How To Clean Toys the Non-Toxic Way
Cleaning toys is something we don’t do all the time, but I like to do it at least once a year, especially if someone has been sick. And we’ve had lots of sick kids this winter! Being in the middle of cold and flu season, with pinworms and pink eye, we decided it was time to clean and disinfect the kids’ toys and games.
How do we clean drool-covered, crumb-embedded toys safely?
Commercial cleaners are not an option if you wish to avoid toxic chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, or other solutions that could harm your kids. Of course, there are safer cleaning products on the market, but we’ve found some easy nontoxic toy cleaning methods that require little effort.
Soap and water
Don’t underestimate the power of old fashion soap and water. It is a super easy, safe, and natural way to clean toys. You can wash almost any toy by hand using warm water and soap, including wooden, rubber, and plastic toys. To get into little cracks and small spaces, use a toothbrush. Then, simply rinse in warm water and either towel dry or air dry. Sun rays are a natural way to disinfect, so if you can, dry the toys outdoors in the sun for an extra boost.
An all-purpose spray made with water and distilled vinegar is a fantastic way to clean hard surfaces. Simply spray it on and 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 in a repurposed spray bottle and spray directly onto toys or a soft cloth to wipe down surfaces.
Soak plastic and water-safe toys in either warm water and vinegar or warm water and baking soda. Again, you can add some essential oils.
Boiling water is known as an effortless way to kill germs. Naturally, it works only on water-safe toys.
In the Laundry
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. You can add lemon or thieves oil to the laundry to remove bad smells and bacteria.
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.