by maipham

June 10, 2021

how to disinfect toys without bleach

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Toys are very important in the growth and development of children. Most children love toys, and they can concentrate for hours on having fun and exploring their favorite toy.

After playing, toys often get dirty, even becoming a home for bacteria or other harmful chemicals. However, children are not aware of the dangers lurking when exposed to unsanitary toys. In particular, they often have the habit of putting toys in their mouths to suck or bite, leading to a high risk of gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases from contaminated toys and bacteria.

To minimize danger for babies, mothers need to periodically clean toys for babies. However, you should not use chemicals because they will adversely affect the health of children.

So how to clean toys for babies to ensure that the toys are both clean and friendly to the environment and health? Please refer to the following article to know how to disinfect toys without bleach!

Scroll down to find out!

Why should baby toys be disinfected properly?

When playing with toys, children often put them in their mouths, bite, drop them on the ground, or throw them in a corner of the house, but they continue to play with that toy. Or for older children, they might not know how to wash their hands properly after playing. When touching their mouths, your babies can swallow countless worm eggs and disease-causing bacterias.

After entering the body, worm eggs will cause gastrointestinal diseases such as abdominal pain, or diarrhea, which greatly affect the physical development of young children. 

In addition, contaminated baby toys may also contain whipworm. Once a child sucks on a toy or holds a dirty toy and puts his hand in his mouth, he inadvertently creates an opportunity for worms to penetrate.

The flagellate worm will stick to the baby's intestinal mucosa and work. They will constantly change positions and stimulate nerve endings in the intestines regularly.

As a result, your baby might have a secretion disorder or intestinal motility disorder, leading to very dangerous enteritis. Clinical symptoms of the disease can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, heavy stools with mucus and blood. As a result, children are malnourished, causing weight loss and stunting. This is why moms need to regularly clean their children's toys properly.

However, not all toys should be cleaned the same. It’s not like you can use detergent or bleach to clean all of your baby’s toys. Each type of toy requires a different cleaning method.

How often should you disinfect baby toys?

The more, the better. Period.

But in the modern world with thousands of work to do, you cannot chase after your baby to clean his toys. Instead, here is the frequency of disinfecting baby toys for your reference:

  • For pacifiers or gnawing toys: Disinfect regularly after the baby uses or when the toy is dirty.
  • For cloth and cotton toys: Disinfect once a week.
  • For plastic and electronic toys: Disinfect once every 2 weeks.
  • For doll toys: Disinfect once every 2 weeks.

Should bleaches be used to disinfect baby toys?

Of course, the answer is no. 

The properties of chemicals or bleaches are toxic, especially for the weak immune system of the baby. If you use bleach to disinfect your baby's toys, the chemicals will affect the baby's health. In particular, these chemicals will affect the digestive system and nervous system, preventing the normal development of children.

So, to ensure your child's safety, say no to bleaches when disinfecting your baby's toys. You can use natural detergents instead of chemical cleaners.

If you do not know how to disinfect toys without bleach, here are some useful tips for you.

How to disinfect toys without bleach?

The most important factor is that we must understand the correct sterilization methods to destroy the pathogens that cause disease and harm in the most thorough way.

Baby toys can be made of any material. With different toys, we will have different sterilization methods. 

Here are some tips for you and your family.

Disinfecting plastic children's toys

how to disinfect toys without bleach

Plastic is a commonly used material in the toy manufacturing industry. There are two main types of plastic toys: soft plastic and flexible plastic. Famous plastic children's toys include Battat, LEGO, Fisher-Price, etc. 

According to the experience of most mothers about how to disinfect toys for babies, for toys made of hard plastic, you can use washing equipment such as dishwashers or strong running water to clean. 

However, some toys are hydrophobic and not as sturdy as rubber/plastic animals. The best way is to wipe them with a wet cloth and then dry them and leave them to dry in the sun.

Disinfection works to kill mold cells on the surface of toys, reducing the growth of viruses and bacteria that cause disease for babies. Like cloth toys, plastic toys are also advised to expose the sun to take advantage of natural sunlight to kill bacteria. 

However, avoid strong sunlight, which can make the plastic brittle and break. Parents need to see recommendations and instructions for manufacturers' use to be able to periodically clean toys for babies properly.

