44 answers

A Good Disinfectant for Toys

Hello All you wonderful moms!! I was wondering if anyone uses or knows of a disinfectant that is effective, but gentle to use on toys. I have tried the Lysol disinfectant, but it seems to leave a residue that gets on my kids hands and mouths!! (Mostly the 8 month old). Organic, Amish... I'm looking for anything that is effective and safe and hopefully not to expensive! Thank you for time and responses in advance!

1 mom found this helpful

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Featured Answers

Dear B.,

Good old-fashioned liquid bleach works the best and does not cost that much. I always use Chlorox, but any brand will actually work. I would put one cup in a half tub of water and wash them with dish soap and the bleach and then rinse thoroughly and dry or allow to air dry and let the kids play with the toys as usual.

L. C.

The best thing I have found to use is highly dilluted bleach with water. It is safe after it dries because bleach breaks down quickly after it comes in to contact with organic matter, which is exactly the stuff that you are using it for anyway. You just need a very large spray bottle and 1 capful of bleach for cleaning. You really shouldn't even be able to smell the bleach. I know this is what has been used at the daycare that I used to use and it seems to do the trick and no film.

50/50 dilution of hydrogen peroxide and water. OR Water and Vinegar. Doesn't get any cheaper then that, is totally safe, and won't harm baby.

These two substances (peroxide and vinegar) are EXCELLENT for cleaning and disinfecting. REALLY!

More Answers

Looks like you have a lot of good resposes for different products. I just want to say be careful about cleaning too much! That is seriously a bad thing! We all need germs, this is how our immune systems strengthen. I have friends that are "germ-phobics" and their kids have been nothing but sick, ear infections, ashthma, etc. Cleaning toys should not be something you do often - just once in a long while. I have a clean house, not obsessively clean - just what it needs to be though... And I think I can count on one hand how many times I clean my daughters toys and she never even had a sniffle, fever or anything until she was like 18 months old.. Maybe its conincidence, I don't know. Especially spraying cleaners around kids, its awful for them. Doctors will even tell you that, now they say not to even sterilize baby bottles. Just my 2 cents :)
Good Luck :)

1 mom found this helpful

vinegar ! antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-viral. and once dry, it should leave no residue altho if it does, kids seem to like the tangy taste ! i only disinfect after big parties tho or having kids over that i later suspect may have been sick. i used to be a sanitizing maniac and now have 2 (out of 5) children w/ several serious to life-threatening food allergies b/t them.

one current theory is that as as a society we have become so obsessed w/ being antiseptic that our children's immune systems no longer have dirt, germs and disease to fight off so they have begun mistaking strong food proteins (like those in egg, nuts, fish, etc...) for the enemy!

there were never any food allergies in anyone in my or hubby's family before our kids and my sister has 6 kids and is pretty carefree about hand washing and housecleaning and hasn't got a single food allergy in the bunch. i'm currently trying to adjust my standards to a more middle ground !

1 mom found this helpful

I am the mother of 3 boys and I don't disinfect my kids' toys. If they are visibly dirty I will wash them, but studies are showing that kids need exposure to bacteria to build resistance and be healthier adults. It's the same concept as health care...those of us working in healthcare rarely get sick...our resistance is so high. Now, I certainly would consider disinfecting my toys if I ran a daycare, or had sick children over who were playing with them, but even my own children seldom get sick from each other.

There is such a thing as being too clean!


1 mom found this helpful


I use vinegar for disinfectant. It dries out the cell walls of germs so they can't retain water and are essential dehydrated to death.

Mix 1:1 ratio, vinegar and water, or you can use just straight vinegar.

Just beware of cleaning your kids toys too much. As the other mothers have pointed out, too much disinfectant can be bad for their systems as well.

I think of it this way, we all get a little bit of the bad germs in our bodies every day and our immune systems learn which are the bad germs and which are the good. So later if you get a big dose of the bad germs (think tomato scare) your body is able to fight it off fairly effectively rather than running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello B.,

1/2 water 1/2 alcohol in a spray bottle does wonders. it's great for cleaning mirrors, quick bathroom cleanup, counters, glass tables, microwave, counters, stove, etc.

I usually "desinfected" toys that my kids put in their mouths.

I use vinegar and water. Some of the smaller plastic toys I will also soak in ivory soak and hot water or put through the dishwasher. I do so about once per week and before/after friends with kids are over.

I was just wondering.. HOw often do toys need to be disinfected??? if it is just my 2 kids that play with them??

Hi B.,

I use Clorox anywhere hard surface spray on everything and it works really well. You can either wipe it off after 2 minutes or let it air dry. It is $2.74 for 22oz at Target. It does not have a harsh smell and the bottle says "Gentle enough to use around kids, pets and food." Hope that helps.

Take care,

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