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How to clean kid's toys

Kids can get messy and where there's messy kids, there's often messy toys!   Cleaning items that come from a toy library, op shop or donated by friends and relatives is often a good idea, too (as is sanitising after play dates, or illness).

Here's our best tips to handle some of the most common grubby toy dilemmas.

Bath toys

Once bath toys get mould in them, it's very difficult to get it out.  So, prevention is much better than the cure.  Raid hubby's shed and block the holes in your toys with waterproof silicon - make sureyou press it right in so little mouths can't get it.  Invest in a bath net or another toy holder with drainage. You can buy seriously fancy ones, but as a cheap option you could even use one of those orange net bags that you buy oranges in.  Afer every bath, squeeze as much water out of the toys as possible and place in the bag to drain further.

However, if your toys already have mould try this:  get a bucket of nice hot soapy water and first give them a good wash on the outside.  Then, place them in a bucket of fresh water with 3 cups of white vinegar and 4 capfuls of Bosisto's Tea Tree Oil.  Make sure you sqeeze them so they soak up some of the vinegar/ essential oil water.  Leave overnight, then shake well, squeeze empty and rinse in clean water.   Drying/ airing out in the sun can also help - do this regularly (perhaps each time you clean the bath, for a few hours) to help prevent mould.

Plastic toys and blocks (without electronics)

Everyday grime on plastic toys is easily wiped away using a cloth (like a Chux) dampened with water, and a few drops of eucalyptus oil.  For really grotty toys (perhaps those ones forgotten about in the shed!)  Try soaking in a bucket with 2-4 capfuls of Bosisto's Eucalyptus Solution.

Another great way to clean plastic toys is to pop them in the dishwasher - add a few drops of eucalyptus oil instead of a dishwashing tablet and away you go!  The hot water will help kill any bugs, too.

Stuffed toys

Believe it or not, most soft toys and dolls are machine washable.  Just pop them in a pillowcase, and wash on a gentle cycle (add Bosisto's Dust Mite Wash to help kill dust mites).  Of course don't wash something particularly delicate or antique - they need specialist care (google: Toy repairs).  Very large plush toys can be washed by opening a bottom seam and removing the stuffing, washing the fur on gentle, then carefully re-stiching. 

Worried about dust mites on toys but can't or don't want to wash them?  Just spray with Bosisto's Dust Mite Spray - it's a natural formula based on eucalyptus oil which can help kill dust mites.  It's great for couches and curtains too.

Sticky glue, paint and texta on craft tables

Eucalyptus oil!  Soak a cloth in the oil and apply to the surface to help remove little Picasso's spills.  Be careful on polished or varnished surfaces, patch test first.

Hard cover books, plus pretty much everything

Baby wipes are a godsend for food spills, dribble and general girme on just about anything - except mobile phones and tech (see below)

Phones, TV screens remotes and tablets

Let's face it, the definition of kids toys has changed these days and must include portable technology devices including DS, playstation remotes, phones, tablets, and other educational tech.   As a general rule if it has a screen or electronics, don't use water or products not recommended by the manufacturer.  Most phone and tablet screens can be cleaned with a soft, lint-free microfibre cloth.  Consult your user manual or the product's distributor for further cleaning instructions.