Advice For Cleaning Toys in Childcare Centres & Mothers
Children’s toys should be cleaned regularly, germs and viruses such as influenza can survive on the surfaces for hours while parasites such as cryptosporidium can be viable for days.
Appropriate sanitation is required for the general well-being of our kids and this is even more important in childcare facilities where children who love to touch their mouths can rapidly spread whatever germs they have on their hands to their toys. This results in the spread of harmful pathogens which makes implementing a strategy for the cleaning and sanitation (disinfecting) of all toys inside a childcare facility vital.
We’ve been providing childcare cleaning services for over 20 years so we’ve learnt a thing or two about cleaning children’s toys and play equipment during this time –
Sanitizing Hard Toys (Plastic or Wood)
Childcare centre workers should clean hard surface toys daily to prevent the spread of infection, this can be done by using water and a PH neutral detergent. Bleach and disinfectants should never be used in a childcare centre facility since the chemicals are prohibited according to the guidelines set out by NSW Health Department unless in cases where there has been an outbreak of disease such as influenza where it would be administered by a professional under the guidance of a microbiologist.
At home, parents can use a very weak solution consisting of 1.5 teaspoons of bleach to 4.5L of water for hard-shelled toys (i.e., plastic toys). The best way to do this would be to submerge the toy in the solution before taking it out and wiping with cloth and left to air dry. A water/bleach solution is perfect since it is –
• Readily accessible
• Easy to utilize
• Works rapidly
• Becomes harmless rapidly
Sanitizing Soft or Plush Toys
Sanitizing delicate or soft toys can be harder to sanitize since they have a tendency to absorb fluids. Additionally, they can be produced using different materials which all require different cleaning methods. Make sure you read the products care label before cleaning.
Some soft toys can be cleaned in a washing machine. If this is the case, pre-treat any stains before putting it in on a cold gentle cycle and air dry (don’t put them in the dryer as this can make them shrink).
Toys which are too fragile to be put in the washer can be cleaned with a solution consisting of dish soap and water. Wet a cloth with the solution and carefully rub the surface of the toy before allowing it to air dry.
Odors can be removed from soft toys with baking soda which absorbs any bad smell from it. Just sprinkle it over the toy and wait a few hours before vacuuming it up.
Sanitizing Electronics/battery-operated toys
Surprisingly, battery operated toys are becoming increasingly common in childcare centres. Extra care must be taken when cleaning these toys since using excess water can damage the electronics –
1. Remove the batteries and set them aside in a safe area.
2. Lightly dampen a cloth with some dish soap and water
3. wipe the surface of the toy while being careful not to wet the electronics
4. Let the toy air dry after it has been wiped clean
If you need help with cleaning your children’s toys, you can always just let our cleaners know next time you book our Childcare centre & home cleaning services and we’ll get it done for you while we are there.