15 answers

"Sanitizing" Used Stuffed Animals, Etc.

I recently bought a few things used and am wondering how to sanitize the things that can't be wiped down or put in the washing machine. For instance, there's a Tickle Me Elmo doll and a fabric covered co-sleeper that I don't know what to do with. Spray them? Bag them?

I vaguely recall that when you're trying to rid your house of lice, you put stuffed animals, etc. in a bag. But I don't know how long you keep them there, what kind of bag, how airtight it has to be, etc. I also don't know if that's useful for any kind of "sanitizing" or just lice.

To be crystal clear, I do not suspect these items have lice or I wouldn't have brought them into my house. They also look relatively clean, I'm just a tad OCD and would just feel better knowing I did something to "sanitize" them "just in case" since they're gently used and I don't know their history.

I'm curious to know what others do, but I don't like to use anything like Lysol spray especially for children's items...the smell even bothers me and I wouldn't want the residue getting in the baby's mouth. I've been using vinegar and friction (wiping) to clean the board books and other items that can be wiped down.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I use my steamer for such things. We got it at Target. You can steam floors, windows, toys, anything with it with its various attachments.

More Answers

In our nursery at church we put a capful of bleach into a spray bottle of water. We spray a light mist over the toys, tables, dolls, chairs and just anything we can see. The bleach will sanitize and in a short time - everything is dry and ready for the next time anyone wants to use them.


hey P. i to am a bit ocd i would bAG ELMO in a small trash bag and put the trash bag in the warmest place in the house rule of thumb is two week but i do three that my ocd thene with the co sleeoer i would wipe it down with blech water then when it dryes spray it with lice spray again that my ocd better safe then sorry good luck hope i helped

I know moms today are reluctant to spray with Lysol and stuff like that, but I've always done that and then put the items in the sun if that's feasible for several hours. I use vinegar around my house more now but my kids all grew up with Lysol and were none the worse for it.

A great trick is to spray them down with something that is ok for the kids, then put them in a garbage bag, and with the hose of your vacuum, suck all the air out of the bag. This helps eliminate odors, and extra dust, etc. This also works great for pillows that can't be put into the wash or couch cushions.

Tie them up in a pillow case and run them through the wash machine. Works like a charm!!! You can even dry most stuffed animals. Daycares do this as well. This cleans them all the way through and not just the surface.

I'm not sure if this is the most effective way to sanitize or not, but I normally wash what can be wiped down with mild bleach water ...like a dolls face or plastic toys, and then spray lysol to disenfect the entire object. I'm curious what other moms have to say.

M. M.

I use my steamer for such things. We got it at Target. You can steam floors, windows, toys, anything with it with its various attachments.

you mention Lysol but I have used Clorox anywhere dissinfectant, they say it is safe to use around kids,pets and I think even food and there really isn't an odor. I have found it work good and for the bag I have found large Zip Lock Big Bags. I use them to store the kids out of season clothing that they probably won't outgrow and toys that can't part with so after you use them for the sanitizing they can be used for other stuff too. Good luck

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