how to clean wooden toys

Sustainably produced wooden toys are not only better for the environment but they are know to harbour less germs that their plastic counterparts. With some plastic toys having high lead content, wooden toys are becoming a popular choice with a generation conscious of the impact on both the environment and the health of their children.

Switching to wooden toys can be a very practical solution because they are easier to clean than you might think. Follow our simple guide to get the most from the toys.

Daily Play
A simple wipe with a damp cloth will remove any dust, if the wood has a painted finish then you can simply let them air dry. If the toy has a natural finish then it will need a quick wipe with a dry cloth too. Wood has natural antibacterial properties so unlike plastic toys, the chance of the toy harbouring bugs are much less likely.

Proper Clean
There are several options from mild soap through to a diluted bleach solution but our recommended choice is White Vinegar. Just like wood, vinegar has fantastic antibacterial properties and will not be harmful to children that love to chew! 

Mix one part White Vinegar with one part Water, put the solution into a garden spray bottle and hey presto. Using the fine nozzle, give each toy a light spray, if there are any food remnants, take an old soft toothbrush and gently tease the dirt away. This solution is so safe, you don't even have to dry the toys if they are not too grubby. Vinegar and wood are like jam roly poly and custard, they were made for each other.

Looking After Wooden Toys
Kids will be kids so from time to time the wooden toys may get wet, even if the wooden has been varnished or painted, wood can still absorb water and swell causing cracks. Try to keep wooden toys in a dry and warm environment but if the wood does get wet, avoid drying it in the sun as the wood may warp or fade. From time to time wood may also splinter, this can be easily sorted both some extra fine grade sandpaper. 

Painted, Stained, Varnished or Natural?
This is really down to personal preference. Wood is a beautiful material so we prefer staining. Using soy based paints that are lead free, the grain of the wood shows underneath the stained colouring. Natural toys are perhaps the most beautiful but bare in mind that a natural untreated surface will absorb everything from crayon to dribble so it may not be the most practical solution.

Where can I buy Wooden Toys?
When I Was a Kid have been sourcing wooden toys from all over the world for over ten years. This means the wooden toys we sell come from sustainable sources where possible with rubber wood being our preferred choice. Working closely with some of the best manufacturers in the world including Le Toy Van, Lanka Kade and Big Jigs, you can rest assured the quality of the toy has already been taken care of, the rest is up to you.