Out of the many, the kid might favor one specific toy, a blanket, a bottle or something which can undoubtedly be called her best companion, it goes everywhere with the kid, it does everything he/she does... I called it a comfort toy.
For Sreya, it had been a toy corn(maize) from her fruit/veggie toy collection, then a comforter for sleep, a favorite blanket which had to be there all the time. It had to be there everywhere she went, all the time she was awake, and even the time of sleep. There was a stage where all that she liked or set her eyes on were invariably found in her mouth, licking, sucking, plucking, pulling stage... no doubt laden with a battery of germs from here, there and everywhere.
Tips for Favorite Toys
Once, the kid lost her corn toy when she went out to play and she missed it a lot, then I realized the need for keeping two of her favorite toys.. the identical one handy. It really helps.. also we need to use them both so that the wear and tear is equal.
If we see a kid leaning towards a favorite toy, make sure you keep a replacement of it.. like two of them. Sreya has a favorite blanket which she never lets go out of her sight, so I had to get her another identical one and use it alternatively so that one goes for a wash, she still has another one.. but this was when she was very young to understand anything, still an infant.
Later, we can involve them in the cleaning process.. like if it is a favorite toy.. we need to bathe it just like she does.. She takes a bath every day and the toy whatever it is, if it has a name, it has to take bathe every "xx" number of days, involving her in the process thereby giving them lessons in hygiene and cleanliness.
It still is her comfort blanket, her "beeba" but she knows it has to be cleaned too..
Cleaning up toys once in a while is very crucial, I clean the regular toys with the feeding bottle/toy liquid cleaner, Stony Angel brand which I got from Brooks, other brands were Pigeon and Noni..
Soak the non electronic toys toys in warm water.
a few drops of the liquid cleaner
Clean them in the liquid/mild soap water.
Rinse them in clean water.
Place them on clean cotton cloth
Wipe them clean..
Dry them in mild sun for a few minutes
Store them back..
This was the routine as a kid, week after week and at times every couple of days when the "lick, suck" stage was going on..
Wipe them clean with disinfectant wipes once in a while.
Also, I use wet wipes when disinfectant wipes are not available and a soft cotton cloth dipped in lukewarm Dettol water.
For Soft Toys,
If machine wash, gentle wash with liquid soap, softener and easy wash.
If Hand wash, soak in mild soap/detergent water, wash and hang them dry.
Soft toys can be put in a pillow cover tied in it and then put in washer too if washing along with other clothes in the load.
Some also put just a few drops of Dettol in the final rinse.
These are all cleaning measures but the best way is to ensure and let them know time and again not to put ANYTHING other than food items in the mouth.