Toys get dirty. We all know that. They get chewed on, dragged around, buried in the sandpit, fed at tea parties....
The quickest, easiest and best way I know of keeping toys clean, in bulk, comes in 2 parts.
First, I run all the hard plastic toys through my dishwasher, every couple of weeks. I do this more often with little baby toys that are in the mouth all the time. Set onto the hottest setting your machine will do, use a little bit of powder (or not, if you don't want to with the baby toys), and come back later to take them out. The heat and steam does a good job of killing off any stray germs.
Secondly, I put soft toys that are washable through a slightly more rigorous process.
Put a few of them in a pillowcase, fold it over and place in your freezer. Yes, in the freezer. Leave them there overnight. This is what the low-allergy toy manufacturers recommend that you do to kill off any dust mites that might be inside the toys.
The next day, leave them in the pillow case and throw the whole lot into the washing machine. Again, run on a hot gentle cycle, with perhaps just a little bit of powder.
The important thing is to get them dry fairly quickly. If they are all fabric, then a quick tumble dry is good. If they have plastic parts, then spread out to dry on a towel in the blazing hot sun is the best place for them. Remember to baste and turn regularly. Er, I mean, just turn them over to dry both sides thoroughly.
For more parenting survival techniques, head over to Kimberly at Raising Olives.
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