When the sun starts peeking through the spring clouds, it will be time to get the garden in tip-top shape. While tasks like pulling weeds, mowing the lawn and wiping down the outdoor furniture can all make the garden look visually better, parents could be putting their kids at risk by not giving their outdoor playthings a thorough spring clean after removing them from winter storage.
Research shows that the plastic toys bringing children so much joy also have the ability to put them at serious risk of infection. To ensure the only thing that garden toys are spreading this spring is happiness, follow these simple steps:
1.Get the (play)house in order
The playhouse is undoubtedly a garden staple for any child as it plays host to visitors whenever the sun is out. The task of keeping it clean and free from germs may not be as laborious as it seems. Mix a solution of dish soap with warm water, get a pair of rubber gloves and a scrub down the playhouse using a bottle brush. Yes, a bottle brush! The full bristles on the brush and its ability to hold product will make the task a doddle.
2. For larger items
Larger outdoor items like trampolines and slides might seem daunting to clean, but this can be made into a fun activity that the whole family can get involved in. Sweep away loose dirt, debris and leaves using a broom or a dustpan and brush. Then, rinse with a garden hose and blitz the slide with Jeyes Fluid. Wipe down with a soft cloth and rinse again with the hose. Lastly, make sure you thoroughly dry it before allowing children to play on it.
3. Backyard fun
The paddling pool is sure to be the star of the show on warmer sunny days. However, it needs proper TLC so it doesn’t become a breeding ground for unwanted germs and bacteria. To deep-clean it, rinse thoroughly with water. Then create a solution of water and vinegar and clean the inside of the pool using the mixture and a cloth. Then, wash it down with soapy water and another round of clean water. If you know you’re not going to be using your pool for a few days, use a fitted sheet as a cover to keep it free from leaves and bugs.
4. Small toys hack
Save yourself a chore and load non-electronic toys such as building blocks and small water pistols, onto the top rack of the dishwasher. The solution of hot water and soap will help sanitise and clean toys, and the dishwasher is also a good way to prevent mold and mildew over time. Quick tip: your dishwasher may have built up extra limescale and grime during winter, so why not throw in an Oust Descaler Dishwasher & Washing Machine Cleaner to give it a deep clean before washing your toys?
5. The homemade solution
Use vinegar and water to make a cleaning cocktail for wooden toys such as swings or those with batteries can't handle any type of soap or water. Pour the solution, which should be made up of equal parts of water and vinegar, into a spray bottle and use to sanitise toys and get rid of any odd smells. For any mould that’s spread through the damp winter, try mixing a quarter teaspoon of baking soda with two cups of water and it will work wonders with a brush and some elbow grease!