Your wooden building blocks and toys can be like new again, easy as 1, 2, 3! Here is how to clean and protect the natural beauty of your quality wooden toys for years of creative play.
Wooden building toys have long been a household favorite. Their safe, non-toxic, and open-ended features ignite a child’s imagination and creativity. A set of natural wooden blocks can be an investment, so keeping them clean and in good condition is time well spent.
Fortunately, it is a simple process, cleaning wood with vinegar and not using bleach or harsh chemicals. **Please refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions before washing your classic wooden toys.**
Easy Steps For Cleaning Wooden Toys
- Wood’s natural antibacterial properties make bleach and harsh chemicals unnecessary. Keep it pure and safe by using a non-toxic cleaner. You can use warm water mixed with eco-friendly dish soap (1 part soap to 4 parts water). Or a natural disinfectant white vinegar and water solution (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). Place either solution in a spray bottle for easy application.
- Do not immerse, soak, or put your beautiful wooden toys in the dishwasher. The toys may swell, and warp causing the wood to crack, damaging the paint or finish. Instead, use a soft cloth dipped in one of the above solutions and wipe all the surfaces clean. If you use the soap solution, be sure to wipe again with a clean damp cloth to remove all soap residue.
- Allowing the wooden blocks to dry completely is essential. You can dry them indoors or outdoors away from direct sunlight. However, giving them a little time in the sun adds extra germ-killing power and faster drying time. Keep an eye on them, so they are not left out too long. Intense sunlight and extended exposure can lead to color fading and cracking.
Preserving Your Heirloom Wooden Toys
If some of your blocks have stains, try using a stronger vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 1 part water) and scrub with a sponge to remove them. Then place in the sun for a little “bleaching action.” Still unable to remove the stain, you may try a light sanding with fine sandpaper (only for unpainted toys).
Like your other wooden household items, natural wooden toys need regular moisture replenishment. After cleaning, rub in some olive oil with a soft cloth. Or treat with all-natural beeswax that nourishes, renews, and protects the wood surface. Do not use any wood polish that is toxic on children’s wooden toys since they usually put them in their mouths.