How to Clean Your Baby’s Toys Safely & Naturally

During the past half century, the use of commercial cleaning products has increased at an alarming rate. They may be extremely effective at doing their job but this potency comes at a risk to your baby and also to the rest of your family. It is important as a mother, you are aware of what toxins are in many of those products and the harm they can cause to your baby.

Risks:

Poisoning - Over 1,000,000 children under the age of 5 swallow poisons each year including household cleaners. 

Allergies - According to some studies, under exposure to germs due to over effective cleaning products may lead to a child developing allergies to common allergens such as dander, pollen and dust.

Skin Irritation - The harsh nature of the chemicals commonly found in standard cleaning products can lead to skin conditions in babies such as eczema.

Eye Damage - Any cleaner that gets into your baby's eyes will cause irritation and pain including redness, watering, swelling and blurred vision.

Fortunately, there are numerous safe and natural alternatives that you can apply to your cleaning routine to keep you baby away from harm whilst they are at the busy exploration stage of their development.

Regular day to day cleaning of your baby's toys is very important, even more so if they are suffering from illness such as a cold. Normally using warm water and a mild soap is enough to disinfect the majority of toys--you don't need to use antimicrobial soaps--the natural alternatives are perfectly good, and safer too.

Sometimes toys will need sanitizing. Moms often think of using a diluted bleach solution as this is an effective poison that kills germs, but it can be very damaging to your baby if swallowed.  A natural alternative to using bleach is mixing 1 Cup of water with distilled white vinegar to create a natural, safe and effective solution.  You may even add a few drops of tea tree oil, as it is known for it's antiseptic properties.  Another great option for a surface cleaner is to mix lemon juice with water--not just edible, but safe too!

The best way to use these homemade cleaners is to put them in a new, clean spray bottle. That way there is nothing left over from a cleaner that was previously left in the bottle. 

Different ways of cleaning your baby's toys:

Stuffed toys made of fabric - the label will tell you if it is machine washable. If so, you can wash it on a low-heat or delicate cycle, preferably with a natural washing liquid, and then leave to air-dry. Otherwise, warm water and natural soap will usually suffice.

Plastic or wood toys - warm water with soap or natural dish soap using a cloth or sponge will safely disinfect them. When toys are made of wood, spraying them with the mild solution of vinegar and water and drying of quickly and thoroughly, helps to avoid excess moisture that could stain the toy. Some toys can be place in the dishwasher.  Just be aware of those that are battery-operated and follow the instructions regarding cleaning that came with these toys.

Bath toys - can quickly grow mold, so it is important to squeeze out any residual water after every bath time. To thoroughly clean, soak in a solution of distilled white vinegar and water for 5 minutes, rinse and drain thoroughly.