When it comes to cleaning baby items we have to walk a fine line between trying to get rid of the germs and not using toxic chemicals that the baby could ingest. I suggest using some DIY recipes for cleaning. These are recipes you can make at home and will work safely on items that are near your baby. We also have to remember that babies LOVE to put their mouths on everything, so we should use very green cleaners on all their items.
Here are some recommendations for cleaning specific baby items:
High chair - Use a microfiber cloth with an all-purpose cleaner which is a mixture of white distilled vinegar and seltzer water. The vinegar is a natural way to kill bacteria and germs. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can add an essential oil to it and the oil will cancel out the vinegar smell. Now you have a great anti-bacterial spray that won’t hurt the baby.
Toys - Use hydrogen peroxide to clean baby toys. Whether hard plastic, or stuffed- hydrogen peroxide will kill the germs, yet is safe if baby puts them in his/her mouth. Hydrogen peroxide is used in hospitals to kill germs and is also used by dentists to whiten our teeth!
Baby tub – Clean the baby tub before and after being used. Spray it down with an all-natural spray and wipe it with a microfiber cloth. The microfiber will catch and hold the dirt and wipe it right off the tub. You want to make sure you clean the tub after the bath too- just because you just never know what may have gotten into the water during the bath (if you get my drift). Babies don’t know how to control their bowels or bladder, so you need to use the antibacterial spray on the tub after the bath too.
Crib - Get a very good mattress cover for the mattress. Organic mattresses are the best, but if you can’t afford them, just buy a high quality mattress cover to keep the allergens inside the mattress. I would also recommend an organic cotton cover too. Launder it with a gentle laundry soap so that it doesn’t bother the baby’s skin or promote allergies. You can make your own laundry soap from a recipe. I have one from my Great Grandmother which has four simple ingredients – baking soda, washing soda, soap flakes and Borax. This recipe washes totally out of the clothes so there won’t be any residual detergent in the mattress cover to aggravate the baby’s skin. If you don’t want to make your own, there is a good natural soap called Charlie’s Soap that moms love for baby clothes and diapers.
Changing table – Keep a bottle of anti-bacterial spray (natural) right by the table for accidents. I also would use paper towels here – so you can throw it away right after cleaning. I know this isn’t a green solution- but it is safer than reusing a rag or cloth. The linens should be cleaned in a gentle laundry soap.
Stroller – Keep a microfiber cloth and a small spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner in the bottom of the stroller. Cleaning right when an accident happens is much easier that waiting until you get home. A simple spill will harden in the hot car, and will be 10x worse to remove. Also, a simple spot remover for spills on the fabric would be good to keep with you as well. You can make a spot wipe with vinegar and club soda with some lemon essential oil to keep handy. Just soak the mixture in paper towels and store in a zip lock bag.
Three recipes for DIY cleaners that are safe for babies and young children. They all are from The Joy of Green Cleaning.
Great Grandma’s Laundry Soap
2 cups Soap Flakes1-cup baking soda
1-cup washing soda
(Essential oil for scent 6-8 drops)
Mix and store in an airtight container. Use 2 tablespoons for a front loader – 1/2 cups for a top loader.
Daily All-Purpose Cleaner (disinfectant)
1-cup white vinegar
1-cup seltzer water
8 drops tea tree oil
1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide (will only disinfect for short time – you can add more each time you want to use the cleaner. Hydrogen peroxide is very volatile and turns to water quickly)
1/4-cup club soda
8 drops essential oil – for scent
Combine all these ingredients and soak 20 heavy-duty paper towels in the mixture. Squeeze out the excess and store in a zip lock bag. Use for spots and spills as needed. About Leslie:
Leslie Reichert, "The Cleaning Coach", is a nationally-recognized green homekeeping expert dedicated to educating people on keeping their homes, schools and work areas "green".
From obvious dangers like toxic chemicals under the sink to hidden hazards that can be found in the office, Leslie helps teach simple steps to keeping families and pets safe from hidden toxins and health risks. To learn more about Leslie, go to GreenCleaningCoach.com