Why is it important to clean toys?
Babies putting things in their mouths, otherwise known as mouthing, is not only normal, but also signals a growing interest in the world around them. In the first year, children explore their surroundings through their senses — seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, and tasting. The more they explore, the more they learn.
Children are 2-3 times more likely than adults to catch the flu or common cold, and the most common place these germs and bacteria like to hide are children’s toys. Which is why we thought we would bring you these nice and easy steps to help clean and maintain some of your favourite toys.
Cleaning Wooden Toys
1. Start with a bowl or spray bottle filled with warm water, for more severe dirt or staining you could add a small amount of environmentally friendly dish soap. If the stain is quite severe use a mix of 1 parts vinegar to 10 parts warm water solution. Spray or dab cloth onto the wooden toy (never soak or fully immerse toy in water as this will cause swelling and cracks/ damage.
2. Wipe toy down gently with cloth or sponge.
3. Place toy under sunlight in a safe place and allow to dry.
Note: Use a stronger vinegar solution for stubborn stains, If all fails use some smooth sandpaper to remove and unwanted marks.
Replenish Timber Toys
Every few months you should moisturize wooden toys, this will help extend the lifetime and preserve a nice and fresh look of the toy. The best time to do this is after toys have been cleaned and dried. Simply use a washcloth with olive oil or beeswax polish and gently rub into wooden toy. Allow a few hours to dry before placing back in the play area. – do not put in the sunlight to dry.
Cleaning Felt Toys
- Wipe the surface gently with a baby wipe.
This will clean any remaining debris from your item. Be very careful when wiping and avoid any aggressive scrubbing, since this can damage the surface of your felt.
- The wipe won’t cause a lot of wetness to begin with, but still allow the moisture to air-dry before using or wearing your felt item.
- Do not air-dry in direct sunlight because this can damage the fabric.
- Use masking tape to remove any stubborn lint or hair.
Persistent lint and hair can be eliminated by patting the sticky side of masking tape over the surface of the felt, then quickly pulling it off.
- You will see the lint and hair transferred from the felt onto the tape. Repeat if necessary.
- Dab a tiny amount of very gentle soap (Ivory, Dawn) directly on the stain.
Be sure you dab the soap on without rubbing at the fabric. Spot cleaning small and relatively minor stains this way is preferable to immersing your felt item in water, since the dyed colour in felt can run easily.
- Try to get started with the spot cleaning process as soon as possible after the stain occurs.
- Dampen a soft, clean cloth with cool water and dab at the stain until clean.
Take care not to rub the fabric or agitate it in any way. If the stain is being stubborn, add another dab of soap on the remaining stain and dab again until it’s gone.
- For extra stubborn stains, you can use diluted white vinegar to clean the felt.
- Use one part vinegar and two parts water to get the proper dilution for this. Concentrated vinegar can bleach the colours out of your felt.
- Repeat the same process of dabbing at the stain with your vinegar/water solution. The vinegar not only removes stains but can also destroy any bad odours.
- Rinse the rag with cool water to remove all of the soap.
Once free of soap, re-soak it with cool water. Try to use approximately the same water temperature throughout the entire process.
- Dab at the spot again using the wet rag.
This will force clean water through the stained area, rinsing any remaining soap from the felt. You may find it easier to use two wet rags to rinse the soap from the felt.
- Using a flat surface, put one rag on each side of the felt and press down over the cleaned area, forcing clean water through.
- Rinse out the rag and repeat the process, if necessary.
- Use a clean, dry towel to soak up any excess moisture.
Simply press down on the spot a few times until the towel has soaked up the excess water. Allow the item to air-dry in a cool place.
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