How to Clean Baby Toys Naturally with Homemade Cleaning Products
Learn how to clean baby toys using natural (and affordable!) ingredients. Skip the bleach and other dangerous chemicals and even skip the expensive "natural" product brands. Make your own using these recipes!
Once you have a baby you start looking at your home environment in a whole new way. You look at those chemicals under your kitchen sink suspiciously. Dangerous! Bad for the environment! Bad for baby! Remember those headaches you'd get when you'd scrub the tub with a bleach based product? Bad. Very bad. Who would want to introduce those chemicals into baby's environment?
Luckily, there are baby safe cleaning alternatives, and I'm not talking about spending a fortune on natural cleaners either. (although those are nice too) I'm talking about going back to basics, learning how to clean baby toys like our great-grandparents did...don't worry, you can keep your vacuum.
How to Clean Baby Toys - Teethers, plastic and wood toys. Most all "hard" toys fall in this category. When your baby is in the "putting everything in the mouth" stage you'll want to wipe down her toys more often. Just think, the toys lay on the ground most of the time. Would you want to put something in your mouth that sat on the floor for a week? They also get covered in saliva (and even food if baby just ate) and handled by other babies during play dates, etc. Maybe the dog even sits on one or two. Ew.
- 1 Cup Water, 1 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
Mix together equal parts distilled white vinegar and water for a cheap toy cleaning solution. I put it in a spray bottle and just spray a little on a cloth and then wipe down the toys. The vinegar smell goes away completely after it dries and it doesn't leave any residue on the toys. Vinegar is edible...but you can clean with it too!
How to Clean Stuffed Toys - Stuffed animals, fabric mats and fabric toys fall into this category. These too get mouthed and can even stain. Please follow the washing directions on the tag for how to clean baby toys. However, if there are no directions or the tag is long gone there are still some gentle cleaning methods you can try.
Washing Machine with Vinegar & Baking Soda - Yes, you can throw most fabric toys and stuffed animals into the washing machine and they'll be fine if the material and content is cotton or polyester blends. For heavily stained or soiled stuffed animals sprinkle them with baking soda and wash, adding 3 capfuls of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Most fabric and stuffed toys can also be tumble dried on low.
Wool Toys - If your wool toy is "felted" you can simply wash it in the machine in a pillow case or net bag. If not, you need to take special care when washing. Spot cleaning is ideal, especially for things like Waldorf dolls or knitted wool stuffed animals. To spot clean, use a mild wool soap and a damp wash cloth and let air dry. For very heavily soiled wool toys you can also hand wash using a wool soap and then lay in a sunny window to dry. Do NOT tumble dry wool toys unless they have already been felted.
Sunning Out Stains on Whites - Our beloved white teddy bear had seen better days but I didn't want to use bleach on it. I finally gave "sunning" a try and was surprised by how well it worked! Lay white toys (this works well on cloth diapers or stained cotton onesies too) in direct sunlight and the stains disappear in a few hours. Really! For really tough stains spritz a bit of lemon juice on the stain and then put in the sun. Like magic!