Cleaning Hack: Disinfect Toys in your DISHWASHER! [Winter Sickness Buster]

CLEANING HACK! Kick Sickness with your Dishwasher! Banish germs, and get your kids on the mend! www.FunCheapOrFree.com

Who needs a winter sickness buster CLEANING HACK in their house to disinfect toys?? Winters can be rough. One kid gets sick, and it's like fire on a prairie; it just spreads and won't stop!! Though winter is ending and spring approaching, that doesn't mean the sickness-spreading will stop! Spring colds and sickness are all too common. A few years ago, I wrote a post about how to de-germ your house and cleaning toys with the dishwasher.

This week we are packing up to head out on a fun trip, and also packing up our house to  get ready to MOVE when we get back! Woo hoo! (Keep your eye on Instagram and Facebook for updates!) Since the last thing I want to do is pack germs along with us, I've been giving our toys a good sanitizing and thought I would remind you all to do the same!

HOW TO DISINFECT USING THE DISHWASHER:

(AND NOT JUST TOYS, EITHER!)

What to Disinfect:

Some things I run through the dishwasher from time to time to kill germs are:

  • Toothbrushes
  • Binkies/Pacifiers
  • Retainers
  • Hair brushes (once the hair has been removed, of course)
  • Dog food/water bowls
  • Tub toys
  • Various kid (and dog!) toys

When it comes to toys, avoid these kinds:

  • Toys where water couldn't seep inside and ruin them (like balls that light up or toys with buttons to push)
  • No battery-operated toys
  • No wooden toys
  • No loose or removable parts
  • No plush or fabric toys
  • No toys with pull-strings or voice boxes

For plush or soft toys…

As long as they don't have batteries, pull strings, voice boxes or anything named above, I throw them in the washing machine! You can put them in a pillow case if you're worried about them getting banged around. But put in a little detergent as usual and run them on gentle cycle, then hang dry. Works like a charm.

How to do wash toys in the dishwasher:

Before going to bed I fill the dishwasher to the brim with toys; even the ones they haven't played with much recently. Run it while sleeping, let them drip-dry over night, and poof! Germs. Be. Gone.

Tips for Success:

1. The silverware holder is your friend

I stuff that baby full of the smaller toys that would likely fall through the regular racks.

CLEANING HACK! Kick Sickness with your Dishwasher! Banish germs, and get your kids on the mend! www.FunCheapOrFree.com

2. Medium Toys = Top Rack

I layer them in there, and pack it full. I'm okay if some overlap others — the hot water will work its way through the pile to get each one sparkly, and clean!
CLEANING HACK! Kick Sickness with your Dishwasher! Banish germs, and get your kids on the mend! www.FunCheapOrFree.com

3. Big Toys = Bottom Rack

Dump trucks, large cars, stacking blocks, you name it! If it's big enough to stay in the bottom racks without falling through, then you're set! I really pack them in there; don't be scared!

CLEANING HACK! Kick Sickness with your Dishwasher! Banish germs, and get your kids on the mend! www.FunCheapOrFree.com

4. Gentle Wash (if you have it) & AIR Dry

Once you're loaded up and ready to go, find the light wash/gentle cycle, and let those toys get squeaky clean while you sleep! Whatever wash you choose, just PLEASE make sure the heated dry is off so it doesn't melt your toys – you don't want to wake up to a wad of plastic goo at the bottom of your dishwasher. We are avoiding germs, and tears here… and melted toys = melt downs, and well folks, that's just nothing I want to sign up for.

CLEANING HACK! Kick Sickness with your Dishwasher! Banish germs, and get your kids on the mend! www.FunCheapOrFree.com

5. Detergent

I usually use my typical Finish detergent from Costco. However, you could definitely use some naturally-based dishwasher detergent (Seventh Generation is always a good one – Costco has that too). For the most frugal (and all-natural!) solution, use straight vinegar. Just pour it where the soap goes. You can even throw a drop or two of your favorite “germ-fighting” essential oils blend in with the vinegar, just for an extra punch! SparkNaturals is my favorite essential oil companies because it has the best prices, is local, and their stuff is therapeutic grade. They don't mess around. And they offer us an EXCLUSIVE discount! Use code FCFSPARK at checkout to save 10%!)

And that's it!

CLEANING HACK! Kick Sickness with your Dishwasher! Banish germs, and get your kids on the mend! www.FunCheapOrFree.com

When you wake up in the morning, you will have a whole batch of spiffy clean toys just begging to be played with. I suggest running toys or everyday items through the wash once a month or so, even if your family is seemingly healthy at the time (because we all know sickness is just one sneeze or cough away).

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR HOME GERM-FREE? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

Be well, my friends!
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Comments

  1. This works SO well! Also, at getting any mildew off bath toys (yuck). We live in a SUPER cold climate (upstate NY) and I think making sure stuff the kids touch all of the time is clean, combined with getting them out in the cold (even if just for a few minutes a day) is key. The cold will also kill of germs, and helps so much!
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