This is a guest post by Maria, owner of Toy Train Center
Wooden train sets are one of the most traditional wooden toys kids either have or demand to have and can provide long hours of fun for your children at home. Also, wooden toys are 100% safe and non-toxic. It usually comes in large blocks or pieces which are choke-hazard free.
Compared to plastic, you seldom see a wooden train toy or any other wooden toys in breaking news of lead poisoning. That is because it only uses natural materials usually furnished with a non-toxic paint or finish. However, you might want to keep some knowledge on how to clean wooden train sets.
Wood, being the primary material used in crafting, when compared to plastic, absorbs dirt, germs, drool, stains, dust and more. It requires frequent cleaning and maintenance. A wooden toy might be off the chart regarding durability and sturdiness but would greatly be affected by the elements it absorbs.
It also goes without saying that cleaning a wooden train set is most likely the same in cleaning other wooden toys. The materials used in wooden trains are just the same. You just need to take some careful considerations to keep the set clean and maintained.
Maintaining Your Wooden Toy
The comparison between plastic-made and wooden toys in durability would favor a wood-made toy as plastic will be more likely to break after weeks of intense and frequent play. The upside on plastic is that they are easy to maintain.
You can just disinfect them easily as they do not absorb any harmful elements. Wood, on the other hand, can last for years or decades and even serves your grandchildren's generation, provided that you maintain it.
To do this, there are simple guides you should follow:
- Some wooden train sets or wooden toys do not have any finish, paint or coating. If so, you need to keep the set dry after use by wiping it with a clean cloth.
- Daily maintenance by wiping the wooden train set and toys with a damp cloth at the end of each play-time.
How to Clean Wooden Train Sets and Wooden Toys
A simple video guide:
Cleaning wooden train sets requires only three cleaning materials: a clean cloth, bleach (which is fairly optional) and a few simple steps to be done once or twice a month.
The first thing that you should know is to avoid soaking the wood in any liquid cleaning solution as it is very porous. Pour water in a large bowl or wash pan along with the different types or mixtures of cleaning solutions. Lightly dip the clean cloth in the cleaning solution and wipe the wooden toy set.
You should regularly do this on each piece of your wooden train set and allow it to dry. You could also put your cleaning solution in a sprayer if it is more convenient for you. Just simply spray over and wipe it dry with a clean cloth. Know that this method can be referred to in the video above for a more detailed and step by step process.
The solutions or cleaning mixtures used in the video are discussed in the following content below.
Our first solution is fairly optional as we know bleach is toxic and it could be fatal for your child if you missed out on rinsing it properly with water. You can mix at least 1/10 bleach to a bowl of water.
You can either dip your clean cloth lightly in the bleach mixture and wipe it all over your wooden train set or pour it into a spray container. Either way, you want to make sure to rinse it with water then wipe and dry it off.
- Organic Dish Soap or Any Mild Soap Solution
You can use either kind of soap. Squeeze enough liquid soap in a bowl of water to create the mixture.
Dampen the cloth with the solution and thoroughly wipe each corner of your wooden toys. Make sure to rinse the wooden toy set to remove any stains or residue from the soap.
Organic dish soap or a mild soap solution is not that harmful to kids, but you can never be too careful.
- Diluted Vinegar
This is probably one of the easiest and convenient ways of mixing a cleaning solution. All you need is to pour one part with vinegar and one part water.
Then just do the same process above by either dipping the cloth in the solution and wiping it dry or use a sprayer.
- Organic Multi-purpose Spray or Any Non-Toxic Solution Spray
Lastly, you can have a multi-purpose spray bought at any department, convenient stores or at malls. There are tons of organic and non-toxic cleaning sprays for a great and affordable price. You can test out which product works best and suiting for your wooden toys and children.
It is also the fastest way of cleaning wooden toy train sets and other wooden toys as you do not need to create a mixture of cleaning solution. You can just spray it over your toys and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.
Some people do a fast-paced cleaning and maintenance by throwing all the wooden parts and pieces of a toy in a large bowl or pan of cleaning solution. You should take into consideration the property of the wood will make it warp when soaked in water and then dried.
This means that the wood will either shrink in size, bend and somehow become brittle or worse, rot. There are other ways of how to clean wooden train sets you can refer to, but it is all rather fair and simple.
Maria is a mom of 3, and her love for educational and “non-screentime” toys has led her to an interest in toy trains for the younger kids, and model trains for her older kids. The kids love it, Mom loves it, and it’s a productive and teaching hobby—win-win-win! You can read more about toy and model trains at Maria’s site: toytraincenter.com