How to Clean Wooden Toys? (4 Easy Ways!)

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Imagine your children playing with a wooden block set. 

They are building a tower, and one of the blocks falls and lands in the dirt.

In any of these situations, your children might get their Montessori toys dirty. 

If this happens, the best thing to do is to calmly clean the toy as soon as possible and remember that messy play is a normal part of childhood.

But, how do you clean wooden toys? There are four common ways to clean your children’s toys. First is by wiping the toy with a dry cloth or place it in a warm, dry place. Second is utilizing all-natural cleaning products for the wooden toys which can include vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. The third way is to air dry the toys and lastly, clean them in batches by dipping them in a 1:4 solution of soap and vinegar with water. 

How To Clean Wooden Toys

To help you maintain cleanliness, here is our simple and straightforward guide to cleaning all of your child’s wooden toys.

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    4 Best Ways to Clean Wood Toys 

    Wooden toys are known for being extremely hygienic, making them a great choice for children. 

     Since wood is naturally antimicrobial, it can be easily cleaned without the need for harsh chemicals. 

    With proper care and efficient toy sanitation, you can help prevent your children from being infected by bacteria and make your kid’s favorite toys last for generations!

    Here are a few tips and tricks!

    1. Wipe the toy with a dry cloth or place it in a warm, dry place.

    Wooden toys should not be soaked or immersed in water, as this can damage the wood and cause it to lose its shape and color.

    Since wood is porous, it means that it can absorb water. 

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    When water is absorbed by the wood, it can cause the wood to swell and warp. 

    This can damage the toy’s shape and make it difficult to play with.

    Water can also cause the wood to lose its color. This is because the water can dissolve the pigments that give the wood its color.

    If a wooden toy does get wet, it is important to dry it off as soon as possible. To do this, gently wipe the toy with a dry cloth or by placing it in a warm, dry place.

    1. Utilize all-natural products for wooden toys.

    Instead of using commercial cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals such as bleach, you can use natural cleaning products to clean your toys. 

    These products are safe for your child’s health and ensure the use of environmentally friendly products.

    Here are some natural products that you can use:

    • White vinegar Vinegar diluted with water works well in disinfecting toys, which means that it can be used to clean and sanitize them. Simply mix equal parts of vinegar diluted in water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the toy and use a soft cloth to wipe it clean.
    • Baking soda Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can be used to remove dirt, grime, and stains from toys. Make a paste of baking soda and water and rub it onto the toy with a toothbrush. Let the paste sit for a few minutes, then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
    • Gentle Soap

    Soaps such as castile soap can also be used to clean wooden toys. Simply scrub the soap on the dirty area or dilute it in water and spray it on the dirty parts. Rinse well using a damp cloth or a sponge.

    • Essential oils

    Essential oils can be added to natural cleaning solutions to add a fresh scent and kill bacteria. Add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar or baking soda solution before spraying or rubbing it onto the toy.

    1. Air drying the toys

    Instead of using a hair dryer or other heat source to dry wooden toys, you can air dry them. 

    Air drying is a gentler way to dry them and it helps to prevent the wood from warping or cracking.

    • Place the toy in a well-ventilated area.
    • Avoid placing the toy in direct sunlight, as this can cause the wood to fade.
    • Allow the toy to dry completely before playing with it.
    1. Cleaning toys in batches.

    To clean a large number of wooden toys, you can wash wooden toys by filling a sink with a 1:4 solution of soap or vinegar and water. 

    Submerge the toys in the solution and swirl them around, but do not soak!

    Drain the toys and rinse them with water.

    Be sure to dry the toys thoroughly with a soft cloth or brush to prevent mold or mildew from forming.

    Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the wood.

    How Frequent Should You Clean Wooden Toys?

    The answer? Not very often!

    Since wood has natural antimicrobial properties, harmful bacteria, and viruses do not accumulate on wooden toys as easily as they do on plastic toys. 

    The rule of thumb is you only need to clean your wooden toys when your kid is sick or when you notice a buildup of dirt.

    If your baby or toddler tends to put wooden toys in their mouth, you may want to clean them more frequently. Favorite teething toys might require daily cleaning.

    How to Disinfect Wooden Toys

    Wooden toys are fun to play with, but they can also get dirty and collect germs over time. That’s why it’s important to know how to disinfect wooden toys properly in order to keep your child safe and germs free. Disinfecting means killing germs and making the toys clean and safe to play with for your little one. Let’s have a look at why it’s important to disinfect wooden toys and the best ways to do it.

    Why You Should Disinfect Wooden Toys

    Disinfecting wooden toys is important for many reasons. Here are a few that we think is important to note:

    Keep Germs Away: Germs can make your child sick, and they can hide on their toys too. Disinfecting wooden toys, you can help prevent the spread of germs and keep your child healthy.

    Longer Toy Lifespan: Wooden toys can last a long time if you look after them. Disinfecting helps remove dirt, grime, and bacteria that can damage the toys over time. It keeps them looking nice and in good shape for your child to play with or pass it down to a sibling.

    Safe Sharing: When your child has friends or other young family members over to play, it’s fun to share toys. Disinfecting your child’s wooden toys ensures that they are clean and safe to share with others. You don’t want your child’s friends getting sick getting sick from playing with thier toys.

    Best Ways to Disinfect Wooden Toys

    So now that we know why you should disinfect your child’s wooden toys, let’s have a look at the best ways to disinfect them:

    Wash with Mild Soap and Water: Start by filling a bowl or sink with warm water and a little bit of mild soap. Gently wash the wooden toys using a soft cloth or sponge. Make sure to clean all the nooks and crannies. Rinse the toys well with clean water and let them air dry. Now you have a perfectly disinfected wooden toy for your child to enjoy playing with.

