Sunday, February 3, 2013

Quick Tips: Sanitizing with the Dishwasher

I do not have any young children in the home, but I have worked with infants and toddlers in child care. This time of year I am scared to touch public door handles for fear of getting germs. I can only imagine this problem is magnified for parents of children who touch lots of surfaces and their own mouth multiple times a day.

One of the greatest ways to get children's toys cleaned and sanitized was through the dishwasher. Are the toys too small to stay on the rack without falling through? That's o.k., use a mesh bag! Just make sure the draw string on the bag is tucked inside the bag so the rotating portions of the dishwasher and the heating coil don't come in contact with it.

Items that are OK:
Solid Plastic
Leggos

Items to AVOID:
Battery Operated toys
-changeable battery and enclosed one time batteries
Items with holes such as balls with one small hole
Materials that will melt under the high heat
Over-sized items (it will waste space and be very inefficient)

I tried to only do toys and baby bottles in a single load, rather than mixing dirty dishes with food on them.

There are options even if you don't want to use a dishwasher to clean your child's toys. You can use bleach and water, but be warned that at some point you will probably get bleach on your clothing! My favorite product is called OdoBan. It is a non-bleaching product that is purchased in concentrate and you add your own water to get it the right strength. It is safe if used per labeled instructions and because it will not bleach, you can spray it on your couch, chairs, carpet, and other surfaces that might need disinfected but are difficult to clean.


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