Wooden toys are classic pieces that can blend seamlessly with any room décor. Certain kinds of wood possess natural antibacterial properties (when kept dry) that makes them the more hygienic option for your child’s toy box.
They’re also surprisingly low maintenance. Here are some of our best tips for storing and keeping your children’s wooden toys clean.
1. Don’t soak wooden toys in water
Wood is porous and can lose its shape when drenched in water. If your child’s wooden toy swells and cracks due to water exposure, any paint or finish on the toy’s surface can get damaged. Wood is also more likely to become a breeding ground for bacteria when it doesn’t dry properly.
2. Use a clean, damp cloth
Instead of soaking wooden toys in water, wipe the surface with a damp cloth. This will prevent the wood from warping while keeping the toy clean and bacteria-free. You can use a microfiber cloth that collects dust fairly easily.
3. Use a brush with soft bristles
If a damp cloth isn’t enough to remove dirt or grime, consider using a brush with soft, natural bristles to clean the nooks and crannies of the toy. The bristles should be able to dislodge any build-up on the wooden surface without damaging the paint, print, or varnish. Using a brush with a long, thin handle will also help you clean hard to reach areas more thoroughly.
4. Use a mild or natural cleaning agent
Choose a gentle cleanser to disinfect the toy and remove dirt. Mild and environmentally-friendly soap is usually a good choice as is a non-toxic multipurpose cleaner. If you want a natural alternative, a simple white vinegar-water solution should do the trick.
5. Use vinegar on stubborn stains
If your child stains their favourite wooden toy, all you need is a bit of vinegar. For a concentrated vinegar-water mixture, the National Sanitation Foundation recommends using a 1:1 ratio. Spray some of the mixture on a piece of cloth and spot clean the toy. Leave it to dry and wait for the smell to go away.
Aside from being a great stain remover, vinegar also happens to be a natural disinfectant that can also help prevent the build-up of bacteria on wooden surfaces.
6. Air dry your child’s wooden toys
You can leave the toys under the sun to help the wood dry naturally and speed up the drying process. The sun’s rays also act as a disinfectant by killing germs on the toy’s surface. Just be careful not to leave the toys out for too long as prolonged sun exposure can cause the paint to crack and fade. Teachers Choice sells only the best quality toys – our wooden toys will retain their print and colour with regular cleaning.
7. Keep it moisturised
Feed the wood to prevent it from looking dry and dull. Use a small amount of olive oil, coconut oil, or natural wax to keep the wood moisturised and to help it retain its colour. Wipe off any excess oil or wax and leave to dry.
8. Sort and organise wooden toys
After cleaning and drying wooden toys, it helps to sort them and keep similar toys in the same container before storing them. If your child’s wooden toys come as part of a set, make sure that all the pieces are complete before storing. This will make it easier for you to unpack the set when it comes time to put the toy back in rotation.
9. Wrap in cotton sheets and keep in plastic box
Once you’ve sorted your child’s toys, wrap them in individual cotton sheets and store in containers with enough ventilation to prevent mould from growing on the wooden surface. The cotton sheets can also help keep the toys dry while in storage. Keep the container in a dry place away from direct sunlight to keep the toys in good condition.
10. Store wooden toys with silica gel
Storing toys with small bags of silica gel will help keep the container dry. This can prevent moisture from destroying the toys’ wood surface and inhibit mould from growing. These packets are especially helpful when storing wooden toys in a humid environment.
High-quality wooden toys will last for a very long time with proper care and storage. Visit our shop today for durable, long-lasting wooden toys that will bring joy to your home. Teachers Choice is recommended by teachers and parents alike.