    Vinegar and Water Solution: Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the wooden toys and wipe them with a clean cloth. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can kill germs. Remember to rinse the toys with water afterward and let them dry. Vinegar and lemon make great cleaning products at home, and especially for wooden toys.

    Just a quick tip on how to disinfect wooden toys; remember never to soak wooden toys in water or submerge them completely. Excess water can damage the wood and ruin your child’s toy. You should also avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach as they may harm the wood or leave harmful residues, which isn’t good for your little one.

    Disinfecting wooden toys is an important step in keeping them clean, safe, and germ-free. Keeping your children’s toys clean and disinfected, also helps to keep them preserved for long.

    Now that we’ve learned why and how to disinfect wooden toys, we are going to have a look at why and how to sterilize wooden toys.

    Disinfecting wooden toys involves killing germs and reducing the risk of infections, while sterilizing wooden toys goes a step further by completely eliminating all microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, to ensure a higher level of cleanliness and safety.

    The two techniques are ultimately there to achieve the same goal; keeping your child safe and cleaning their wooden toys.

    How to Sterilize Wooden Toys Effectively and Easily

    Playing with wooden toys encourages development in your child and is enjoyable, but they can accumulate dirt and germs. To maintain their cleanliness and safety, it’s important to understand the different and proper ways to disinfect them. When we disinfect toys for our children, we eliminate germs and ensure the toys are clean and hygienic. We’ put together a short but effective guide on the importance of disinfecting wooden toys and the best methods to achieve it.

    Why You Should Sterilize Wooden Toys
    As we’ve touched on a little above, it is important to sterilizing wooden toys, but why and how? Here are a few reasons why you should ensure your child’s toys are always disinfected:

    Ultimate Germ Protection: Sterilizing wooden toys goes beyond disinfecting by killing even more germs and bacteria. This helps prevent the spread of illnesses and keeps your child, their friends and the rest of your family healthy during playtime.

    Safe for Babies and Toddlers: We’ve all seen it! Babies and toddlers tend to put toys, or anything they can find in their mouths. Sterilizing wooden toys, ensures that they are free from harmful bacteria or allergens, making them safe for your little ones to play with.

    Long-lasting Cleanliness: As with disinfecting wood toys, sterilizing wooden toys removes dirt, grime, and any hidden germs that may be lurking on the surface or in the crevices. This helps keep the toys clean for a longer time and ensures they remain in good condition.

    Best Ways to Sterilize Wooden Toys

    So what are the best ways to sterilize wooden toys? Let’s go through few of the best ways to sterilize wooden toys.

    1. Natural Cleaning Solution: Water and Vinegar
    The best and safest option for sterilizing wooden toys is to use water. If you need a slightly stronger solution, you can create a natural cleaning solution by diluting white vinegar with warm water. This mixture is effective in removing dirt and germs from the toys. Remember to have a cloth handy for cleaning.

    2. Commercial Products for Wooden Toy Cleaning
    If you prefer using a product specifically designed for cleaning wooden toys, you can purchase sanitizing water like Vital Baby’s HYGIENE AQUAINT. This compact bottle is perfect for creating a portable wooden toy cleaning set, ensuring cleanliness on the go.

    3. How to Wipe Down and Sterilize Wooden Toys Effectively
    First thing you need to do is find a clean cloth. Then you would need to dampen a cloth with either water or the diluted vinegar solution and gently wipe it over the wooden toys. Pay attention to any nooks and crannies where germs may hide, this is often something we over look. Avoid running water over the toys or soaking them, as it can damage the paint and cause the wood to swell or warp.

    4. Frequency of Cleaning
    To keep wooden toys sanitary, especially those your baby plays with regularly and puts in their mouth, it’s recommended to clean them once every day or two. Regular cleaning helps prevent the build-up of dirt and germs, ensuring a safe playtime experience for both your child and those they are playing with.

    5. Drying the Toys
    After cleaning, it’s important to let the toys dry thoroughly. If the weather permits, place them on a clean surface in the garden to take advantage of the sun’s natural drying power. Once the toys are completely dry, they can be safely returned to the toy box.

    Cleaning and sterilizing wooden toys is simple and easy with natural methods. Using hot water and vinegar or a safe commercial product, you can ensure your little one’s toys are free from dirt and germs. Regular cleaning and proper drying will also keep the toys in great condition and ready for endless hours of safe and enjoyable playtime. This is in our opinion how to sterilize wooden toys and keep them looking great for years to come.


    Once the toy is clean, you can put it away in a safe place until your child is ready to play with it again.

    It is important to remember that messy play is a normal part of childhood.

    It is how children learn about the world around them.

    So, don’t be too worried if your child gets their Montessori toy dirty. Just clean it up as soon as possible and let them continue playing.


    How to oil wooden toys? As wooden toys are used and enjoyed over time, it is natural for them to exhibit signs of use. To bring them back to life, you can periodically apply a nourishing oil like coconut oil, beeswax, or walnut oil, all of which are non-toxic and safe. Simply wipe the toys with a cloth after applying the oil, and they will be ready for play once again!

    What is the best way to disinfect wooden blocks? To effectively clean the toys, you can either apply a gentle soap and water mixture or utilize a vinegar solution. Apply the solution onto the toys and wipe them down using a cloth. Afterward, rinse the toys with fresh water and let them air dry.

    Why is it important to clean a wooden toy? Cleaning your child’s toys is very important since it prevents the spread of germs and the growth of mould and mildew which can cause infections and sickness. Further, this also extends the life of the toy.