Cleaning Used Toys

Updated on July 03, 2011
A.L. asks from Pleasanton, CA
7 answers

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to sanitize used toys? Instead of buying new toys all the time, I was thinking about getting used toys - better for the bank account and the environment. But I worry about how clean they are especially since my daughter still puts everything in her mouth. Not thrilled with the thought of cleaning them only for there to be tons of chemicals on them either though.

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T.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Cleaning toys as with anything our children come into contact with is very tricky. I hesitate to recommend using Lysol, even a diluted amount, because Lysol or any disinfectant is a pesticide. The fumes can irritate the nose, throat and lungs with potential of long term problems. Bleach, if licked, rubbed in the eyes, or inhaled (all accidentally majority of the time) can cause eye injuries, and can burn the mouth, throat and lungs. The vapors are very harmful as well with potential of long-term effects. I don't want to scare anyone because I also used these tried and true ways with my dear children and my mother did the same with me. We didn't know better then... but we do now and there are safer alternatives. I have found one product that works and it's manufactured by Melaleuca an online store. It's called Sol-U-Guard and it's part of their EcoSense household cleaning supplies product line. I am a real stickler for eco-friendly products that really work yet they also have to be affordable. I am very satisfied and have became a customer as well. The website is www.saferforyourhome.com. The active ingredient is Thymol which is a compound of Thyme Oil. Thyme oil is a natural fungicide. How much more natural can you get? We cook with Thyme for heaven sakes! I hope this information helps and put you aware that unknowingly we might be harming our children just by the products we bring into our home and use on a daily basis. www.atoxicbrew.com Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions.

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J.C.

answers from Seattle on

Thyme oil is an oxidative phosphrylation uncoupler and more toxic than bleach on a per weight basis. Thyme oil is also harder to remove, permanently bonds to plastics, and does not break down with sunlight or drying. I prescribe thyme oil for certain infections as an alternative to antibiotics but you have to regulate it carefully. Natural does not mean safe. The flu is natural, HIV is natural, angry bears are natural. Please remember that the only difference between drugs, foods, and poisons is the dose... Choose your dose wisely.

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T.B.

answers from Sacramento on

Anything plastic and not electronic can be run through the dishwasher. Clorox also makes a spray that you can use on hard surfaces that is safe to use around kids that sterilizes the surface and pampers also makes a baby safe spray that works the same way, I think it is called Clean and Play. But when my kids are sick I run there hard toys through the dishwasher to prevent them from reinfecting themselves and it seems to work.

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

A little bleach and water?

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B.D.

answers from Sacramento on

If they are toys that you can immersed in water, fill a bucket with hot water and bleach and let them sit for a few minutes, rinse off well and let them air dry (preferably in the sun- sunshine kills bacteria). It doesn't take much to clean them.

If the toy is cloth material, run it through the wash like you do with your clothing or use a sponge with warm water and soap (especially for stuffed animals) and clean it.

If the item cannot be immersed but still can stand liquid, use those Clorox or Lysol antibacterial wipes. Of course antibacterial dish soap and warm water do the trick too if you are worried about chemicals.

Basically if you clean it and the toy gets damaged, you won't feel guilty for throwing it away cause it was cheap to begin with! :-)

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A.K.

answers from San Francisco on

Ditto what Page and Bettina said. I use one T. bleach to one gallon of water to sanitize my daughter's stuff. And you don't have to worry about the chemicals. Bleach degrades in light. By the time it's dry it's turned back into salt.

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N.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I've bought some great, cheap toys from Goodwill before. I especially look for the ones that have easily accessible screws. That way you can take apart the toy and give all the pieces a good bath in hot, soapy water, with maybe a touch of bleach. Or if there are stickers to work around, you can carefully wash so the stickers don't fall off. This doesn't work for all toys, such as some electronic ones, but it's great for lots of plastic, mechanical toys. Be sure to let the pieces dry before you put them back together.