August 31, 2023

How to Clean Kids’ Toys

Child playing with dinosaur toys

With beach days winding down and changing leaves on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to give your kids’ toys a scrub before you get swept away by a busy fall. Successful toy cleaning, whether you’re dealing with bath toys, plastic blocks, or stuffed animals, is all about having the right tools for the job. And Seventh Generation’s biobased cleaners, made with ingredients that nurture your family and the next seven generations, have all your needs covered.  


Bath Toys and Plastic Toys

Great news! Most toys made of solid plastic, such as animals, blocks, and bath friends are easy to clean with simple ingredients and just a few spare minutes. Here’s how we do it: 

  • Fill your sink halfway with warm water and a healthy squirt of biobased dish soap.*  

  • Drop in all your solid plastic toys and jostle until good and soapy. 

  • Let soak for 15-30 minutes. 

  • Scrub each toy using a non-abrasive rag or microfiber cloth, then rinse. 

  • Set toys aside to dry (don’t stack) and ensure they’re completely dry before re-introducing them into play to help prevent mold.  

Some plastic toys may come with usage instructions for effective cleaning. In that case, always follow manufacturer guidelines.  


*Seventh Generation Dish Soaps are made with Safer Choice Certified ingredients to nurture your family and come in refreshing scents made with 100% essential oils and botanical ingredients.


Stuffed Animals and Dolls

Of all the toys in your child’s life, their favorite dolls or stuffies might be the ones most in need of a good cleaning. From the sandbox to the back seat to the dinner table, and yes, even the bathroom, they’re touched by everything your child touches. Not a pretty thought—but it’s true! 


How to clean stuffed animals and plush toys:

You’ll want to consult any manufacturer instructions first, but you can machine wash most colorfast plush toys using a gentle, biobased laundry detergent. Our EasyDose Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent is a great option. It’s formulated for your child’s sensitive skin, EPA Safer Choice Certified, and is 98% USDA Certified Biobased. 


For small or delicate stuffies, wash in a mesh bag to protect them during the cycle. Always air-dry stuffed animals and ensure they’re completely dry to help prevent mold and mildew.


To clean stuffed animals by hand, dip a clean cloth in warm, soapy water and gently go over the entire toy, being careful not to scrub too hard or damage the exterior. Air dry completely.  


How to clean vinyl or plastic dolls:

Spot clean using warm soapy water or a gentle multi-surface wipe. When using water, ensure your cloth or sponge isn’t too wet to help keep water out of the doll’s joints or moving parts. Air dry.  


Playrooms and Play Surfaces:  

From watercolor dollops to marker smudges, your child’s imaginative play is bound to leave a mark on tables, walls, floors, and even other toys. For everyday cleaning of small messes in your play rooms and dedicated play spaces, we love our Multi-Surface Wipes. They’re convenient to have around and ideal for quickly getting rid of dirt and grease or the colorful evidence of a recent artistic masterpiece. They even come in two invigorating scents, both made from 100% essential oils and botanical ingredients for a cleaning experience that’s refreshing without being overpowering. 


If you prefer to spray your way to cleaner surfaces, our All Purpose Cleaner works wonders on the same everyday kid messes. Our Safer Choice Certified formula is safer for cleaning around kids and pets—and even works great on floors! Even better, the bottle can be refilled up to seven times using our Multi-Surface Cleaner Concentrate that uses 75% less plastic over seven refills for a planet-friendly clean you’ll love.  


School Gear Bonus

Lunch Boxes 

Scrub lunch boxes with a warm soapy water solution using a sponge or utility rag. If lunch boxes are still a little musty or funky from summer storage, sprinkle the inside with baking soda and leave to de-odorize overnight.  


Back Packs 

From spot-cleaning tips to fabric watch-outs, our full guide on how to clean your kids’ backpacks is a life saver. 


We hope these tips help make the start of the new school year and the coming fall easier—and cleaner!