How to Clean Toys

How To Clean Toys (And Other SmartMom Hacks)

Every new mom wonders how to clean toys, especially because one of the most confounding things about being a parent is how quickly your child can take a clean room and make it a disaster zone. With all of those nooks and crannies on little toys, sometimes I find myself wondering how exactly my toddler stuffed a blueberry inside of that little toy microphone.

And with all of the messes that get created at my house on a daily basis, I knew that there had to be a way to clean those toys more quickly – or keep them from getting so dirty in the first place. So I did a little research and discovered some of the best parenting hacks ever for keeping my house – and my child’s toys – clean.

1. So, your child gets their toys grimy and gunky – and you obviously don’t want them to stay that way. Anything that doesn’t require batteries (and is plastic) can be easily washed in your dishwasher with 1½ cups of vinegar! Just load the dishwasher, toss in the vinegar and you’ve got a safe, easy way to clean all those little crevasses. BONUS TIP: Legos can go in here too, just throw them in a mesh bag.

2. Feel like you’re always scrubbing stains out of your baby’s clothes – with less than stellar results? I’m pretty sure I had to get rid of anything that was remotely white after Ricky grew out of it because I just couldn’t get the stains out! But this fantastic mix of Dawn, peroxide and baking soda could by a real lifesaver after baby number three arrives! Get the stain remover recipe here.

3. Worried about your child’s bath toys getting moldy? I know the feeling. Sometimes it seems like we’re running his toys through a bleach solution every other week! But now I know that I can actually prevent the mold from happening in the first place by hot-gluing the holes in the bottom of his little ducks and boats. Genius!

4. Have a bed wetter in the house? Save yourself some time – and some mess – by placing a puppy pad or waterproof bed pad underneath the sheet. Voila! You have an instant potty catcher. And if you really want to save yourself some time (and sleep loss) in the middle of the night, double up – on top of the mattress, place one puppy pad followed by one sheet, then another puppy pad and another sheet. If your child wakes up in the middle of the night, you won’t have to remake the entire bed – just take off the layer that got wet.

5. Have a child that got into the permanent marker? Have no fear, it’s not actually a forever problem after all! Use on-hand, every day items like hand sanitizer, toothpaste, and rubbing alcohol for these solutions to make a Sharpie…not so permanent. (This tip came just in time for my toddler’s impending potty training this winter.)

6. Tired of feeling like your car is a mess? Try a car caddy for the back of each front seat to hold everything your kids need: books, maps, snacks and more! Leave one pouch open for trash – it’ll keep your car looking clean and keep the kiddos busy at the same time. I love it when things work out doubly well!

7. Want to prevent those nasty spills that happen when your kids take the straws out of their cups? Use a crazy straw – backwards! By putting the swirly end in the cup, they won’t be able to take it out, preventing them from dumping an entire smoothie on their lap.

8. Have a crafty child? Then you no doubt find yourself vacuuming up glitter every time you turn around. Try this easy hack: a lint roller will pick up excess glitter in a snap. No more glitter all over your kitchen floor, mom!

This isn’t a full list – so tell us in the comments: what are your favorite parenting hacks for keeping your kid’s toys clean?

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