regularly. Fill with clean water in the morning. Drain at lunch time and refill for afternoon play.

Drain the water table at the end of the day, then clean and sanitize the table and the toys, as above.

More Information

Print + Post

Download the one-pager

Print this page as featured in the guide book, Sneezes & Diseases: A Resource Book for Caregivers & Pare