Cleaning wooden toys: easy with these tips

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  September 28, 2020

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Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

As you can see, we love wooden toys!

We have a lot of articles about it, as well this one with only wooden toy options.

Wooden toys are safe, natural and sustainable. They stimulate creativity and the senses of children.

But what is the best way to clean wooden toys? Let's see that in this article.

Cleaning wooden toys

Why is it important to clean wooden toys?

From an early age, children develop a natural need to put everything in their mouth by tasting their toys.

These 'tasty' toys are sure to go from the ground to their hands and then to their mouths.

Well… This is natural behavior.

We've all been there because it's the way kids explore the world and especially how babies and toddlers play.

In fact, young children do not really know what is dirty and clean, they will only learn the idea of ​​hygiene by slowly participating in daily household chores.

Toy reviews & comparisons
Toy reviews & comparisons

Since we want to protect our kids from germs and dirt, it's important to clean their toys.

What should you pay attention to when cleaning wooden toys?

However, due to their natural antibacterial quality, wood is not as affected by germs as plastic toys.

Wood is safe, natural and sustainable, but also porous. The washing process will be completely different from cleaning fabric, plastic or metal.

Wood is porous, so soaking can cause them to swell and change shape.

Finally, never use a cleaning product intended for wood furniture or standard disinfectant wipes to avoid infection.

These products are toxic to your child.

If you are considering cleaning your wooden toys, don't forget to also check the manufacturer's care instructions for specific information about your items.

How do you clean wooden toys?

Never immerse a wooden toy in water, it can swell, change shape and lose its colors.

Keep it natural with mild dish soap, vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider works well) or some other non-toxic all-purpose cleaner diluted with water.

Wooden toy cleaning process

  1. Use a cloth and warm water to wipe your wooden toys, then allow to air dry or wipe with a dry cloth for easy cleaning.
  2. If necessary, add a mild dish soap or vinegar for a disinfectant cleaning.
  3. Sun drying is great because it speeds up the drying process and the sun is a natural way to kill more germs. But beware, strong sunlight or long exposure can cause color fading and cracking so check it regularly.

You will have those fine wooden toys back in those little hands in no time.

Cleaning painted wooden toys

You can use a mild soap and rinse well with a sponge to clean painted or varnished wooden toys.

Disinfect wooden toys

Use white vinegar or apple cider diluted with water to disinfect your wooden toys, then allow to air dry or wipe well with a cloth.

The best way to safely clean and disinfect your wooden toys is to use a 100% ecological vinegar diluted in water.

Maintain and moisturize wooden toys

Depending on the wooden item, occasional moisturizing can be helpful. Olive oil works well or another non-toxic option is beeswax. (Beeswax polish smells great!)


Wooden toys, if properly maintained, can have a very long life.

Since you know they can get in your child's mouth, don't forget to wash them regularly, and don't worry.

Also read: cleaning your toys with vinegar, very easy and safe!

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.