How to Get Water Out of Little People

Have you been trying to get water out of your Little People I've tried countless ways but this is the easiest - and most effective - way that I've found to do it! Check it out!

When I taught preschool, I quickly discovered that my preschoolers loved playing with the Fisher Price Little People. They didn’t care so much for the play sets (and neither did I), but the Little People themselves were always in demand.

They loved lining them, counting them, putting them in their Lego houses and block creations. I had a box of Little People for my students to play with and it was used every day.

For that reason, I started watching for Little People bargains. I wouldn’t pay full price for them so I always watched garage sales for them. My target price was a quarter – maybe $0.50 – per person. I also put out the plea to the parents of my preschoolers and when they cleaned out toys, we added some Little People to our classroom. The parents also helped me scour garage sales for them.

When we were given “new” Little People for our classroom, I always gave them a good cleaning first. I wanted to make sure that the dirt and germs were gone before the kids started playing with them.

Check this out! This is by far, the easiest and most effective way to get water out of Little People. I was amazed at how well it worked! Give it a try.

Little People are easy enough to clean but if they soak in hot water, we ran into a problem. Those of you with Little People know what I am talking about. Those little holes at the bottom let water in! I didn’t want them molding so I tried everything to get the water out.

I tried leaving them out to air dry. A week later, there was still water in them.

I tried shaking them out. As hard as I shook them, there was still water left inside.

I tried sitting them in a cup of rice to draw the water out. Nope. That didn’t work either!

I Googled it and some said to throw them in the dryer but others cautioned that the paint would chip. I didn’t want that so I skipped that idea.

Finally, I stumbled across a sure proof way to quickly and easily get all of the water out of my Little People. Are you ready? It’s so easy, you’ll be amazed.

Blow dry the air out! Simply stand the Little People on their head and hold the blow dryer very close to the hole. Turn the air on and aim it directly at the hole for about a minute. This is how it looked as I was working my way through my latest set of Little People. Hold the blow dryer as close to the Little Person for a minute or two.

Here's the simple trick to getting water out of your little people - Find out more at Joyfully Thriving

When you pick up your person, you will notice that the blow dryer has warmed the feet of your Little People enough that the plastic is moldable. Squeeze it tightly and the hole will open wide enough for you to shake every last bit of water out! I recommend shaking it over a towel because those few drops are always more than you expect.

Now, I know you are probably thinking that it’s a great solution but you don’t want to warp the plastic. Amazingly, it won’t!

After you squeeze the feet and get all the water out, the plastic quickly returns to it shape and hardens exactly as before. I was truly amazed. You would never know that I had squeezed all my little people flat. The best part? There is not a single drop of water remaining in any of my Little People. That makes me very happy!

When it comes time to clean your Little People, give them a good soak in hot soapy water with no fear. Take the people out of the sink and use your blow dryer to quickly get all the water out.

Now that I know how simple it is to clean – and dry – Little People, they remain at the top of my garage sale list. Give it a try! I hope you’ll be as pleased as I am with this easy and effective solution!

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27 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post! My daughter has a lung disorder and can’t play with squirt toys or anything that traps water. I found her today with her favorite Little People swimming in the sink. This will me a lifesaver for me at home and in my speech-therapy practice!

  2. Thank you for posting this great idea! I am keeping all of my girls’ Little People because they are played with by many ages and both genders. I needed to wash them and ran them through the dishwasher, but the water didn’t want to come out. Along with heating the bottom with a hairdryer, I pulled out the bottom using a knitting needle. The water came out better for me and it went right back to shape when I was done.

  3. I am so glad I came across your post. I have some little Disney princess little people that my husband put in water to clean and I haven’t been able to get all the water out. I am definitely going to try this.

    1. I have not cut one open, Crystal, but I have peered inside, once washed and months after again. I have yet to find any mold growing inside my little people after washing them and drying them out like this. I hope that helps!

  4. The tines of my dishwasher rack is perfectly sized to fit the little people on tightly. This way they get clean without filling with water and they don’t fly around the dishwasher. Super easy!

      1. I put mine on the dishwasher rack and that’s why I have the water inside. 😕 i’m trying the dryer option soon as I can. I hope i’m Successful also.

  5. Thank you!! I had to laugh as I read your list of things you tried because I have tried them too…in fact I have a batch of people sitting in a bag of rice right now! What was supposed to be a quick clean off before storing has turned into two weeks of trying different methods to get these little guys clean and dry. Thanks for a good solution. I knew I couldn’t be the only one trying to figure this out — Just wish I would have googled earlier!

    1. Ha. You are SO welcome, Amy! I’m glad I can help you get them dried out once and for all so you can get them out of the rice and put away now! 🙂

  6. I found your article very helpful. What I found that also helps get water out are Q-tips and alcohol. The Q-tips get most of the water out and the alcohol dries up the remaining water.

    1. Another great idea, Russ. I only discovered this because I had several dozen Little People that I was cleaning at once, so the blow dryer made it quicker for me to get them all dry.

  7. Glad to see I’m not the only one with this absurd dilemma. Before blow drying I sucked all the water I could out with a syringe and tiny tube the one we strapped to our finger to feed our newborn who was slow to learn breastfeeding. I was amazed to see 1/2 – 1 tsp come out of ones that I had shaken until I thought there was barely any water left. I washed them in hot water with dish detergent and vinegar, hoping vinegar helps keep mold at bay until they’re completely dry.

    1. That’s creative, Amy! I’ve used vinegar too, and that’s a great point about mold. I hope this trick of mine helps save you some time in keeping your Little People clean and dry! 🙂

    1. That’s one option…but then you couldn’t use them on any of the cars or toys where they sit, thanks to the hole. It would keep the water out, though, if you were just looking for a way to do that!

  8. Such a great idea! Our kids like to play with “real” toys like this in the tub (as opposed to tub toys). I try to keep them from putting things in that have holes, but every now and then something will sneak by. I’m definitely going to use this trick. Thanks!

    1. I’m glad I could help, Lydia! I tried so hard to keep the water out of our toys, too, but now that I know I can get the water out so simply, I don’t have to worry (as much). 🙂 It really is a handy, little trick.

  9. This is genius! I remember we used a bleach water mix on the toys every night to clean them. The little people always had water in them. The worst was the kids would often try to suck the water out. I was always worried about the mold/bleach/water that was there. This will be so helpful to preschool teachers and moms.

    1. Thanks, Julie! I know. I spent so many days (and years!) trying to get the water out of them. Who would have believe it could be done so quickly and simply? I love that I can add to my Little People garage sale collection, now that I know how to effectively clean them. I hope it helps save lots of other preschool teachers and moms the aggravation!

  10. What a great idea! I have been picking up toys for my niece’s baby for us to babysit and I just saw some little people the other day and didn’t get them strictly based on cleaning them! She’s almost Nathan’s age, so I know it’s a good fit! Thanks!

    Btw, Sunday we had a sunny afternoon and I went to your ‘snow day” list and we did snow volcanoes and snow painting. We attracted a bunch of kids and I am sure one of the Moms also must have run out of vinegar and baking soda! The snow is melting soon and we want to squeeze the tail end of fun out of it! Great afternoon! Thanks for great tips and links!

    Happy Wednesday!

    1. I have been known to skip purchasing toys based on the cleaning ability, too, Christina! I am thankful I don’t have to bypass Little People anymore because they are so cute and fun for children to play with. My 5 year olds in preschool loved them just as much as the 2 year olds. I’m glad the snow volcanoes were a hit! Way to make the most of the snow. Ours is almost gone, and I must admit that I’m ready for Spring now.

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