How to Clean a Wooden Toy Box

If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it’s that your toy chest is going to need to be cleaned at some point.  If you have a wooden toy box, then you have to exercise special care in its cleaning. Most chemicals are off bounds.  You also even have to be careful about leaving water on it!

Before you start cleaning it, you should test the product that you are using in a small, unseen area.  This will determine whether the finish will come off or if you are safe to proceed.  Be especially certain to test painted toy boxes.

The best way to keep it clean is by dusting.  You will want to avoid dusting sprays with silicone, as these can leave a waxy build up over time.  Instead, look for dusting sprays that say “no buildup.”  You also may want to look for a microfiber cloth that can clean without any spray.

If your child makes a sticky mess of things, what should you do?  First of all, try to get it off as soon as possible.  The longer things sit, the more chance they have to warp and discolor the wood.  Wipe it off with a clean, dry cloth to remove any physical debris.  Then, use oil soap such as Murphy’s Oil Soap mixed with lukewarm water to wipe it down.  Make sure you dry off the wood thoroughly afterwards.

Some toy chests need to be waxed occasionally.  This is especially true for antiques and cedar chests.  The wax can help fill in any cracks and holes, and protect the wood from damage.  Use a soft cloth to apply a thin layer all over the box.

There you have it!  A brief guide in how to clean a wooden toy box.


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