Ultimate Guide: How to Clean, Sanitize, and Disinfect Wooden Toys

Receive weekly Activity, plans, and resources tailored to boost your child’s fine motor skills, sensory exploration, and cognitive abilities. Join our collaborative community of 20k+ parents & educators.


Wooden toys are actual treasures in the playroom area. They are long-lasting, environmentally friendly, and timeless. However, like all toys, they can harbor bacteria as well. Washing them is an important part of your child’s health. Something that wood toys have is a character that cannot be compared with anything. They are crafted of natural materials, which makes them a safe and environmentally friendly option for children. While plastic does not, wood has its natural antibacterial capabilities. Also, it is porous which means that it can absorb moisture as well as microorganisms if not properly maintained.

How to Clean Wooden Toys

Cleaning wooden toys not only preserves their natural beauty but also guarantees their safety since they won’t crack or break. By implementing both the daily and deep cleaning routines, you can easily control dirt and grim buildup​.

Daily Cleaning

  • Wipe off dust: Wipe the toys using a soft, dry piece of cloth (cleaned to remove the dust) and lightly dab onto them. This stops the settlement of the dust particles in the pores of wood thereby preventing their accumulation which would be difficult to clean later.
  • Spot clean: For small spills or stains, just dampen a cloth with water and softly rub the area. If needed, a little of the mild soap can be taken to lift the stain. However, saturating the wood should be avoided, as too much moisture can cause warping or mildew.

Deep Cleaning

  • Prepare your supplies: Take a soft piece of cloth and some mild liquid soap (the best is the unscented and pure natural one not containing chemical ingredients) and fill a basin with lukewarm water.
  • Wipe down: Put the cloth into the soapy solution, and then squeeze the excess water out of it. But make sure it is not dripping wet instead just damp. Using a soft cloth, carefully wipe clean the surface of the toy, including crevices and areas that are intricately carved. Dirt tends to accumulate in such places.
  • Rinse: Take some soap and mix it with the cloth by rubbing it until it starts to foam. Rinse the cloth with clean water. And wring it out well to remove the foam. Use it to wipe the toy and remove any remaining soap residues. No soap is permitted to remain on the toy because soap is irritating to the children’s sensitive skin.
  • Dry thoroughly: Moisture is the worst enemy of a wooden toy, so ensure that it is completely dry before you introduce it into play. If possible, dry the toy’s air in an airy place, where there is no direct sunlight, the sun can make the wood crack or the color fade. If for quick drying of the toy run a dry and clean cloth all over the toy.

How to Sanitize Wooden Toys

Sanitizing wooden toys is an imperative step to keep them squeaky clean to keep them safe and germ-free for children. While cleaning removes the surface dirt and grime, sanitization lowers the number of germs by a further step which in turn reduces the risk of falling sick.

Natural Methods

  • Vinegar solution: Mix a sanitizing solution with equal parts of water and white vinegar. This acid, which is non-destructive, is the best option for killing bacteria and viruses from wood. Put the wet cloth into the solution, then use it to clean the toys. The wood should not get wet to protect it from moisture damage. Once you are done wiping, ensure the toys are well-dried by air. The acidic smell of vinegar will eventually go away as it dries.
  • Sunlight: Sunlight can be referred to as a free natural disinfectant that nobody can overcome. UV lights can eliminate those bacteria and viruses on the surface of wooden toys. Furthermore, they should not be kept there for a long time because too much sunlight can fade the colors and finally make the wood split.

When to Sanitize

After illness: Sanitizing the toys is a must now that the disease has spread in homes as anyone in your household is sick or your child might be. It is especially important about the toys that are usually put into the mouth or those that are used by many children.

Monthly: The toys just need to be cleaned regularly, not because someone got ill. Implementing a periodic sanitization calendar will make sure that germs that have accumulated over years are eliminated and thus the playground is safe.

How to Disinfect Wooden Toys

The disinfection of wooden toys has become a vital component of repeated sanitization processes, especially in cases of serious contaminants or when the number of cases has drastically increased, such as the flu season. Disinfection is a type of cleaning that is very intensive and it kills more types of germs, bacteria, and viruses.

Want 20 Easy & Fun Montessori Activity for Your Child?

Grab your FREE printable activity guide now!

    No spam, promise.

    DIY Disinfectant

    • Hydrogen peroxide: Prepare a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution which is sold at drug stores. The concentration is efficient against all the pathologies, but it has been shown that it is safe to lick made of wood by the majority of toys. The solution should be sprayed lightly on the toy surface or the cloth should be dampened and used to wipe the object. Let it rest for a couple of minutes after that to kill the bacteria. Lastly, rinse off the toy with a clean wet cloth to remove the excess hydrogen peroxide, as it does not want to stay there and could result in very slight discoloration over time.
    • Avoid bleach: While bleach is an efficient sanitizer, it may be harmful to wooden toys as it is an aggressive cleaner. It may remove the natural oils, which are normally found in timber. The removal of these natural oils may cause drying, cracking, and destruction or discoloration of the paints and finishes. Therefore, the best solution is to use chlorine for non-porous items and hydrogen peroxide for wooden toys.

    Safety Tips

    Test first: Before applying hydrogen peroxide to the whole toy, test at some discrete points. This way, you will also be able to check that none of the negative reactions have taken place, such as discoloration or damage to the finish. Take some time out before using it to prevent any side effects.

    Dry well: Wooden toys should be dry before disinfecting them ,since having them moist can result in molds. It should also be dried out in a well-ventilated room. Do not use appliances that emit heat.

    People Also Ask Questions/FAQs related to Keyword

    Question 1: How to clean wooden toys?

    Clean them using a cloth, damped with water and soap. Also, it shouldn’t get too wet. Afterward, rinse it with a damp cloth, to remove the soap, and dry it using a different cloth.

    Question 2: How to sanitize wooden toys?

    Use an equal amount of water and vinegar as a solution, for sanitizing wooden toys. Using the solution, spray it into a cloth, and then wipe the toys.

    Question 3: How to disinfect wooden toys?

    Use 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect the toys, and it should be used with a cloth. Use it first in a smaller area to test the effectiveness.

    Question 4: What’s the best way to maintain the color and integrity of wooden toys?

    To maintain the appearance and quality of the toys, they shouldn’t be exposed too much to sunlight and moisture. Beeswax and natural oils are good for conditioning them.


    Ready to make a lasting impact on your child’s future? Download our FREE 20 Fun & Easy Montessori Activities Ideas you can use today to supercharge your child’s development. Click here to get your free printable activity guide.

    One of the best choices for children’s play is wooden toys. Make sure that they are always clean and sanitized. This guide can guarantee your kids have a safe, and clean playtime.