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How to Clean Toys When You or Your Child Is Sick

Cold and flu season can be particularly nasty business when you have children’s toys lying around the house.


  • : Bleach can be hazardous to you and your child’s health if ingested. Thoroughly rinse any bleach off before returning toys to your child.
  • Step 1: Wash fabric toys in washing machine Wash fabric or plush toys that are washing-machine-approved in the washing machine to clean and sanitize.
  • TIP: Fabric toys that are washed in the washing machine should be dried following the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Step 2: Fill basins with soapy water and water Fill one basin with warm water and the other with one capful mild dish soap and hot water.
  • Step 3: Clean toys Place the toys into the soapy water and give them a good surface cleaning.
  • Step 4: Rinse toys Rinse the soapy toys in the clean water basin and set them on a towel to dry.
  • Step 5: Pour water out Drain the two basins, fill one with clean warm water and the other with one capful of bleach and a gallon of hot water.
  • Step 6: Sanitize toys Place the toys in the bleach water basin and let them soak to sanitize for at least two minutes.
  • TIP: Large toys may be sanitized using a rag soaked in the bleach water mixture and then wiped with a clean, wet rag.
  • Step 7: Rinse toys Rinse the toys in the warm water basin to remove the bleach and then place them on a towel to dry.
  • Step 8: Pour out basins Drain the basins and allow the toys to thoroughly dry before returning them to your child to play with.
  • FACT: The toy store FAO Schwarz was founded by Frederick August Otto Schwarz and opened its doors in 1862.

You Will Need

  • Washing machine
  • 2
  • wash basins or a double-basin sink
  • Mild dish soap
  • Bleach
  • Clean rags (optional)

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