If you are a caring mother in cleaning baby toys, you can also clean them by soaking plastic toys in saltwater, lemon juice, or vinegar (in a ratio of 1:1). 

Then, you pour the toys into this solution and soak them overnight, making sure the soaking solution gets inside the toys. 

The next day, you pour and squeeze out the soaking solution, rinse with water and dry. After each time your baby plays, you need to wash and squeeze the water inside out and then put it in a basket with holes to dry quickly.

Do not put it in a box because it is easy to cause water retention in the toy.

Disinfecting cotton or cloth toys

how to disinfect toys without bleach

The best friends that babies often cuddle are stuffed animals such as teddy bears, cloth dolls, cloth accessories, etc. However, these friends can be home to thousands of dust mites. 

When it comes to cloth toys, I know it is tempting to just pour some bleach in it to make the whole things cleaned like new. However, it does more harm than good if the bleach doesn't come off completely.

But without bleach, the dirt on cloth toys is stubborn. So how to disinfect toys without bleach, in this case, cloth toys?

Stuffed animals are children's toys, so parents should also wash stuffed animals with baby detergent to avoid chemicals that irritate the baby's skin. Wash them every two weeks. It is best to wash with the washing machine's hot water process and then dry in the sun. 

To ensure bactericidal properties, you should also choose sunny days so you can dry them immediately in the sun. To ensure the hygiene of cotton toys, you should regularly wash and dry them in natural sunlight and check the toys' details to ensure the safety of your baby when playing.

When cleaning these toys, parents should not wash them with hot water or dry them too hot because this can cause fabric shrinkage and deformation of the toys. Parents should also not expose the sun too strongly to avoid damaging the fabric and discoloring the fabric.

Disinfecting children's electronic toys

how to disinfect toys without bleach

Many mothers are confused when cleaning children's electronic toys because they have many small details, nooks, and crannies that are difficult to clean completely. The best way is to use a clean cloth soaked in alcohol or vinegar and then gently clean around the part. 

Use a small brush. You can use a laptop cleaning brush to clean the small details. You should be careful not to damage the microchips in the toy and make sure the components are all tight and not peeling to ensure baby safety. After wiping with a cloth soaked in the solution, it must be wiped with a dry cloth so as not to affect the toy's quality.

In addition to vinegar, alcohol, and lemon, you can also use baby soaps to clean toys. A small note is that when cleaning toys for babies with electronics, it is necessary to choose days with nice, sunny weather to ensure no invasion of bacteria from the environment to the toy during the cleaning process.

 Disinfecting children's wooden toys

Many parents choose wooden toys for their children because of the environmental friendliness of wood. 

However, wood material has a characteristic that it should not be soaked in water for a long time. Wood exposed to water for a long time will be easily damaged and moldy. 

Therefore, with periodic toys for babies made from this material, parents should only wash it with water for a short time and then dry it.

Although wood has antibacterial properties, it is still better and safer when you can clean wooden baby toys regularly. Types of wooden children's toys include drop blocks, puzzle toys.

If you do not clean them properly for wooden toys, the paint on the wooden surface will be damaged and ugly. Normally, when cleaning wooden toys for babies, parents often have a habit of cleaning them with water by dipping them directly into the water basin.

However, the best way to clean wooden toys is to use a vinegar solution to spray on their surface. Then use a clean cloth immediately to avoid the toy being stained with vinegar.

The sterilization process also needs to be careful not to use chemicals containing high % alcohol, which can easily damage the outer paint of the toy. Wood is also prone to mold if it is not dried enough. In the hot season, parents must also pay attention to cleaning these wooden toys regularly to limit harmful mold to the baby.


Our children have a much weaker immune system than adults, moreover, they have a habit of tasting toys. Putting dirty toys in the mouth will cause bacteria to cause illness. Therefore, to maximize the protection of our children, mothers must know how to disinfect toys cleanly and properly.

However, it is not necessary to use chemicals as strongly as possible. Using chemicals to disinfect toys will also affect the baby's health a lot.

We've gathered and introduced to you a few tips on how to disinfect toys without bleach to make sure not to harm your baby's health.

These ways are simple but extremely effective. Please save and clean your baby's toys periodically to remove dirt, harmful bacteria, and keep your baby happy and healthy.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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