Child Safety: Washing Toys to Prevent Germs
Washing and disinfecting toys and surfaces helps reduce the spread of germs, especially in child care settings or other areas where many children are together.
- Store dirty toys in a bin that is out of your child's reach.
When a toy gets dirty, such as after a child has played with it and put it in their mouth, put it in the bin. If you can't wash the toys right away, set them aside to wash later.
- Scrub toys with soap and water.
This works well to remove germs from surfaces. This method is a good choice for surfaces that might be damaged by chemical disinfectants, such as some furniture.
- Disinfect toys and surfaces when you can.
Dishwashers are a convenient and effective way to disinfect some toys. Chemicals such as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach are used to disinfect surfaces and objects. You can find a wide variety of products with varying ingredients. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions exactly as printed on the label.
- Do not mix bleach with other liquids or cleaners, because the mixture can produce a toxic gas.
Bleach should be mixed only with water. Keep all chemicals out of reach of children.
Current as of: August 3, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics