Happy Mother’s Day friends! I thought, what better time for this post then today (not that you should do it today! Stash it away for a day when you aren’t being pampered). Between Covid-19 and all the everyday germs kids bring home, disinfecting their toys and play areas every so often is key! I mean don’t get me wrong, I do not believe in wiping down every little thing all the time. They need to build up those immune systems, but every so often I like to give a thorough clean for piece of mind. So, today we are looking at how to clean kid items, naturally!
Now, you know me….I am not a fan of toxic cleaners and chemicals, but good news! You don’t need them! Nope. Everything I’m about to show you is all natural, inexpensive, and works just as well as those store bought cleaners. So let’s hop to it.
*Note: this post does use affiliate links which means that if you shop through them I earn a small commission.
For the most part, cleaning Leyton’s room and play areas doesn’t differ much from how I clean the rest of the house. I do all the typical household chores to his room and bathroom (dust, wash, vacuum) but, there are a couple extra ways I keep it sparkling and fresh and a few little hacks thrown in. Here we go!
COTTON BALLS IN THE DIAPER PAIL
This one greatly reduces the stink associated with the diaper pail. Simply add a few drops of a purification essential oil, a citrus oil, or tea tree (it’s bacteria killing) to a few cotton balls and drop them in the bottom before replacing the bag. Don’t have essential oils? Sprinkle some baking soda in there.
Each week when we empty the can, I also spray and wipe down the inside with a vinegar and water solution.
DISINFECTING POWDER FOR CARPET & MATTRESS
I make a batch of this every so often when it’s sheet cleaning day and sprinkle it on the mattresses and carpets or area rugs throughout the house. All you need is:
- 1/2 – 1 cup baking soda
- 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5-10 drops tea tree essential oil
Mix it all together and sprinkle to the areas and let sit for at least an hour. Then simply vacuum it up! It helps kill bacteria and that lavender and peppermint together is sooo good!
CLEANING TOYS, NATURALLY
This is one of the biggest jobs to tackle because there are typically tons of them and they are all so different! Cloth, plastic or wood. Electronic or not. Big or small. But not to fear! I’ve got you. Here are a variety of ways for how to clean kid items naturally sure to tackle any toy you’ve got!
IN THE WASHER
This one works for cloth toys like stuffed animals or plastic toys without batteries. Simply toss them in a mesh delicate’s bag and wash!
USE THE STEAMER
I love this one for big toys, wooden toys, or toys with hard to reach areas. Simply steam those suckers! It won’t necessarily remove stains but the heat kills germs. Just be careful not to burn yourself or little ones nearby. I use a steamer similar to this.
USE THE FREEZER
I had never heard of this one until recently but this is great for stuffed animals or cloth toys, and really any type of toy. Like the steamer, it won’t do much by way of removing stains but, it will kill the germs.
SOAK IN A NATURAL SOLUTION
This is one of the most common methods for plastic toys without batteries or bath toys. Ditch the bleach and your store bought cleaners. These methods are just as good and non-toxic and great for toy boxes and other surfaces too! Here are the options:
- Vinegar and water solution (vinegar kills bacteria and the acidity of it dissolves dirt)
- Peroxide (place toys in solution and once it stops bubbling, remove and rinse)
- Baking soda and water (this will create more of a paste you could scrub them with in the sink)
These are some of my favorite go-to ways to clean several areas of the home including sinks and bathrooms, and floors. And it’s so much cheaper and safer than store bought products.
WIPE THEM DOWN
When in doubt, wipe it out! If any of the above solutions don’t really work because of the properties of the toy, you can always just wipe them down with disinfecting wipes. I personally ditch the Clorox and Lysol wipes and use my homemade disinfecting wipes (find that recipe here) and it works just as well.
USE THE DISHWASHER
This is another a great and easy option for the non electronic toys and toys that can get wet. Simply load those suckers in and wash with your dishes.
Whew! That was a lot of options for how to clean kid items naturally. But, we aren’t finished. I have one more commonly used item to clean and then 2 hacks!
CLEANING THE HUMIDIFIER
We personally have never used one but, I know so many people who do and say how easy they are to forget to clean. Then, when they do they are all moldy! Some people reach for bleach but the thought of any remnants of that still being in the machine and circulating the air in the room makes me uneasy. Instead, go back to your vinegar and water solution and clean it with that and run it with that to get the vinegar in there, cleaning all the parts.
After I clean rooms in our house I like to diffuse purifying essential oils to sort of seal the deal. Diffusers are another item you have to keep clean or they get moldy. I simply wipe mine down with vinegar water and it’s always worked like a charm.
Okay, now on to two of my favorite hacks!
GLUE THE HOLES OF BATH TOYS
I loathe bath toys! I personally do not see any need for there to be holes in something that sits in water. Obviously water is going to get in and never be able to fully dry and mold and bacteria will form. We have had many a baths where Leyton is playing and squeezes a bath toy and mold shoots out. YUCK!
So, simply glue those holes shut! A lot of people use hot glue guns but we don’t have one of those so I use Gorilla Glue (yes, I’m sure it’s not the best but it’s a small amount and we aren’t touching it or breathing in fumes so I’m allowing it, haha). I’m not perfect 100% of the time. I do my best everywhere I can so when I have to cave on things like this, it’s okay because my exposure overall is so low. Here is a waterproof version. Goodbye mold!
COTTON ROUNDS WITH ESSENTIAL OILS IN DRAWERS
A hack I learned a long time ago is to keep drawers fresh by placing a few drops of essential oils onto cotton rounds and placing them in a little satchel in drawers or linen closets. It helps cut down on the musky smell and keeps things fresh. Cedar wood is another thing I like to use for that purpose, that’s natural, but not everyone likes that smell.
Okay friends, that does it! Just some easy, affordable and effective ways for how to clean kid items, naturally. Believe me when I say, the majority of cleaning you do around your home and be done naturally and safely. Even the germ infested kid areas. Ditch those toxins, especially around the little ones and be happy knowing you are still getting a deep clean that doesn’t cost you an arm or and leg or your health.
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I hope everyone has a fantastic Mother’s Day. Take the day off, and enjoy some R & R. And please know, if you are a mama in waiting I’m praying for you and thinking of you. I was in your shoes not along ago and I know days like today make the ever present reminder more challenging. God’s got this and you’ve got this! See you back here this week!