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5 Spring Cleaning Toy Hacks For a Germ-Free Playroom

5 Spring Cleaning Toy Hacks For a Germ-Free Playroom

 Guest Post by Katy Fleming, MA, LPC, BSN, RN

The most loved part of the house is often our little one’s toy room and consequently the dirtiest.  

Realistically, your kiddos’ playroom will never see a completely germ-free day.  However, it’s important to regularly clean your children’s toys to maintain a healthy household.    

Whether someone at home has the flu or you’re simply starting some spring cleaning, these tips will prevent the spread of germs in your children’s play area.

5 Spring Cleaning Toy Hacks For a Germ-Free Playroom

5 Spring Cleaning Toy Hacks For a Germ-Free Playroom

For a safe and healthy living environment, it’s important to regularly clean your home including your kids’ toys.  Children are notorious for putting their hands in their mouths while playing with toys and touching surfaces.  This spreads germs and ultimately leads to a sick household. 

A home warranty company, Cinch Home Services, swabbed common children’s toys such as building blocks and teddy bears to compare their cleanliness to other household objects.  According to their analysis, a bouncy ball has three times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.  

Even if they don’t appear visibly dirty, there are potentially millions of bacteria lurking on your children’s toys.  Check out these cleaning hacks to prevent the spread of germs in your playroom!

#1: Cleaning vs. Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting 

First, it’s important to recognize the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting a surface.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines cleaning as removing germs and dirt with water and soap.  Sanitizing reduces the germs to a level sufficient for public health regulations.  Sanitizing sprays or even weakened bleach solutions are utilized to sanitize.

Disinfecting kills the majority of germs on objects with bleach and other chemicals.  It’s vital to ensure that all sanitizing sprays, bleach, and other chemicals are kept out of your children’s reach.

Cleaning is simply removing the visible dirt whereas disinfecting kills the germs.  Clean objects more frequently and consider disinfecting the playroom when someone in your house is sick with the flu, covid-19, or another illness. 

Spring Cleaning Toy Hacks

#2: Routine Play Room Cleaning

Don’t wait until spring to start this journey. Regularly wipe off high-touched areas such as door knobs and light switches to minimize the spreading of germs. 

Some toys need more love than others.  For example, if you have a ten-month-old baby, then you may need to sanitize those toys more often.  It’s no secret that babies stick just about everything in their mouths.  However, your 12-year-old daughter’s collectible items may not need as much attention. 

#3: Keep it Simple with Plastic Toys 

If it isn’t fabric and doesn’t have batteries, toss it in the dishwasher. Be sure to place these toys onto the top rack on a gentle cycle to prevent damage.  Check the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that your dishwasher will reach the appropriate temperature to sanitize.

#4: Regularly Wash Their Favorite Stuffed Animal 

For cloth and other fabric toys, sanitize these in a load of laundry.  Use detergent and the recommended water temperature.  Ensure to dry it completely on a high setting before returning the toy back to the playroom. 

Items such as their favorite stuffed bear should have a regular wash each week or every two weeks.  

Spring Cleaning Toy Hacks

#5: Have Disinfectant Wipes Handy

Grocery stores, convenience stores, and even online platforms such as Amazon all sell a variety of brands of disinfectant wipes.  They’re easy to store and handy for a quick spring cleaning.  

Use disinfectant wipes to clean countertops, door handles, light switches, electronic surfaces, and other common objects.  The buttons on keyboards and electronic devices hoard loads of germs, so may need more than one wipe.  

For full effect, ensure the surface remains wet for a few minutes.  As always, read the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the recommended amount of time and other important information. 

Take a few extra minutes of your busy day to apply these tips for a safe and healthy playroom.

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As a licensed counselor and registered nurse, Katy approaches freelance writing with years of experience and a unique perspective. Alongside her partner, Katy loves to travel the world and embrace other cultures from volcanoes in Iceland to villages in India. 

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