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Tips for Cleaning Wooden Building Blocks

building blocks for kids

Building blocks are classic toys with timeless appeal especially if they are made from wood. If you take care of them properly, you can pass them down from one generation to the next.

Just like most toys, building blocks could get all grubby and dirty after several play sessions. You do not want to expose your child to disease-causing bacteria and molds. Cleaning them is not optional, itís necessary.

You may be thinking that cleaning wooden blocks is a tedious task but that could not be any further from the truth. Cleaning wooden blocks is simple and pretty straightforward. Wood, with its natural antibacterial properties, does not get all grimy and does not need as much thorough cleaning as toys made from plastic. However, there are several things you need to keep in mind when cleaning wooden blocks or any wooden toys for that matter.

Use vinegar and baking soda

Wood is porous especially if they are untreated. This means that it is not highly recommended to submerge wooden toys in water because you will end up with deformed and contorted toys. Instead, use a damp cloth and soapy water to wipe any dirt and grime from your wooden blocks. Remove any obvious dirt beforehand using a soft bristle cleaning brush or a sponge. Do not use a steel brush because it's abrasive.

For cleaning solution, itís not advisable to use strong detergents especially those chemical-laden ones because they are corrosive. Use mild soap like Castille or vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda are widely known for their natural antibacterial properties and they are excellent as cleaning agents.

Make a vinegar cleaning solution by mixing 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water. Fill a spray bottle with the cleaning solution and start cleaning your wooden blocks. Wipe toys with damp cloth and if the smell of vinegar is too strong, add a few drops of essential oils to mask the smell. Donít worry, the smell of vinegar will dissipate once the blocks are dry.

After the vinegar solution, wipe the blocks again with a clean damp cloth to remove any excess solution and residue. Allow the blocks to dry first before giving them back to your child. Sunlight helps speed up the drying process and naturally disinfects toys.

Using dish soap

Dish soap is also ideal to clean wooden toys. In the same way as cleaning using a vinegar solution, make a bowl of warm soapy water and clean the blocks.

Additional cleaning tips

If your building blocks are made from plastic then most likely they are dishwasher-safe. Make sure to read the care instructions before tossing them inside your dishwasher.

For wooden blocks, it is highly recommended to moisturise them using natural oil after cleaning them to keep them in great condition. The moisture in blocks is lost naturally over time but can be replenished easily. Use olive oil or beeswax and clean cloth. It is also ideal to use and choose edible oils like olive oil as children will love chewing blocks or putting them in their mouths.

RELATED: Developmental Benefits of Building Blocks

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