23 answers

Cleaning with Bleach

I'm curious to know if there is an alternative to cleaning kids toys without using bleach. I have an at home child care business and I do not really feel bleach is the best thing to be cleaning the toys with, especially since they go in their mouths (not toys that can be put through the dishwasher). HELP!!!

1 mom found this helpful

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Have you tried using vinegar and water? It is a healthy and still disinfecting alternative.

Make it a GREAT week!


I have heard that the safest alternative to bleach is Hydrogen peroxide used the same way you would use the bleach.

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Bleach really is the best, especially when you're talking about kids who put everything in their mouth. As long as you are using the proper dilution, soak the toys and then let them dry before giving them back to the kids, there is not danger for them getting ill from the bleach.

As far as the "natural" alternatives, I just suggest being as careful with them as with bleach. Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is safe! Check them out to make sure there is independent research (not done by the labs owned by the company) to substantiate that it is safe and effective.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes. Vinegar is a great alternative. It disinfects, the smell goes away when the toys are rinsed & dried. And, you don't have to worry about children who have bleach allergies touching the toys after cleaning. I use it for cleaning our toys at home and I know day care centers that have switched, as well.

Sol-U-Guard Botanical™ Disinfectant is an alternative!! Email me and I can get you more info on this and also how to get it at wholesale price. ____@____.com Here is a little info on it. I would love to talk to you more about it. Have a wonderful day. C.

The first botanical disinfectant formula that’s 99.99% effective against common bacteria.
• EPA-registered and proven to be more than
99.99% effective against common household
• EPA-approved for use in hospitals and medical
facilities as well as for hard surfaces in your

Sol-U-Guard Botanical:
• 99.99% effective against common bacteria
on hard surfaces
• Powered by the essential oil of the herb
thyme with a fresh herbal scent
• Approved by the EPA for use
in residential, medical, and food
preparation facilities.

The patented Sol-U-Guard Botanical formula is EPAapproved
for use in a wide variety of residential,
commercial, and medical facilities, including:
• Children’s toys • Countertops
• Changing tables • Sinks
• High chairs • Garbage cans
• Toilet seats • Pet habitats
• Prostheses & orthotics
Sports equipment
• Food preparation surfaces
• Any other surface where bacteria or
unpleasant odors are a concern
• Day cares • Kitchens
• Schools • Restaurants & bars
• Nurseries • Cafeterias
• Hospitals • Food storage areas
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Fitness gyms and spas • Hotels & motels
• Medical, veterinary, and dental offi ces
Health professional, chiropractic,
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• Salmonella choleraesuis
• Staphylococcus aureus (Staph)
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• Mycobacterium bovis (TB)
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• HIV-1 (the AIDS virus)

Have you tried using vinegar and water? It is a healthy and still disinfecting alternative.

Make it a GREAT week!


I was looking for alternatives to cleaning my kids' toys as well. I use Sol-U-Guard. The key ingriedients are thyme, citrus oil, and melaleuca oil. You can only get it on-line. Not only that, but the same place to get Sol-U-Guard has a whole line of products to clean your home without the harsh chemicals that a lot of cleaners have, so it's safer and healthier for all the littles one in your home! I've been a customer for a year now, and I can't imagine going back to brand names! I'd be happy to share with you more info! Just drop me a line anytime!

Mom to Alex & Arianna

There was a day when I thought nothing of liberal useage of chlorine bleach to clean & disinfect. However my lungs became quite uncomfortable & a friend of mine did herself real damage cleaning in her daycare with toxic chemicals. I've since resorted to peroxide, grapefruit seed oil, salt solutions and baking soda-depending on what I'm cleaning.
Here's a couple of links
and http://www.care2.com/greenliving/chlorine-in-household-cl...

I'd have to agree that bleach is the best way to go. It's very effective for all those baby bugs and VERY safe. Bleach actually starts out as water and salt and breaks down into water and salt. I'd hesitate to use any other chemicals if you don't know exactly what it is or what it breaks down into. I'd stick to bleach. :)

Chlorine Bleach contains "sodium hypochlorite". Google that chemical, which is actually considered a pesticide, and see what you find out. Or, look on the household products site at :http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/br...

I personally feel that a lot of asthma and breathing related issues, could be avoided, with the removal of this product from homes.

Also found this great info on government website about bleach: http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/BiodefenseRelated/Chemic...

Shaklee offers a germicide that is safer for use and doesn't contain "sodium hypochlorite". If, you'd like more info from me, just send me a note.

