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Keeping clean with kids: how to clean kids' toys safely

We all know kids can be messy! Wondering how to wash soft toys at home? This four-part guide gives top advice on keeping your house clean with kids. From washing blankets to cuddly favourites, discover the fundamentals of how to clean kids' toys!


Clean soft toy bunny on the floor

Key Steps:

  • Pop soft toys in a laundry bag or empty pillowcase before putting in the washing machine.
  • Use cleaning products sparingly to ensure you don’t oversaturate the toy.
  • Avoid using bleach in an undiluted form to clean kids’ toys.
  • Always test your cleaning solution on a small area first to check there is no damage.

If you’ve got young children, you’ll know that one way that babies learn is by putting toys in their mouths – it’s a method that allows them to explore and discover at an age when they still don’t have complete control over their hands. However, kids should not be allowed to put certain things in their mouths, like laundry capsules – check out Persil’s informative article on child safety when using laundry capsules for more advice.

While babies do tend to look very cute nibbling away on the corner of a wooden building block, the act does fill us parents with fear – is it healthy? Will they get germs? If you're wondering how to clean soft toys without washing them, unfortunately, to safeguard the young immune systems of their owners, they need regular washing. So, how to wash soft toys in an effective and safe way? Let's find out!

1. How to wash soft toys in the washing machine

Washing soft toys is very easy and, in most cases, you can let your washing machine do all the hard work – just check the care label to make sure that the toy can safely be popped into the washer. Before washing soft toys in the washing machine, always be sure to give the toy a quick check to make sure there are no loose threads which could snag or unravel during the spin cycle – if there are, secure them and snip them off, and sew up any holes as you’ll have one very angry baby if their favourite toy gets ruined.

It’s always best to use a laundry bag for washing soft toys in the washing machine– this reduces the risk of damage. Alternatively, pop the toy into an empty pillowcase for a bit of extra protection, as shown in this video:

A child’s favourite teddy bear can get really grubby! So how to wash soft toys thoroughly but carefully to avoid damage? Use a good quality laundry detergent like Persil small & mighty Non-Bio. Their teddy will look as good as new in no time! When it comes to washing cuddly toys, be sure to always check the care label to see if they are machine washable.

2. Use dishwashing soap for plastic toys

So, how to wash toys that aren't so soft? Plastic toys are very easy to wipe clean, but it’s a good idea to give them a thorough wash every now and then just to make sure they’re nice and hygienic, and not posing a risk to your little ones. Fortunately, regular household cleaning products like dishwashing soap are perfectly safe cleaning products for baby toys and kids' toys, so you don’t need to buy any special or expensive cleaners. 

Simply fill a bowl with hot water and a squirt of dishwashing soap, and leave the plastic toys to soak. You can always use a washing up brush to remove any dirt if necessary. Rinse well and allow to dry naturally before returning to the toy box.

If you're looking for how to wash toys with batteries, check the care instructions before you start. Remove the batteries entirely before using water on the toy, and make sure it is completely dry before replacing them!

3. Gentle detergents work best for security blankets

Some babies simply won’t settle without some sort of security blanket, and it can be very difficult finding a time to whip it away for a clean. The good news is that blankets can be washed in the washing machine and dried out on the washing line quite quickly, so hopefully your baby won’t miss it too much. The same can be said if you're wondering how to clean fabric baby toys, but always be sure to check the care instructions on the label.

You should take a bit of extra care when washing blankets, especially if your child likes to chew on the corners. We like Persil small & mighty Non-Bio. You may also find this is better for your child’s skin. Non-bio is also great for when you need to know how to wash soft toys by hand. Simply fill a bowl with hot water and a measurement of non-bio, and leave the soft toy to soak. Rinse well and dry naturally, making sure to follow the instructions in case you need to wring out excess liquid before drying. 

Washing toys doesn't have to be onerous. Keep the task of cleaning kids' toys as easy as child's play with this short guide!


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Originally published