How to Clean Outdoor Toys

Playing outdoors is always a blast! Kids can spend countless hours outside with the right outdoor toys and tools while building creative and imaginative worlds. But as parents, we know that playing with all those amazing outdoor things sometimes gets messy.

How to Clean Outdoor Toys

That’s why knowing how to clean outdoor toys, so they’re in good condition for you to share them with your family and friends, is an important part of being a responsible parent. In this blog post, we’ll show you exactly what steps you need to take to keep your playthings looking their best – from giving wooden surfaces or wicker furniture an ageless appearance to removing stains from pretty fabric covers or used regularly to decorate other items like stockings or advent calendars. Let’s get started!

What are the Benefits of Cleaning Outdoor Toys?

Most outdoor toys have been designed to be durable and withstand elements such as rain, wind, and sun. But it’s still important to give them some extra TLC in order to keep them looking great for years to come.

Regularly cleaning your outdoor toys can help prevent mold or mildew from growing, which can then damage the materials these toys are made of.

 Additionally, regular cleaning can also help get rid of dirt and debris that can accumulate over time, leading to a cleaner and safer environment for your family to play in.

What Will You Need?

Before you get started, make sure you have the right tools and supplies to do a proper job. This might include things as follows:

1. A hose or bucket filled with warm, soapy water.

2. A soft scrubbing brush and sponge.

3. A cloth for drying the toys off afterward.

4. Mild detergent (for metal, plastic, or wooden surfaces).

5. Soft bleach-free cleaner (for fabric covers).

6. A sealant (for wooden surfaces).

7. Furniture polish (for wicker furniture).

Once you have all these items at your disposal, you can begin cleaning.

10 Easy Steps on How To Clean Outdoor Toys

There are several ways to clean outdoor toys, depending on the material they are made out of. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you make sure your outdoor toys look their best:

Step 1. Rinse off the Toys:

Start by hosing off the toys. This will help remove any loose dirt and debris. It will also help reduce the amount of scrubbing you must do.

Start by Hosing Off the Toys

Step 2. Scrub with Warm, Soapy Water:

Use a soft brush or sponge and warm, soapy water to scrub the toys. Make sure to pay extra attention to any areas that might be especially dirty, like underneath the seats of ride-on vehicles or around handles on totes and buckets. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse off the toys with clean water.

Step 3. Dry Them Off:

Dry off the toys with a cloth or let them air dry outdoors in the sun for best results. You can also use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to speed up the process. Another option is to use a leaf blower if you have one that’s powerful enough.

Step 4. Clean Metal Surfaces:

Add a mild detergent to warm water for metal surfaces, and use a soft sponge or cloth to clean. You may need to use some elbow grease for harder-to-reach spots. When you’re done, rinse off the toys with clean water and then air dry them in the sun.

Step 5. Clean Wooden Surfaces:

Wooden surfaces like outdoor furniture should be cleaned with mild detergent and warm water. Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub away any dirt or debris. Once you’re done, rinse the toys with clean water and dry them thoroughly with a cloth. Then apply a sealant over the wooden surface for added protection against the elements.

Step 6. Clean Fabric Covers:

Use a soft bleach-free cleaner and warm water for fabric covers to remove any stains or dirt. Make sure to follow the instructions on the cleaning product for the best results. Once you’re done, rinse the toys with clean water and air dry them in the sun.

Step 7. Clean Wicker Furniture:

Wicker furniture should be cleaned with a soft brush and some mild detergent mixed into warm water. Use a cloth to wipe down any areas that are especially dirty or stained, and make sure to rinse off with clean water when you’re done. Then apply furniture polish over the wicker for added protection against moisture and debris buildup.

Use a Cloth to Wipe Down

Step 8. Disinfect:

To disinfect your outdoor toys, pour a small amount of bleach into a bucket filled with warm water and use a cloth to wipe down the surface of the toys. Make sure to rinse off with clean water afterward and then air dry them in the sun for best results. Be careful not to use too much bleach, as this can damage the toys.

