How to Clean Your StairSlide (and other toys)

How to Clean Your StairSlide (and other toys)

Everything needs a good clean once in awhile. If you have kids, this is especially true. Whether it’s because of their literal sticky fingers or the dirt they tracked into the house, anything freshly clean in their vicinity is on borrowed time. The funny paradox is that people without kids have time to really clean and people with kids REALLY don’t. In this post, I want to do a solid for the people who have no time to clean and make this a one-stop information dump to keeping sanitary. Most of these toys can be cleaned weekly if they’re in daily use. However, if your child is on the younger side and has a penchant for putting their toys in their mouth, I would clean them every other day or so.

Another good rule of thumb to keep toys clean is to encourage your children to wash their thumbs. And their fingers. Maybe their palms while they're at it. Hand-washing. I’m talking about hand-washing. Unless your kid is a baby with a penchant for putting things in their mouths, the most contact they’ll have with their toys would be with their hands. So, to increase longevity between washes, go to the source and promote hand-washing.

How to Clean:

The Stairslide

For most solid plastic toys, you can put them in the dishwasher without a problem. While StairSlide doesn’t have any screws or crevices, it definitely won’t fit in your dishwasher; that probably went without saying. Please send me a picture if you do manage to fit yours in the dishwasher; I would be genuinely interested in seeing that marvel.

Since there isn’t a lot of hand contact involved when using the StairSlide, it doesn’t need to be cleaned as often as other toys. 

If there are any visible scuffs, it's best to spot clean them with a damp towel before you try to disinfect

+ To disinfect it, feel free to use your choice of sanitary wipes (Lysol or Clorox), a cloth wet with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, or a mixture of 1/2 cup chlorine bleach with one gallon of water.

+ Allow the slide to completely air dry before use.

Other Solid Plastic

As I said before, this kind of toy can be thrown in the dishwasher; everything is easier when an appliance can do the job, amiright?

+ Ensure all toys are on the top level to avoid turning the well-loved objects into a melted gloopy mess; the lego bricks will no longer fit right and any dolls/personified toy will become the thing of nightmares and/or Sloth from The Goonies.

+ Nestle the larger toys in between the top rack's prongs and place the smaller toys in a mesh bag to avoid them jostling about in the wash.

+ Don't put Barbies in...their hard can't handle the humidity.

+ Don't put hollow toys in since they can collect water which leads to mold.

Electronics

I probably don't need to tell you but electronics + water = bad. So, how do you clean them?

+ Disconnect them from power or take out all batteries.

+ Spot clean any especially sticky or grimy parts with a wrung-out soapy clean cloth.

+ After you have spot-washed the toy, rinse the soap off with a different damp cloth and let it air dry.

+ To kill bacteria/viruses on the surface, you can use the typical Lysol/disinfecting wipe. Make sure to wring it out well.

+ If you expect the toy to be in your kid's mouth at any time, rinse it again with a damp cloth and let it air dry.

Stuffed Animals

Most of these toys are machine washable, but before throwing them in, make sure any rips or tears are repaired since washin

g might turn the small rips into not-so-small rips.

+ Place them in a mesh laundry bag or a tied-off pillow case.

+ Set the washer on the gentle cycle with warm water.

+ Dry the toy (still in the pillow case/laundry bag) on low-heat and low-tumble.

+ If you can't machine wash the toy or you think the color might bleed, use a steamer or the same cleaning technique as you would with electronics.

Barbies/Dolls

Barbies or dolls are comprised of vinyl-like plastic and plastic hair which calls for slightly different cleaning. 

+ Regularly sanitizing with a damp lysol wipe is great, but the unique vinyl-like plastic sometimes gets sticky which normal cleaning won't remove.

For the "Stickiness"

+ Start with a damp clean cloth.

+ Sprinkle baking soda on the cloth.

+ Wipe the baking soda on the Barbie until the stickiness is removed.

+ Rinse under running water.

+ Allow it to air dry.

For the Hair

+ If there are any tough tangles, apply some conditioner and leave it for a couple of minutes and then brush it out.

+ If you put in the conditioner, rinse it out under running water.

+ Apply gentle/baby shampoo and work it into the hair to remove any dirt.

+ Rinse under running water.

+ Work in some conditioner.

+ Once again, rinse it under running water.

+ Pat dry.

+ Comb the hair to remove any remaining tangles.

+ Allow it to air dry.

I know some people like to clean with vinegar, and while it's great for on removing grease and limescale and kill some germs, it's lower on the scale of actually sanitizing and disinfecting compared to other solutions. If ever in doubt, hot soapy water should do the trick


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