Patient Education

Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Child Safety: Washing Toys to Prevent Germs

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

Why it is important to clean toys and surfaces

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.

Have a bin for dirty toys that is out of your child's reach. When a toy becomes dirty, such as after a child has played with it and put it in his or her mouth, put it in the bin. If you can't wash the toys right away, set them aside to wash later.

How to clean toys and surfaces

Clean

Scrubbing with soap and water effectively removes germs from surfaces. This method is recommended for surfaces where chemical disinfectants are not appropriate, such as some furniture.

Disinfect

When possible, toys and surfaces should also be disinfected. 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.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics

Current as ofMay 4, 2017

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.