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Cleaning toys is something we periodically do at our house, especially if someone has been sick. Lately, I haven’t thought about it as much because my girls are getting older and they don’t usually get their toys dirty. Then my daughter rescued a kitten and all the toy bins were emptied to find the perfect toys for our new pet. As the stuffed animals, balls and windup toys are played with throughout the house, cleaning them has become necessary. As always, in an effort to avoid toxic chemicals, I’ve experimented with a couple of different cleaners.
Here are a few easy DIY toy cleaners that have worked for our toys:
Easy DIY Toy Cleaner
What you’ll need:
- 2 ounces Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap (lavender, tea tree or peppermint)
- Distilled or filtered water
- Spray bottle
- 5 drops essential oil (optional; because I use a scented soap, the essential oils are already added)
Combine all your ingredients in the spray bottle. Cap your bottle tightly and shake gently to mix. Place toys in the bathtub or utility sink. Spray the surface with the cleaner (use a scrub brush if necessary), then rinse. Make sure they dry completely before you return them to your toy box or bin.
If the toy has a battery inside, spot-clean where necessary, making sure to keep liquid from getting to the mechanical part and damaging the toy.
This cleaner works well on basically any surface. The key is to make sure your toy is dried completely once you’ve cleaned it.
Here’s another easy DIY cleaner you can make that’s also great for any toy that can tolerate being sprayed with water. The difference is you don’t need to rinse after you’ve sprayed it on because it doesn’t have any soap in it.
Easy DIY Sanitizing Cleaner
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup distilled water
- 30 or so drops essential oil (lavender, tea tree, peppermint, grapefruit or whatever scent you happen to love)
Combine all your ingredients in the spray bottle. Cap your bottle tightly and shake gently to mix. Place toys in the bathtub or utility sink. Spray the surface with the cleaner and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. Allow your toys to dry completely.
For electronic toys, spray your mixture onto a soft cloth, then wipe your toys.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution. The bottom line: However you decide to clean your toys, keeping environmental toxins out of your home is essential to keeping your family healthy.