It's a fact, babies and toddlers put absolutely everything in their mouths. Let's stay ahead of the germs and keep those toys clean and babies healthy! Learn how to clean baby toys in the dishwasher and save some major time and sanity!

Baby holding clean toy on the floor, from Fun Cheap or Free

Who needs a winter sickness buster CLEANING HACK in their house to keep those toys clean?? 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.

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Since we like to stay ahead of the game and try to prevent as much sickness and keep those toys clean, we give our toys a good sanitizing every so often. We figured it's finally time to teach you how to clean baby toys using your dishwasher to save you some major time, money (yep!), and let the machine do all the work for you! Ready to learn how?!


HOW DOES THE DISHWASHER SAVE MONEY?

As we went over in our post about genius ways to save money on your water bill (which you should totally go read after this!), hand-washing toys in the sink uses about two gallons of water per minute. Most dishwashers use about four gallons of water for the whole cycle… Plus it does all the work for you, so why wouldn't you use the dishwasher to clean baby toys?!


WHAT YOU SHOULD DISINFECT IN THE DISHWASHER

Dishwasher full of toys, from Fun Cheap or Free

We throw more than just baby toys in the dishwasher to clean! Here's what we usually throw in there:


WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT PUT IN THE DISHWASHER

  • Toys where water could seep inside and ruin them (like balls that light up or toys with buttons to push)
  • Battery-operated toys
  • Wooden toys
  • Anything with loose or removable parts that you don't want coming off
  • Plush or fabric toys
  • Toys with pull-strings or voice boxes

It's pretty straight-forward! When it doubt, don't throw it in. But once you start doing this, your world will be forever changed.


HOW TO CLEAN BABY TOYS IN THE DISHWASHER

Toys in the dishwasher, from Fun Cheap or Free

Before going to bed, fill the dishwasher to the brim with toys. Even if they haven't played with them recently, it's never a bad idea to wash them. Especially if you're wanting to make it a full load! Run it while you're sleeping, let them drip-dry over night, and poof! Germs. Be. Gone.

And don't worry, we've got some great tips for success comin' your way to make the most of your time!


USE THE SILVERWARE HOLDER

If you're needing to clean baby toys that may fall through the regular rack, throw them in the silverware holder! It's the perfect way to clean them without worrying about them falling into the bottom of the dishwasher.


PUT MEDIUM TOYS ON THE TOP RACK

Showing how to clean baby toys in the dishwasher, from Fun Cheap or Free

Layer them in there and pack it full. It's okay if some overlap others — the hot water will work its way through the pile to get each one sparkly, and clean!


HOW TO CLEAN LARGE BABY TOYS – USE THE 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! Really pack them in there; don't be scared! They'll come out bright and shiny every time.


USE DETERGENT

Use whatever your typical dishwasher detergent is. As we said in our house-cleaning products post, we're not too picky about our dishwasher pods as long as they're on sale! However, you could definitely use some naturally-based dishwasher detergent (Seventh Generation is always a good one).


USE LIGHT/GENTLE WASH AND 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 we want to sign up for.


HOW TO CLEAN PLUSH OR SOFT BABY TOYS

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


When you wake up in the morning, you will have a whole batch of spiffy clean toys just begging to be played with. We 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).

Alright, well now you know how to clean baby toys in the dishwasher! Do you have any tips or tricks? Share them with us in the comments below!

Image with text that reads "how to clean and disinfect toys using the dishwasher" from Fun Cheap or Free

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Be well!