vacuum-illustration

Speed-Clean Your Playroom Checklist

Take the wreck out of rec room in 20 minutes with a few key tools: a catchall for toys, a soft cloth, a sponge, hand soap, a bowl, bleach, dusting spray, wet/dry sweeper, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, disinfecting wipes, and disinfecting spray.

  1. Check Minutes 1 to 2:

    Corral books, stray toys, art supplies, clothing, and games. Set aside anything that needs cleaning, and return other objects to their proper homes.

  2. Check Minutes 3 to 5:

    Toss dirty stuffed animals in the washing machine. (For specific laundering instructions, check labels.) Place dishwasher-safe plastic and metal toys on the top rack and wash on the hottest setting.

  3. Check Minutes 6 to 9:

    Wipe wooden toys with a soft, dry cloth. For all others, clean with a soapy sponge, then dry with a cloth. For an item that has been in your toddler’s mouth (a teething ring, a rattle), wash it with soap and water, then disinfect by soaking it in a bowl containing a solution of 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 quart warm water. Or, for a bleach alternative, use Eco Clean All-Purpose Cleaner.

  4. Check Minute 10:

    Tackle wooden surfaces with a cloth dampened with dusting spray.

  5. Check Minutes 11 to 12:

    Use disinfecting wipes to wipe down remaining surfaces and germ hot spots, like light switches, television and gaming remotes, and doorknobs (including those on the dollhouse).

  6. Check Minute 13:

    Dampen a Magic Eraser sponge and lightly rub any food splatters, fingerprints, or crayon self-portraits from walls. (Using this product on glossy paint or rubbing too hard with it can fade color.)

  7. Check Minutes 14 to 17:

    Remove toys from the soaking solution (see Minutes 6 through 9), rinse, and let air-dry. Run a sweeper over the floor (whether carpeted or bare), then empty the wastebasket and spritz with a disinfecting spray.

  8. Check Minutes 18 to 20:

    Put everything back in its place…for now.