Wooden toys are easy to care for without using harsh chemicals or tedious procedures, thanks to their natural anti-bacterial properties.
Safely caring for and cleaning your child's wooden toys doesn't have to be a hassle either. We'll make it easy for you with our guide on how to care for wooden toys.
How often should you clean wooden toys?
It depends on the type of wooden toy and how or where your kid plays with it. Unlike plastic toys, wooden toy's antimicrobial properties prevent harmful bacteria and viruses from accumulating on its surface.
You'll only have to clean your child's wooden toys when there's a build-up of dirt or other messy substances like dried food particles on them.
If your little one often mouths wooden toys—toddlers often put the toys in their mouth—you have to clean them more often.
Teething toys can be cleaned few times a day too. Suppose your wooden toys are being used in a daycare or childcare facility. In that case, you must follow your facility's guidelines for toy sanitation.
What to use when cleaning wooden toys
It would be best if you used child-safe—natural cleaning substances like gentle soaps or vinegar. First, dilute the vinegar with water in a ratio of 1:4— one cup of vinegar requires four cups of water.
If the dirt is stuck real hard, you can make a paste of baking soda and water and try scrubbing with a damp coarse cloth.
How to clean wooden toys
- Create a natural cleaning solution by diluting vinegar or gentle soap with water in a 1:4 ratio.
- Spot clean the wooden toy using a cloth dipped in your natural cleaning solution.
- Suppose the wooden toy is a large outdoor toy like a playhouse. In that case, pour the cleaning solution into a spray bottle and use it.
Spraying down entire sets of wooden toys can be time-consuming for any parent, so here's what you can do.
- Fill your sink with the 1:4 solution of gentle soap or vinegar and water. Throw the toys in en-masse and swirl them around. Remember: this is a dip, not a soak! Please do not leave them for over a minute in the sink.
- Remove the toys and drain the sink.
- Let the wooden toys air dry in an open space devoid of moisture or direct sunlight.
Are Wooden Toys hygienic?
Yes, wooden toys are more hygienic than plastic toys because wood possesses antimicrobial properties which destroy viruses and bacteria. Also, wood's porous surface deprives bacteria of the moisture that they need to survive. In a way, you can say that wooden toys are self-cleaning.
How long do wooden toys last?
Wooden toys last much longer than their plastic counterparts. While a wooden toy's cost is greater than a plastic toy of the same type, its lifespan is significantly longer. Instead of buying the same plastic toy that'll break regularly, you can buy a wooden toy that'll survive for decades.
Wooden toys' durability means your kids can pass down their wooden toys to their younger sibling, saving you money in the long run. Also, wooden toys are much safer, easier, and cheaper to maintain.
How do you sterilize wooden baby toys?
You can sterilize painted or varnished wooden baby toys with mild soap (castile soap) or vinegar mixed with water. Then leave the toys to air dry, or you can wipe them dry with a cloth.
How to store wooden toys
When your children are old enough, it's essential to know which toys you'll keep and which toys to give away. Properly storing wooden toys keeps them in excellent condition and prevents mold.
The last thing you want to find out is that your son's favorite wooden toy is now covered in mold.
Cleaning: The first step of storage is cleaning your wooden baby toys before setting them aside. Follow the same cleaning procedures we described in earlier paragraphs.
Preservation: You can also coat your wood toys with wax or olive oil to preserve their appearance. However, we recommend reading the manufacturer's instructions before applying anything to your wooden toys to avoid irreversible damages.
Sorting: Once your wooden toys have been cleaned (and embalmed), sort the bulk and place similar toys together in paper or plastic boxes. For example, store wooden nesting dolls together with wooden roly-polys.
Labeling: Don't forget to label the boxes to make sure that you won't ransack through when searching for a specific toy.
Storage: Store the plastic containers of toys in a place with enough ventilation to prevent mold build-up. Putting cotton sheets and bags of silica gel in these storage boxes will help absorb moisture and keep the storage box dry.
The ideal spot for storing your boxes of wooden toys are areas that remain dry regardless of weather conditions and out of direct sunlight.
Are Wooden Toys better than plastic?
Wooden toys never go out of style. They're more durable (yielding less waste than their plastic counterparts), biodegradable, and may even be made with sustainable wood. Child-safe wooden toys don't contain PVC, phthalates, or toxic chemicals used in plastic toys.
Check out our article on the advantages of wooden toys over plastic.