How to Naturally Sanitize Children’s Toys

TeddyBearPicKeeping kids healthy and safe is the number one priority for most parents, which is why you watch them like a hawk, childproof your home, and of course, clean and sanitize their toys. But parents that are turning over a new leaf and trying to enjoy a more eco-friendly existence will soon become aware that the cleaning solvents they use around the house every day are full of toxic chemicals that might affect their small kids. This can happen not only if kids get into the cleaning closet and accidentally ingest these toxins (which is why most parents keep them locked up), but also when they crawl around on the floor and then stick their hands in their mouths, and when they touch and chew on toys that have been cleaned and sanitized. But just like there are ways to create green cleaning solvents for your home, you can also find ways to naturally sanitize your children’s toys.

For one thing, the demand for green products has increased exponentially over the last decade, with more and more people starting to realize the impact humanity is having on the Earth. And this, of course, has led to an abundance of eco-friendly options flooding the consumer market, including green cleaners and even sanitizing wipes. Sani Brand, for example, makes hand wipes that are manufactured from 100% renewable fibers. In addition, they kill 99.9% of bacteria, including E. Coli, MRSA, Salmonella, and Staph, and they’re free of the alcohol known to permeate many sanitizers. So they’re not only great for cleaning the surfaces that kids touch, but they can also be used to wipe down hard surfaces on toys and they’re even safe enough to use directly on hands.

As for soft toys, blankets, and so on, you probably just throw them in the washing machine once a week (or as needed), and you can continue to do this in a more natural fashion by choosing detergents that are chemical-free. On the other hand, you might want to give up on store-bought cleansers of all kinds and start making your own natural products at home. A great natural way to clean most toys is an easy-to-mix solvent that consists of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar (say 1 cup each) paired with a few drops of an antibacterial essential oil such as tea tree, peppermint, lemon, or eucalyptus, just to name a few. All you have to do is put this concoction into a spray bottle and you’ve got your go-to cleaner. It is possible that some kids could have a reaction to tea tree, though, so although you may still want to use it for surfaces, it might be better not to use it on toys.

You can use this same mixture to soak plush toys, although you’ll want to rinse them thoroughly afterwards. And for tougher messes or stains, a paste made with baking soda and a little water applied with a toothbrush should do the trick. And if you want to keep wooden toys from drying out after you clean them with these mixtures, rub in some natural oil, such as coconut or olive. While you can easily use Toybuzz to find options for toys that meet your standards, you might have a harder time figuring out how to keep your children’s playthings both clean and green. But with plenty of simple recipes that you can make with natural items commonly found in the home, there’s no reason you can’t create gentle and natural sanitizing agents that are safer for your kids.

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