DIY Natural Toy Cleaner

Dec, 28, 2018

By Fredrica Syren:

Kids — they’re just so cute and so … so unhygienic at the same time. Now we’re getting into flu and cold season accompanied by pinworms and pink eye. There’s very little you can do to protect against it all, but one thing we can do is make sure to clean their toys on a regular basis to remove as many germs and bacteria as possible. Now let me make this very clear: I do believe our society is too scared of germs and tends to disinfect everything, and I believe that is wrong. Germs are good and build the immune system; however, since my kids play with their toys and have friends over who play with them, I do believe that cleaning toys occasionally is a good idea to reduce the chances of picking up bugs.

Using commercial cleaners is not an option. If you wish to avoid harmful chemicals such as bleach, ammonia or other solutions that could harm your kids, the question is how can you clean those drool-covered, crumb-embedded toys safely?

Of course there are safer cleaning products on the market these days, but there are super easy nontoxic methods of toy cleaning.


A spray made with water and distilled vinegar is a great way to clean any hard surfaces. Just spray it onto, then wipe down the toy. I don’t like the smell of vinegar, so I add essential oils that not only smell good but also help clean the toys and kill germs. My favorite essential oils for cleaning include thieves, lemon, lavender  and Tea Tree oil.

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 6 Drops of Essential Oils

Mix together in a repurposed spray bottle and either spray directly onto toys or spray onto a soft cloth to wipe things down.


Any plastic and water safe toys can be soaked in either warm water and vinegar or warm water and baking soda. Again, you can add some essential oils.

Boiling water:

Boiling water is known as a very simple way to kill germs. Naturally, it works only on water safe toys.


Soft toys like dolls and stuffed animals may harbor dust and dust mites. To get rid of the dust and mites, put the toys into the washing machine. Another method is to put the toys into an airtight bag, then stick the bag into the freezer for a few hours to kill any dust mites.

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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