Written by Tenley Haraldson. Reviewed by Cleaning Expert Sean Busch.

From stuffed animals to building blocks, toys are incredibly important to your baby’s development. But whether they’re chewed, thrown on the ground, or kept in the bathtub, these playthings can harbor plenty of dirt, grime, germs, and bacteria.

Before you reach for harsh chemicals like bleach, we’ve outlined the best ways to clean baby toys safely and naturally. 

Slow the Spread of Germs 

Before we get into baby toy cleaning tips, the easiest way to limit the spread of germs is by keeping your baby's hands clean. Wash them with a clean washcloth and gentle hand soap before and after eating, playing outside, or exposure to another child who's sick.

If your child or one of their play dates has the sniffles, be sure to wash (or disinfect) baby toys before returning them to the toy bin.

How to Clean Cloth Baby Toys in the Washing Machine 

Teddy bears are adorable, the germs they can harbor aren’t. For stuffed toys and blankies, a trip through the washing machine every 1-2 weeks is ideal, but we recommend washing them after elements like long airplane trips or falling on restaurant floors.

Most stuffed animals can be popped directly in the washing machine. However, check the label first and repair any tears or loose ends first: You don't want Teddy to lose an eye (or an arm) in the process! More fragile plush toys can be placed in a mesh garment bag.

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Placing the toy in the dryer will help to eliminate any lingering germs, but to avoid the risk of shrinking, you can either use a hair dryer or place it on a flat, indoor surface in direct sunlight.

Pro Tip: You can pre-treat stains with our Natural Stain Remover at any point, then run a warm cycle using a gentle laundry detergent.

How to Clean Plush Toys Baby Toys by Hand

Sometimes, it’s better not to risk throwing a beloved stuffed animal in the washing machine. If that’s the case, the best way to clean baby toys is as follows:

  • Dip a clean microfiber towel in a solution of 10-15 drops of Natural Dish Soap and warm water.
  • Lightly scrub the toy all over, either with a soft toothbrush or an auto detailing brush.
  • Continuously rinse the cloth out with clear water and wring throughout the process. 
  • Repeat as necessary. 
  • Optional: Slowly run a garment steamer over the entire surface to kill dust mites and other potential allergens
  • Use a hair dryer on a medium setting or place it on a flat, sunny spot to dry. 

How to Clean Baby Toys with Hard Surfaces

If toys have visible dirt, stickiness, and or stains, it’s definitely time to clean them off. We recommend that plastic, wooden, and bath toys are washed every week. Every 1-2 days is better for items that are dropped on the floor and regularly placed in the mouth.

To wash baby toys by hand, mix 10-15 drops of a natural dish soap and hot water in a large bowl. Dip a clean microfiber cloth into this solution and scrub the toys completely. Rinse each with hot water, removing any soapy residue. Either let them air dry or wipe with a clean towel.

How to Clean Wooden Baby Toys

Wooden, eco-friendly baby toys are a great way to introduce babies to natural materials – and they're also easy to clean.

Because it's a porous material, avoid soaking wood in water or putting it in the dishwasher. Instead, spot clean using a microfiber towel and a gentle cleanser. This can either be a 10:1 mixture of water to vinegar, a diluted combo of water and a few drops of mild dish soap, or a family-friendly natural multi-purpose cleaner. When you’re done, simply allow wood toys to air dry.

Washing Baby Toys in the Dishwasher

Thinking about running toys through the dishwasher? Always double-check the toy's label. Some plastic melts and warps when exposed to a combination of hot water and heated drying cycles.

If the manufacturer has deemed that the product is dishwasher safe, then it can likely be run in the top rack during a regular/gentle cleaning setting (not extra hot) . Let toys air dry on a designated dish rack. 

Pro Tip: For extra security, prevent toys from falling by placing them in the silverware basket or a colander.

How to Wash Bath Toys

The rubbery material commonly used in bath toys is prone to mold and other gross build-up. In other words, those rubber duckies need a bath of their own.

In your bathtub, you can soak bath toys in a few inches of hot water and dish soap for at least an hour. Scrub with a dish brush, rinse with hot water, and air dry. If they’re dishwasher safe,  follow the directions (above) before returning them to the bathroom.

Pro Tip: We recommend cleaning bath toys each week. This is the perfect opportunity to clean your bathtub, too!

How to Clean Electronic Toys 

When cleaning electronic toys, be sure to disconnect the batteries and replace the cover. Wipe the surface with a clean microfiber cloth (we recommend 10-15 drops of dish soap in a bowl of hot water). Take care to wring the cloth extremely well to avoid water seepage.

To disinfect electronics, remove the batteries, spray thoroughly with a hydrogen peroxide disinfectant, and wait 10 minutes. Wipe up any remaining liquid and wait at least one hour before reinserting the batteries.

Pro Tip: To get into crevices, we recommend using a cotton swab.

Puracy Disinfecting Surface Cleaner was designed for safe use around kids and pets. Not only does this biodegradable formula kill 99.99+% of germs, but it also cleans gunk and grime off of wood, plastic, rubber, and other non-porous surfaces.

Spray surfaces with Puracy Disinfecting Surface Cleaner, let it sit for 10 minutes, and wipe it away using a clean cloth. And since this product is safe for food prep surfaces, there’s no need for concern if your little one puts their mouth on it

Puracy Is the Best Way to Clean Baby Toys

We started Puracy to ensure highly-effective, plant-based cleaning products for the entire family. That's why you won’t find the following ingredients in any of our products: