Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cleaning Sophie

I do much of my best thinking in the shower--the same location where Little Man does most of his best playing.  This morning, I noticed that his bath toys were a little less than sparkling and I realized that a lot of people probably have NO idea how to clean their children's toys without potentially poisoning them.

Rubber, plastic toys:  You can either immerse and/or wipe down with a water and vinegar solution.  If you can handle it, I recommend using 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water and then either rinsing in wiping down with clean water.  For squeezy toys (rubber ducks, Sophie the giraffe, etc.) squeeze under the vinegar water to get some inside and then shake it around before squeezing the water out.  You may want to repeat that a few times.  Some funky stuff can grow inside those guys--especially the bath toys! 

Fabric, plush:  Spot clean with warm water.  If that doesn't work, try a little clarifying shampoo (nothing moisturizing!). Don't rub if at all possible, especially on the plush.  Pat dry and let sit until completely dry or it will look worse than when you started.

Stuffed Animals: If it's just general ick on the stuffed animals (great to do post-cold, too) get a big paper shopping bag (plastic works, too but not as well) dump in a hefty amount of baking soda (about a cup) on top of the toy, close it up (folds, tie, etc.) and then shake it.  And I mean SHAKE it.  For 30 seconds to a minute depending on how gross the toy is.  Remove from bag, shake and pat (outside or over a clean garbage pail is best) until you get all the excess off.

Just a note: I highly caution against using baby wipes for "cleaning".  A lot of them have moisturizers in them that can discolor plastics, stain fabric, and flatten pile on toys.

I'd love to hear how others clean their kids' toys. Any suggestions?

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