Thanks and God bless,

peroxide is a good options.

also if you mix 3:1 water and vinegar and then add a few drops of lavender essential oil you have an antibacterial cleaner that smells good and is not dangerous.

bleach is NOT safe, even after the surface is dry, for the record.

HI A.,
Just plain Vinegar kills germs. Also I always keep Meleluca's Sol-u-gard (sp?) on hand, made just with thyme oil. Great stuff! G

I second Patti D. Bleach is the best cleaner. My hubby and I do competition bbq contests and when we do dishes in the field, we spray them with a bleach solution before using again. We also do all of our knives, and anything that touches raw meat at home, as well as countertops.

Once it's dry, it's safe to use again (and even in kids' mouths). Just make sure it's diluted properly.

There is a product that Melaleuca puts out called Sol-u-gard. It's basis is thyme and citric acid and it is approved by the EPA as a disinfectant. It is a good substitute for bleach or lysol and it is 100% safe for kids if they are going to put toys in their mouth.
Good for you being willing to look for something to keep your kids safe!
I love it. If you can't find it then pm me and I will get you the info.

I have started using a product called Sol-U-Guard which is made by Melaleuca in both my home and in the church nursery where I am the director. I no longer have nursery workers worried about ruining their good clothes if a little of the spray gets on them.

Another item that can be used is hydrogen peroxide (especially handy for bath tub toys that have mold) you have to soak them for a while than squeeze the water out or use very fine a very fine srynge and inject the peroxide in the toy wait at least 10 minutes shake and get as much out as you can repeat 2-4 times than using the srynge remove the remainder.


I've used rubbing alcohol to clean my house before because it's also a germ-killer. Is is feasable to throw some in a spray bottle & clean w/that?


DoTERRA essential oils has a great product that sanitizes and that is naturally safe. It is On Guard essential oil blend. I am a public-school teacher who uses it in her classroom. Let me know that you want the document entailing 48 uses for that essential oil, and I'll send it to you.


10:1 bleach water is the "gold standard" :) Rubbing alcohol also works well on "hard-surfaced" items.

white vinegar is a good disinfectant and so is rubbing alcohol. you are right, bleach is pretty toxic.

Hi A.,

I've heard Hydrogen Peroxide is just as good as bleach without the chemically smell. Google it and see what you can find. Cheap too!!

Hi A. - I am SO susceptible to getting colds and sinus stuff so I've put some work into figuring out what works well for us.

I like the Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Daily Sanitizer Spray. There's no rinsing. A friend gave me a bottle of the Melaleuca Sol-u-Mel but I didnt care for the smell.

I dont use the 10-1 chlorine bleach solution mainly because I ruined a couple of things not really because it's toxic. You could also use a 3-1 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide to spray your toys. I also use hydrogen peroxide solution to spot clean plushies with electronics that cant go in the washing machine. I just soak a baby wipe in the solution.

I wash the other plushies separately in the washing machine on gentle cycle in a laundry bag. I dry them on medium to high heat and then use a soft brush to revive the fur.

I hope that helps you!


Get a shark or comparable steamer. They work grreat and the toys will be dry almost as soon as they are sterilized!

So I know you have had a lot of responses but I found an AMAZING disinfectant that is not only safe but extremely healthy too. First of all I would never use bleach! If you research it you will find all sorts of issues it can cause you, the kids, etc and anyone who says otherwise is ignorant. (Sorry, but its true.) Instead I would use GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)to disinfect. You usually find it at a health food store. You can use a spray bottle full of water and just add a few drops of GSE to it. (You can look online for exact amounts.) This stuff is good for a lot of other things too. You can even add a few drops to a 55 gal barrel of water and it will sanitize the whole thing for drinking. Even better, you can add several drops to your drinking water and it will get rid of any bacteria/viruses in your body. I just got a horrible flu and got rid of it in 24 hrs with this stuff. (I used 7 drops GSE to 2 cups of water 3 times a day for 3 days. I continued it for 2 days after the symptoms are gone.) There are many, many more uses for it. It is a very healthy way to go! :-)

Just so you know, bleach evaporates from the surface of products cleaned with it. We use a weak solution to clean fish tank parts (my husband's business), and I guarantee that there isn't any residue left after they are dried and rinsed because otherwise all of the fish that we have would be dead.

I have heard that the safest alternative to bleach is Hydrogen peroxide used the same way you would use the bleach.

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