How to Keep Outside Toys Clean

How to Keep Outside Toys Clean

Keeping your outside toys clean is not usually high on the list of priorities for most parents. But if you don’t make time for it, you could be exposing your kids to dirt and germs that can potentially make them sick. Luckily, with a few simple steps, you can keep your outdoor toys clean and safe to play with. Let’s dive in and find out how!

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Washing Toys With Soap and Water

To keep your outdoor toys clean, you should wash them regularly with a mild soap solution. An easy way to do this is to fill a bucket with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Submerge the toy in the bucket and use soft cloths or sponges to wipe off any dirt or debris. Rinse with clean water from a hose, being careful not to put too much pressure on the toy, as it may damage it. Once rinsed, allow the toy to air dry in a protected area.

For more stubborn messes, you can use specific cleaning solutions designed for plastic toys that can be purchased from most hardware stores. However, you want to make sure that what you’re buying is safe for children and the environment before using any type of chemical cleaner on your outdoor toys.

Using a Disinfectant Spray

Using a disinfectant spray to keep your outside play toys clean can be an effective way to kill germs and bacteria when used properly. To use a disinfectant, first, remove any debris on the toy by wiping it with a damp cloth or using a soft brush.

Once the toy is clean and dry, spray the entire surface of the toy with a disinfectant spray from about 10 inches away. Allow the surface to remain wet for at least ten minutes before wiping off any excess solution and leaving the toy to air dry. After about 15 minutes, your outside play toys should be safe for use.

It is important to note that some disinfectants are not safe for use on children’s toys and should not be used without reading the label instructions first. For best results, be sure to regularly clean outdoor toys as needed and always strive for a hygienic environment to maintain good health and safety practices around these items.

Wiping Down Toys With a Damp Cloth

When it comes to cleaning outside toys, wiping them down with a damp cloth is the easiest and most effective option.

  • Start by gathering all the toys on your property and grouping them for easy access.
  • Place a bucket or large bowl at your feet, fill it with warm, soapy water and grab a soft-bristled brush or sponge.
  • Using this mixture, scrub each toy until clean.
  • To rinse the toys off, use a garden hose and spray each one with cool water.
  • Afterward, wipe down each toy with a damp cloth by buffing it in circles to remove any remaining dirt and grime.
  • Allow the toys to air dry before use, or place them back in their original storage area.
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Drying Toys Thoroughly

Often, the best way to keep toys clean is by preventing dirt and debris from sticking to them. However, as toys are meant to be played with outdoors, this isn’t always possible. When your child’s toys do need washing, make sure that you dry them properly afterward. Leaving any residual water on the surface of the toy can cause mold or mildew to form and cause damage.

Depending on the size of the toy and its material, there are a few ways to dry it:

  • Air drying – Set up a clothesline or an appropriately placed stand if you can hang the toy outside in an airy place and let it air dry naturally. Be sure to check that no insects or critters have latched onto it while drying!
  • Heat drying – Use a blow dryer with warm (not hot!) temperatures to blow any remaining moisture off of plastic items.
  • Cloth towel wrap – Cover larger items such as teddy bears with several layers of cloth towels and squeeze/press out excess water until towels become damp. You can also toss larger items like stuffed animals in the dryer for 25 minutes with no heat setting selected on low air tumble mode for a thorough drying session.

Storing Toys in a Clean, Dry Place

It’s important to store outside toys in a clean, dry place whenever possible. Not only does this help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew, but it also keeps the toys from accumulating dust and dirt that can be hard to remove. Additionally, if your toys are placed in less-than-ideal conditions (like a damp basement), rust can accumulate on metal surfaces, making it unsafe for kids to play with them.

Where you store the outdoor toys will vary from home to home. If you have space indoors like a garage or shed, consider keeping the toys there when they aren’t being used; that way they can stay clean and dry until they are ready for use again. Be sure to check periodically for signs of water damage or mold progress. If either one is present, it is important to thoroughly clean the affected area before use.

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Before storing outdoor items away after each time they are used, it is helpful to give them a quick cleaning with water and soap or disinfectant wipes. This helps get rid of any germs that might have been transferred onto the toy during playtime and will also provide protection against mold growth if stored in damp conditions.

Inspecting Toys Regularly for Dirt and Grime

Cleaning outdoor toys is an important part of keeping them in good condition and safe for use. Cleaning can help prevent the spread of germs, eliminate dirt and grime from gathering, and lengthen the life of outdoor playthings. Inspecting toys regularly can help keep them clean and minimize the need for deep cleaning. Here are a few tips for inspecting and keeping your outdoor toys clean:

  • Make it a habit to bring each toy indoors at least once a week to check its condition. Look closely at all parts of the toy and make sure they are not dirty or cracked, which could cause them to break during playtime.
  • Any dirt or grime that accumulates on hard surfaces can usually be scraped off with something like an old toothbrush or dish brush, then wiped off with a moist cloth.
  • Check cushion covers and replace them if necessary, as cushion covers often get stained easily by spills or exposure to moisture/dampness.
  • Examine any battery compartments for signs of corrosion or discoloration; these should be wiped away with a damp cloth before new batteries are added.
  • Clean all moving parts like wheels and joint areas – Use wipes if available; however, since most children’s toys are plastic, you may need to use disinfectant cleaner/soap-free liquid cleaner that is intended specifically for plastic material as some standard cleaners could damage the toy’s surface over time.


Keeping your outdoor toys clean is important for keeping them safe to use and free from bacteria and mold. The tips shared in this article should help you keep your outdoor toys in the best condition possible.

Regular maintenance should include washing with mild soap and water, as well as rinsing with a hose or pressure washer. It’s also important to inspect any outdoor toys for damage or wear before each use to make sure they are in working order.

Finally, if you have pieces that can’t be cleaned, such as plastic slides or swings, you should take the time to sanitize those surfaces with a non-toxic disinfectant periodically. With these simple steps in place, you can keep your children playing safely outdoors!