Wooden toys are durable and when properly cared for can last for generations. Unfinished wood is wood that is not painted, varnished, or oiled.
Don't let them get wet.
Water is wood's worst enemy. Don't let the toy sit in water. Most of my toys are made with water based glue. Water may dissolve the glue and parts may come apart.
If the wood toy gets wet, dry it off with a dry towel and let the wood air dry.
If the wood is no longer smooth, you can use a 220 grit sandpaper and lightly sand by hand.
Toys with wheels may have the wood swell not allowing the wheels to turn freely. Moving the parts will restore some of the mobility. It may take years to restore it to a condition close to what it was when it was new.
I don't recommend using an edible oil, such as vegetable oil, to lubricate moving parts. This may make the problem worse. The oil may make the wood swell.
Clean wooden toys by wiping with a dry cloth first. If a damp cloth is needed to remove dirt, moisten the cloth just to clean. Wipe away moisture and let it air dry.
NEVER use furniture polish on wooden toys. Furniture Polish contains toxic substances that may be harmful if swallowed by children.
Natural wood products tend to have naturally occurring antibacterial properties. Bacteria doesn’t tend to multiply or live long on dry natural wood.
Disinfect the blocks by:
- Using a spray bottle, spray the wooden toy with vinegar
- rinse with water
- Wipe excess water with a clean dry cloth
- Allow to air dry