How to Clean Little Tikes Plastic Toys

Written by irene a. blake
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Since 1970, the Little Tikes Company has manufactured a wide range of indoor and outdoor children's products. Little Tikes plastic toys include pretend toys such as plastic tools, riding toys such as rocking horses, teeter-totters, trikes and cycles, learning toys, play trucks, blocks and furniture. As children often encounter a wide variety of materials during play, it is extremely important to clean Little Tikes toys regularly—not only to remove dirt or food particles but also bacteria, germs, mould and other harmful particles clinging to the plastic surfaces.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mild detergent
  • Gloves
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Soft brush
  • Baking soda
  • Garden hose (optional)
  • Tool set
  • Tea tree oil (optional)

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  1. 1

    Prep your cleaning materials. Fill a bucket with hot water and mild detergent. Add enough detergent to make the water soapy. Drop a sponge, a lint-free microfiber cloth and a soft-bristled brush in the bucket.

  2. 2

    Wash the first toy. Use the sponge or microfiber cloth to wash all of the toy’s plastic surfaces. If you’re dealing with tough stains, rub at the stains gently in a circular motion with the soft-bristled brush.

  3. 3

    Rinse the toy thoroughly to remove any soap residues. Rinse under running tap water or spray from a garden hose.

  4. 4

    Dry the toy completely. Wipe all surfaces with lint-free microfiber cloths or air-dry in indirect sunlight.

  5. 5

    Repeat with other toys as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're cleaning outdoor plastic toys—especially porous Little Tikes polythene furniture—tip the furniture over to pour out any water in the plastic. Standing water can attract disease-carrying mosquitoes or act as the perfect environment for mould.
  • If you shake any outdoor plastic toys and hear water sloshing inside the plastic, select several spots one inch away from any seam on the bottom of the toy near the sound and drill small holes to drain out water.
  • If you need to remove mould from a Little Tikes plastic toy, add three drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle filled with hot water. Soak the plastic toy with the solution, wait 10 minutes and then rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Always tighten any hardware such as nuts, bolts and screws (if applicable) whenever you clean. Tightening hardware while cleaning guarantees that you’re regularly checking the safety of your Little Tikes toys. Loose hardware not only can pose a potential choking hazard, but loose hardware on larger riding toys or furniture may cause the toy to fall apart with use, leading to possible injuries.
  • Always air-dry Little Tikes plastic toys under indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can fade the colour from toy surfaces.

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