Sleepy Parents

War On Germs: Effective Toy Cleaning for COVID-19 Safety

Cleaning Toys: Effective Strategies to Keep Germs at Bay during COVID-19In a world grappling with the spread of the novel coronavirus, maintaining a clean and germ-free environment is essential for our well-being. This is especially true when it comes to our children’s playthings.

Toys are notorious for harboring germs and bacteria, making regular cleaning a vital step in keeping our little ones safe and healthy. In this article, we will explore effective strategies for cleaning toys, discuss the importance of using EPA-listed products during the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide some useful tips for DIY disinfectants.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to wage war against those pesky germs!

Cleaning Toys

Keeping toys clean not only safeguards our children’s health but also prolongs the lifespan of their favorite playthings. Cleaning toys might seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategies, it can be efficient and straightforward.

Here are some primary techniques to consider:

1. Use warm, soapy water: A simple and effective way of cleaning toys is by soaking them in warm, soapy water.

This method is suitable for most toys and removes dirt and grime effectively. Make sure to inspect any stuffed animals or toys with electronic components to ensure they are not damaged by water.

2. Disinfecting wipes: Disinfecting wipes can be a convenient option for quick and on-the-spot cleaning.

However, they might not eliminate all types of germs and viruses. It is important to check the packaging to ensure they are effective against the specific germs you wish to target.

3. Dishwasher-safe toys: Many plastic toys, such as building blocks and teething toys, are dishwasher-safe.

Placing these items on the top rack of a dishwasher can provide a thorough cleaning, sterilizing them against bacteria. Sanitizing vs.


In the era of COVID-19, it is crucial to understand the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting. While both these terms relate to killing germs, they differ in their approach.

Let’s dive deeper:

Sanitizing: Sanitizing reduces the number of germs on a surface to a safe level determined by public health standards. This process typically involves using chemicals like hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol, following the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure effectiveness.

Disinfecting: Disinfecting, on the other hand, goes beyond sanitizing and eliminates almost all germs on a surface. EPA-listed disinfectants are designed to kill various forms of bacteria and viruses, including the novel coronavirus.

These products usually require a certain amount of contact time, so it is essential to follow the instructions carefully for maximum effectiveness.

Homemade Disinfectants for Toys

DIY Disinfectants

Homemade disinfectants can be a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to commercial products. Here are some common household ingredients that can be used to create your own disinfectants:


Chlorine Bleach: Diluting chlorine bleach with water creates a powerful disinfectant solution. For every gallon of water, add 1/3 cup of bleach.

Be cautious when using bleach as it may discolor certain materials. 2.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant that can kill germs without leaving behind harmful residue. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water to create a gentle cleaning solution.

3. Isopropyl Alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol, commonly found in first aid kits, can also be used as a disinfectant.

A solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water effectively kills germs while evaporating quickly.

The Effectiveness of Vinegar and Baking Soda

While vinegar and baking soda are popular household cleaning agents, their effectiveness against the novel coronavirus is still uncertain. Although they have been shown to be effective against some other types of bacteria and germs, it is advisable to use EPA-listed disinfectants for greater assurance when it comes to COVID-19.


Regularly cleaning and disinfecting toys is an essential step in protecting our children from harmful germs, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. By following the strategies mentioned above and using EPA-listed disinfectants, we can create a safe and healthy play environment for our little ones.

Additionally, homemade disinfectants can be a great alternative when commercial products are unavailable, but it is important to ensure their effectiveness against the targeted germs. Let’s stay vigilant, keep our toys clean, and ensure our children grow and play in a germ-free world.

Sanitizing Hard Plastic Toys

When it comes to hard plastic toys, such as pretend food, kitchen items, and Legos, a thorough cleaning is essential. Here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively sanitize these toys:


Scrubbing the toys: Start by removing any visible dirt or debris from the toys. Use a soft-bristle brush or toothbrush to scrub gently, paying attention to crevices and hard-to-reach areas.

2. Disinfectant solution: Prepare a disinfectant solution by mixing 1/3 cup of bleach with a gallon of water.

Submerge the toys in the solution and let them soak for 5 minutes. Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the bleach bottle for safety and effectiveness.

3. Rinse thoroughly: After the toys have soaked, rinse them thoroughly with warm water to remove any leftover bleach solution.

Make sure there is no lingering bleach smell. 4.

Air-dry: Allow the toys to air-dry completely before returning them to the play area. This will help prevent moisture buildup and the potential for mold growth.

Sanitizing Porous and Battery-Operated Toys

Cleaning porous and battery-operated toys, such as books and stuffed animals, requires a slightly different approach. Here’s how to effectively sanitize these types of toys:


Soaking the toys: For non-electronic toys, immerse them in a basin filled with warm, soapy water. Allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes to loosen dirt and debris.

2. Removing dirt and debris: Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the toys, focusing on areas with visible dirt or stains.

For books, wipe the covers with a disinfectant cloth, taking care not to saturate the pages. 3.

Disinfectant cloth: Moisten a disinfectant cloth with an EPA-listed disinfectant solution and wipe the surfaces of porous toys, paying attention to seams, buttons, and any other areas that may harbor germs. 4.

Air-dry or spot-clean: For toys that are water-resistant, air-dry them thoroughly before returning them to the play area. For books, consider spot-cleaning by wiping each page individually with a disinfectant cloth.

