How to Clean Baby Toys

Babies love toys and don't consider the dangers that exist when playing with things that may have been exposed to germs or other outside elements. Unless toys are cleaned properly and often, your child can become ill from lingering dirt, grime, or germs. Consider the following when preparing to clean baby toys in a safe and environmentally friendly way.


  1. Image titled WipeToy Step 1
    Wipe toys that have been dropped on the ground or had contact with any dirt, lint, or grime with baby wipes.
  2. Image titled SubmergeBoiling Step 2
    Sanitize any durable, plastic toys, especially those intended to go in the baby's mouth, thoroughly by submerging them in boiling water. These include teething toys or pacifiers.
    • Boil a pot of water and, once boiling, place any toys into the pot for approximately 10 minutes.
    • Take the toys out of the boiling water and let them cool off for several minutes before handing back to your infant. Always inspect the toys after boiling to ensure they were not damaged in any way that could pose a threat to your child.
    • Toys that make direct contact with the baby's mouth but can't be boiled should be cleaned with very hot water and liquid dishwashing soap. Make sure all soap is thoroughly rinsed off before giving the toy back to the infant.
  3. Image titled DampSponge Step 3
    Use a damp sponge to clean plastic or wooden baby toys that have remnants of food stuck to the surface.
  4. Image titled SprayMix Step 4
    Apply a solution of distilled white vinegar and water to clean baby toys.
    • Combine the vinegar and water, in equal parts, in a spray bottle. Spray dirty toys with the mixture and let rest for 15 minutes. Wipe off any remaining vinegar and water mixture.
  5. Image titled BakingSoda Step 5
    Mix your own natural cleaning products such as warm water and baking soda. Combine 1 quart water with 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Use a clean towel to wipe down toys with the mixture.
  6. Image titled WashingMachine Step 6
    Wash stuffed animals in a washing machine if the washing instructions included on the toy affirm that machine washing will not ruin the item.
    • Use hot water and dry on a low heat or let air dry.
  7. Image titled Dishwasher Step 7
    Wash baby toys that are plastic and durable against heat in the dishwasher. Place the toys in the top rack of the dishwasher, and set the washer to its heat dry setting.
  8. Image titled Drainwater Step 9
    Drain all bath toys of water after each use. Any residual water inside a toy can quickly turn to mold if left sitting.


  • Always use a new sponge or a sponge dedicated solely to cleaning off your baby's toys. Other sponges may have come in contact with chemicals or germs, and washing the toy with that sponge will only transfer these hazardous elements.
  • Check the label of any cleaning product to confirm it's EPA certified. If you're still wary, opt for purely natural cleaning products.
  • Wash your child's toys in batches. Unless the child is away from the house, it could leave your baby without any toys until the washing is complete.


  • Never use harsh chemicals as a cleaner for any baby toy. Even if you're following the cleaner's warning label, a baby's system is more susceptible than an adults' and shouldn't come in contact with any potentially dangerous chemicals.
  • Don't expose rubber toys to boiling or very hot water. It can dissolve or otherwise damage the toy over time.

Things You'll Need

  • Baby wipes
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda

Article Info

Categories: Cleaning | Home Organization & Recycling