Step 9. Let Toys Dry Completely:

Let your toys air dry completely before storing them away or using them again. This will help prevent any mold or mildew from forming. Moreover, you should also check for any cracks or signs of wear and tear that may have occurred during use.

Step 10. Store Away Properly:

Finally, store your outdoor toys in a cool and dry place when not in use to help protect them from the elements and extend their life for many seasons to come! Use protective covers if necessary. It will also help keep your outdoor toys looking their best.

Following these simple steps will help ensure that your outdoor toys will look their best for many years to come. With a little bit of effort and patience, you can keep your outdoor toys looking as good as new!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

1. Regularly wash your outdoor toys with soap and warm water. This will help remove any dirt or grime that may be on them.

2. Make sure to rinse the toys well afterward to avoid any soap residue that could be harmful if ingested.

Make Sure to Rinse the Toys

3. For toys with vinyl parts, use a soft brush and mild detergent to get rid of any dirt or grime stuck in cracks and crevices.

4. If your outdoor toys have been exposed to salt water or chlorine, you can use white vinegar or lemon juice as a cleaner for these materials.

5. To keep wooden playhouses looking good, use an oil-based wood preservative every few years. This will help protect the wood from weathering and fading caused by exposure to sunlight and moisture.

By following these tips, you can keep your outdoor toys looking like new for many years!

5 Things You Should Avoid

1. Pressure Washing Toys: Although this may seem like an easy way to clean off dirt and grime, it can damage your outdoor toys’ materials.

2. Using a Power Washer Too Close: Keep your power washer at least 2–3 feet away when cleaning your outdoor toys to ensure you don’t cause any damage from the high-pressure stream of water.

3. Harsh Chemicals and Soaps: Stick to gentle dishwashing soap or mild detergents when cleaning your outdoor toys. Harsh products can harm the surface of the toy and make them unsafe for play.

4. Leaving Toys in Direct Sunlight: Sunlight can cause fading, cracking, and warping of plastic outdoor toys, so be sure to store them out of direct sunlight when not in use.

5. Forgetting to Rinse: Rinsing off all soap residue is important when cleaning outdoor toys and should never be forgotten! This will ensure any soapy residue doesn’t cause damage or harm to the toy materials over time.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your outdoor toys clean and safe for playtime. With a little extra care, your kids can enjoy their favorite activities with their beloved toys year-round!

How Do You Protect Outdoor Toys?

1. Cover Toys with a Waterproof Cover When Not in Use: Covering your outdoor toys when they’re not being used will help keep them looking new and protect them from dirt, dust, and grime that can accumulate over time.

2. Store Outdoor Toys in a Dry Place: Storing your outdoor toys in a dry, sheltered area when they’re not being used is key to protecting them from damage caused by moisture or extreme temperatures.

3. Regularly Check for Signs of Wear and Tear: Make sure to regularly inspect your outdoor toys for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or fading, so you can repair them before it gets too late.

4. Use Sunscreen on Plastic Parts: If you have plastic parts on your outdoor toys, be sure to use sunscreen or a UV protectant spray to prevent fading and cracking from exposure to the sun.

5. Wax Wooden Playhouses Regularly: Waxing your wooden playhouse will help protect the wood from moisture damage and keep it looking like new for many years.

Keep It Looking Like New


Cleaning your outdoor toys is an essential part of summer fun. Taking the time to clean them on a regular basis deep not only helps them to last longer but also keeps them in more optimal condition for when there is time for play. A few simple steps and the right supplies are all it takes to ensure you are fully prepared for your summer outdoor adventures. 

Whether you’ve got trampolines, water slides, or any other type of recreational activity ready for you, giving these items a sparkling finish will keep everyone safe and give you peace of mind. So grab the cleaning supplies and work, ensuring your outdoor toys shine like a diamond!

Hopefully, the article on how to clean outdoor toys has provided you with the information and tips to help keep your outdoor fun safe and enjoyable. Have a great summer! Thanks for reading, and enjoy the warm weather!

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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