Cleaning Frequently Used Hard Surfaces

Cleaning High-Touch Areas

In addition to toys, cleaning frequently touched surfaces is crucial for preventing the spread of germs. Here are some tips to effectively clean high-touch areas:


Faucet handles: Use a disinfectant wipe or cloth to thoroughly clean faucet handles, paying attention to both the top and bottom surfaces. Make sure to wipe the entire handle, including any crevices.

2. Phones: Phones can harbor a significant amount of germs.

To clean them, turn off the device and wipe the screen and other surfaces with a disinfectant cloth or wipe. Take care not to let any liquid seep into the device.

3. Remote controls: Remove the batteries from the remote control and wipe the surface using a disinfectant wipe, ensuring all buttons and crevices are thoroughly cleaned.

Let it air-dry before reinserting the batteries. 4.

Doorknobs: Wipe doorknobs with a disinfectant cloth, paying extra attention to the areas that are frequently touched. Be sure to clean both sides of the doorknob.

Disinfecting Surfaces

To maintain a clean and germ-free household, it’s crucial to regularly disinfect commonly used surfaces. Here’s how to effectively disinfect different surfaces:


Kitchen counters: Clean kitchen counters with warm, soapy water to remove dirt and debris. Follow up with a disinfectant wipe or cloth, making sure to cover the entire surface area.

Let it air-dry. 2.

Tables: Similar to kitchen counters, clean tables using warm, soapy water. Then, apply a disinfectant solution and wipe the surface thoroughly.

Let it air-dry before using. 3.

Child gates: Remove child gates from their location and clean them with warm, soapy water. For porous surfaces, wipe with a disinfectant cloth.

For hard surfaces, use a disinfectant spray. Allow them to air-dry completely before reinstalling.

4. Disinfecting surfaces: Consider using an EPA-listed disinfectant spray or wipe to disinfect surfaces such as light switches, drawer handles, and electronic devices.

Follow the instructions on the product label for proper usage and contact time. Conclusion:

Maintaining a clean environment is crucial for ensuring the health and safety of our loved ones.

By employing effective cleaning and sanitizing strategies for toys, porous items, and frequently touched surfaces, we can minimize the risk of spreading germs and viruses, including the novel coronavirus. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting these areas will provide peace of mind and contribute to a healthier living space for everyone.

Stay vigilant, follow guidelines provided by health authorities, and let’s continue to keep our surroundings as clean and germ-free as possible.

Caution When Cleaning

While it’s important to keep our living spaces clean and germ-free during these challenging times, it’s equally crucial to exercise caution when handling cleaning products. Here are some key points to consider:


Reading product directions: Before using any cleaning or disinfectant product, take the time to read and understand the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Different products may require specific dilution ratios or application methods to ensure maximum effectiveness.

2. Not mixing different cleaners: Mixing different cleaning products, especially those containing bleach or ammonia, can result in the release of toxic fumes that can be harmful when inhaled.

Avoid combining different cleaning agents unless specifically directed to do so by the manufacturer. 3.

Keeping children away from cleaning products: Cleaning products should be stored in a secure location that is out of reach of children. Follow storage instructions provided on the product packaging.

Additionally, when using cleaning products, keep children away from the area of application to prevent accidental exposure or ingestion.

Accessing Reliable Information

Staying informed and up to date on the latest information regarding cleaning and disinfection practices is vital. Here are some reliable resources where you can find accurate and updated information:


Well-ventilated space: When cleaning and disinfecting, it is important to work in a well-ventilated area. Open windows or use fans to increase air circulation and minimize exposure to fumes from cleaning products.

2. Online resources: Trusted online resources, such as the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), provide valuable guidelines and recommendations on cleaning and disinfection practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These resources offer reliable information, frequently updated to reflect the latest scientific understanding. 3.

Local public health department: Your local public health department is an excellent source of information, as they provide region-specific guidelines and recommendations tailored to your community. Check their website or reach out to them for specific cleaning and disinfection guidelines in your area.

4. Updated information on COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation, and new information on the virus and its transmission is continuously being discovered.

Stay informed by regularly checking reliable sources for the latest updates on cleaning and disinfection practices related to COVID-19. This will ensure that you are following the most up-to-date guidelines.


In our efforts to combat germs, it’s essential to exercise caution and adhere to proper cleaning and disinfection practices. Following product directions, avoiding the mixing of cleaning agents, and keeping cleaning products out of the reach of children are crucial steps to ensure safety.

Additionally, staying updated with reliable sources of information such as online resources, the CDC, WHO, and local public health departments can provide accurate guidelines specific to your region. By implementing these measures, we can effectively maintain a clean and germ-free living space while safeguarding the well-being of ourselves and our loved ones.

In conclusion, maintaining a clean and germ-free environment is crucial, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. By implementing effective strategies for cleaning and disinfecting toys, understanding the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting, and utilizing homemade disinfectants when necessary, we can protect our loved ones from harmful germs.

Additionally, regularly cleaning frequently touched surfaces, such as faucet handles and doorknobs, contributes to a healthy living space. It is essential to exercise caution when handling cleaning products, follow instructions, and keep them out of children’s reach.

Accessing reliable information from trusted sources and staying updated on COVID-19 guidelines ensures we can make informed decisions. Let’s prioritize cleanliness and hygiene to create a safer environment for everyone’s well-being.

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