Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size
A
A
A

Child Safety: Washing Toys to Prevent Germs - 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.

Surfaces that are likely to collect germs include diaper-changing areas, potty chairs, crib rails, or areas where food is prepared or eaten.

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 dishes and utensils. Chemicals such as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach are used to disinfect surfaces and objects. You can find a wide variety of brand-name products with varying ingredients. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions exactly as printed on the label.

You can make your own disinfectant with bleach and water, although it quickly loses its strength. It should be made fresh daily. Use the following ratios of bleach to water, depending on the strength needed.

  • For a strong bleach disinfecting solution (to clean bathrooms, diapering areas, and other surfaces): Add 0.25 cup (60 mL) household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) to 1 gal (4 L) cool water, or add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) bleach to 1 qt (1 L) cool water.
  • For a weaker bleach disinfecting solution (to clean toys, eating utensils, and other items handled by young children or put in the mouth): Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) household bleach (5.25% sodium hypochlorite) to 1 gal (4 L) cool water.

Do not mix bleach with other liquids or cleaners because the mixture can produce a toxic gas. Bleach should be mixed only with fresh tap water. Keep all chemicals out of reach of children.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Child Safety: Washing Toys to Prevent Germs Topics

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow