The children’s toys also need a wash due to bacteria exposure. And only the best dishwasher for toys can do the job, though dishwashers are primarily built for dishes and certain kitchen utensils.
The best dishwasher for toys will feature “baby care” settings, also known as the heavy mode/wash program. Baby care mode typically uses heat generated from the hot water temperature to steam the toys clean. Ensure to use a natural detergent and air dry after the wash cycle is complete.
Although your dishwasher can wash baby toys, not all toys can be tossed in them. Some plastic toys will melt, especially if tossed in the bottom rack where the heating element sits.
Read also: a dishwasher will leak if filter clogs?!
Can you wash toys in the dishwasher?
You can wash toys in the dishwasher. However, your dishwasher needs to have the baby care settings, which are built for baby toys, bottles, and other baby dishwasher safe items.
Tough plastic toys can be placed in the dishwasher. Ensure that the toys have no cloth, batteries, any electric connections, or even water be marked “water-resistant”.
You merely have to load the toys in the dishwasher in the baby care or gentlest setting. A natural dishwasher detergent will go a long way. Suppose you have a Bosch dishwasher. We have compiled recommendations for detergent here.
While some toys can go in the dishwasher, avoid putting the following toys in the dishwasher, especially if they are not marked “dishwasher safe”:
- Push-button toys. No push-button toy should go in the dishwasher. Even toys that suck water will become extremely useless after a wash cycle, and your babies hate it when you damage their properties – do not load them.
- Wooden toys. Woods are generally not so dishwasher friendly. And you do not want a wooden toy anywhere near the dishwasher. Of course, it will ruin the wood, even if it uses a special coating.
- Toys with removable parts. If the baby toys comprise removal parts, do not put them in the dishwasher. The parts can break inside the dishwasher. And as tiny as they are, can get stuck in the dishwasher, resulting in damage.
- Battery-operated toys. Do not toss battery-operated toys in the dishwasher – the toys will never work again. Even the dishwasher can suffer damage as a result of the toy.
- Rubber toys. Lysol advises against tossing toys made of rubber in the dishwasher as they may not withstand the heat. If you attempt this, the children’s toys will come out deformed due to the heat and the rush hour in the dishwasher.
- Pull string/voice box toys. These types of toys should not also go in the dishwasher. Expect massive toy damages if you try it. You would just have to get replacement toys, anyway.
- Plush and fabric. Do not throw plush or fabric toys in the dishwasher for cleaning. Remember that a dishwasher is primarily built for dishes and not fabric. Fabric is fluffy and how the dishwasher heats or works is not suitable for it.
Instead of tossing these types of baby toys in the dishwasher, use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water for cleaning and disinfection.
Get a clean cloth. Dip it in the vinegar solution and wipe the toys carefully. Allow the toys to air dry for some time. Meanwhile, the heater dry or condensing technology in a dishwasher after a wash cycle is as well not good for these toys.
Best Dishwasher for Toys
This section of the publication recommends dishwashers we have tested and trusted with baby toys. As long as the toy is not made of the materials mentioned in the previous section, consider the following dishwashers:
AIRMSEN AE-TDQR03 Portable Countertop Dishwasher, Compact Mini Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank and Air-Dry Function, 5 Washing Programs, Baby Care, Glass & Fruit Wash-White/Black
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AIRMSEN AE-TDQR03 is the dishwasher your household needs for both dishes and toys. We enjoyed the following features of this dishwasher:
Support up to 4 standard place settings that fit not just dishes but also dishwasher-safe toys. The toys need to be at most 12-inches in diameter. Most of your baby toys should fit in them like ours.
5 wash cycles
With up to 5 selectable wash cycles, you can easily switch between baby settings and normal dishes. The cycles include normal, glass, speed, fruit, and baby care.
Baby care is also known as a heavy mode. It uses the steam generated by the water temperature of 167℉ to wash your baby toys. Our toys were not damaged in the process.
After the cycle, AIRMSEN AE-TDQR03 activates an additional 60 minutes of hot air drying and ventilates toys and dishes for 72 hours to prevent odors.
This dishwasher uses a transparent dual-layer glass door and a built-in LED lamp that lets you watch as the toys are cleaned in real-time.
What we like:
Unlike many dishwashers, you can use pods for this dishwasher. However, it is only advisable when you have to run long cycles so the tablets can dissolve completely. Pods do not work so well for baby toys, so we used liquid detergent.
If you decide the baby watches their toys get washed, this 50.2 dB noise dishwasher will not disturb their ears. It is such a quiet dishwasher but could be quieter with these tips.
The LED touch screen display is angled towards you for improved visibility. We really like the convenience it brings when loading toys for a wash.
It supports 2 water sources – a built-in water tank and a kitchen faucet hookup. We could not hook the faucet due to the nature of our sink and our preference to wash far from the sink, so we used the water tank option.
This dishwasher consumes only 1.3 gals of water per load. This is about an 80% reduction in water consumption, qualifying it as a water-efficient dishwasher. Here are other top-rated dishwashers we reviewed that consume less water.
What we don’t like:
Well, turns out it ticked our boxes because it can do the dishes and clean the toys well enough.
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Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank, 5 Programs, Baby Care, Glass & Fruit Wash-Black/White
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The next dishwasher we tested for this review is the Farberware FDW05ASBWHA. A decent dishwasher for any household with baby toys.
The features we love to talk about include the following:
We found this feature very helpful. This is Farberware’s air exchange function that works with the baby care settings to dry toys and, of course, dishes.
This dry mode is not harsh like the traditional heated dry you find in many dishwashers.
The convenience that comes with this dishwasher is remarkable. Thanks to the LED digital controls built for a clear picture-view of all wash controls.
We are also able to tell the correct water level using its automatic water level indicator.
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You can either hook up this dishwasher or use its built-in water tank. We prefer to use its water tank instead of as built-in.
Farberware also includes a water hose in the package for those who prefer a direct water hookup to their kitchen faucet. Unfortunately, there is no adapter included, so you have to buy it separately.
5 washing programs
This is a countertop dishwasher but supports up to 5 programs. From our review experience, not many compact dishwashers offer this many.
The programs include normal, rapid, glass, fruit, and baby care. The baby care mode allows you to wash all your dishwasher-safe toys.
What we like:
You can use pods for washing the toys and other dishes but we discovered that it does not dissolve well enough in baby care settings.
This machine weighs about 45 lbs. You do not need the gym to lift it from place to place.
This is one of those countertop dishwashers with a water heater. We filled it with cold water, which heated it.
We, however, recommend sending already hot water to the dishwasher so that it does not take too long for the wash cycle.
It consumes only 1.3 gallons (about 5 liters) per load – depending on the mode.
What we don’t:
Not the best drying machine. However, its unique air refresh technology blows cold air on the toys and dishes to prevent odor while drying.
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NOVETE Compact Dishwashers with 5 L Built-in Water Tank & Inlet Hose, 5 Washing Programs, Baby Care, Air-Dry Function and LED Light for Small Apartments, Dorms, and RVs
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NOVETE is a great name in the industry with about a 4.5-star rating on Amazon! Well, it did not disappoint.
It holds 4 full-place settings and fits toys and dishes up to 12″ loaded at an angle. You can use this machine in your small-sized kitchen, dorm, boat, or camper/RV.
We also recommend using this dishwasher for your Airbnb guest house.
NOVETE supports 2 water supply modes – faucet mode and water tank mode. Its water tank is a built-in 5 L tank for constant heating and uses when filled.
If you prefer your faucet, just hook the water inlet hose to it.
5 wash cycles
It supports 5 wash cycles, including soft, normal, speed, fruit, and baby care or heavy. The baby care/heavy mode uses 167 °F for cleaning your baby toys.
It features a dryer and cabinet with 60 minutes of hot air drying that automatically starts after a wash cycle to keep toys and dishes dry and odorless.
What we like:
LED touch panel control
This allows you to see the displayed dishwasher status. Its auto water level indicator helps you to tell when it reaches the correct water level.
We used the 72-hour auto ventilation to store the toys in sanitary condition after cleaning.
What we don’t:
No water filtration
This dishwasher does not use water filtration. However, there is a grate on top to keep objects from entering the tank.
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How do you wash baby toys in the dishwasher?
Having the best dishwasher for toys is not enough, you need to know how to and what to avoid using the dishwasher for your baby toys.
First, some toys may be labeled as being dishwasher safe but are still washable in a dishwasher. However, ones with handwash on the product tag should not go in the dishwasher.
Consider the tips below when washing the toys:
Select baby care settings
Baby care is also called heavy mode in many dishwashers. So, if you do not see “baby care” but “heavy”, then you can use it for the toys.
Depending on the dishwasher, this mode uses 167 degrees Fahrenheit washing temperature to thoroughly rinse toys, dishes, glassware, and other kitchen utensils.
The baby care program uses the steam generated by the water temperature for baby bottles and toys.
Load your baby toys
Note the following when loading the baby toys:
- Silverware holder. If the baby toys will fall through a regular rack, toss them in the silverware holder to avoid dropping into the bottom of the dishwasher.
- Top rack. Medium toys should go in the top rack. You can overlap some with others, as the hot water will still work through the pile.
- Bottom rack. The bottom rack is exposed to the heating element, so make sure only tough and bigger toys go there. Do not allow some of the toys to run for too long in the machine.
Add detergent or pods
Buy a high-quality dishwasher detergent recommended by the dishwasher manufacturer. Naturally-based dishwasher detergents are preferable. Pods typically take longer to dissolve, and may not be advisable.
The sanitize cycles typically use hotter water and longer wash times to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria from the toys.
This cycle typically increases heat during the main wash, with a hotter final rinse.
The sanitize cycle will add up to 1.5 hours depending on your dishwasher. They are labeled “Sani rinse” or “Sani wash” depending on the machine model.
It is advisable to use air dry for drying toys and other baby items. It is a plus if your dishwasher supports auto air or a dishwasher rack auto-release feature that opens the dishwasher door after the wash cycle for fresh air.
Make sure you buy a dishwasher that users air dry option to enjoy this feature.
Otherwise, you need to manually open the dishwasher door and pull the rack out a few inches to air dry the toys.
The heated dry option may damage the toys due to the high level of heat.