Around the time your first baby starts to crawl you realize they are going to be putting everything in their mouth. Everything. Especially their toys. And when those toys get dirty from being dropped on the ground, picked up by the dog, or chewed on by another kid, you will need to find a way to get it clean. And you need to do it using a non-toxic toy cleaner because this is something your baby or toddler will be putting back in their mouth. It can be a scary thought. Here are some options for non-toxic toy cleaners you can use to keep your little ones safe from germs and from harsh chemical cleaners.
Non-Toxic Toy Cleaner Options
1. DIY Non-Toxic Toy Cleaner Spray
In many cases when you need to clean your kids’ toys you’re dealing with plastic or hard surface toys that can be sprayed and wiped clean. But when you know these toys will be touched and probably chewed on by your little ones you want to make sure the cleaning spray isn’t full of chemicals or bleach that could be harmful. But you also need something that will clean and disinfect. Fortunately, a DIY non-toxic toy cleaner is something you can easily make at home for very little money. Here are a few resources for how to make your own.
Vinegar and Water
Vinegar is a safe and natural disinfect you can use to clean all kinds of things, including toys. To disinfect toys, combine equal parts vinegar and water. You can also add a few drops of an antiseptic essential oil if you choose to.
Baking Soda and Water
Another natural DIY toy cleaning is warm water mixed with baking soda.
This may sound odd, but vodka makes a great natural cleaner for toys, mattresses, and other surfaces throughout the house. Simply mix vodka and water in a spray bottle and spray down any plastic toys you need to sanitize. Wipe the toy down afterward to remove residue.
Boiling is useful for cleaning baby toys when you don’t want to use any soap or cleaner because they will be chewing on it. Before boiling a plastic toy, check to make sure the toy doesn’t leach chemicals when boiled. Check the box it came in or the tag for an indication of whether or not boiling the toy is safe.
If you’re boiling toys, just add them to a large pot of hot water and let it boil for about 5 minutes. Remove with a utensil to avoid burning yourself.
One of my favorite non-toxic toy cleaner options is putting plastic toys in the dishwasher. It requires the least effort on your part. Many dishwashers have a sanitize mode that works well. Keep in mind the toy will come in contact with detergent. If that is something you want to avoid, boiling is your better option.
4. Washer & Dryer
When you need a non-toxic toy cleaner method for stuffed animals start with your washer and dryer. Many stuffed toys will do just fine in the washer. Run them through with laundry detergent, or if you prefer a chemical free wash, use baking soda and vinegar.
If your child’s stuffed toys are not machine washable, many can still go in the dryer. An hour on high heat will kill germs on stuffed animals. I’ve used this method often and with great success. Just beware of dolls or toys with hair or fur or fluff that might melt in the heat. My daughter has a stuffed horse with melted hair because of a sanitizing trip to the dryer. For those toys, check out our final option.
A few days in the freezer is a good way to kill germs on even the most delicate stuffed animal. For best results, spot clean the stuffed animal as needed and allow it to dry. Then place the stuffed animal in a plastic freezer bag. Squeeze out the extra air before sealing the bag. Place it in your freezer for three days.
If your child cannot live without their stuffed animal for three days, consider buying them an identical backup stuffed animal and rotating them.
Worst case, leave the toy in the freezer for a minimum of three hours. It won’t be as thorough but will work for most things.
Clean Toys Without the Worry
I hope you can use these non-toxic toy cleaner ideas for worry-free toy cleaning. No more cringing when you see your kids touching or chewing on their toys knowing they are clean without the chemicals.