Have you ever seen the look on the face of a mom when a mom-to-be makes the announcement that they are having a baby? It is a look of joy, excitement and a little bit of knowing. Veteran moms know that no matter how many videos you watch, classes you take or books you read, you are never fully prepared. Until you live with a baby, you cannot fully know what you are in for.
While this may not be true in all cases, it was true in my case. The exhaustion, the emotions, the mess! Oh the messes those cute little buggers make! Even after two children I still cannot figure out how something as small as one chocolate chip can make an entire living room sticky! Thanks to their uber-cutness we deal with the mess (how great is that first smile….melts all the stress away) and carry on with our daily routine…just a bit more sticky.
If you have transitioned to a green cleaning routine by now (go you!!) you are probably familiar with all the benefits of a green cleaning routine to you and your family….especially baby! If not, no worries, today is always a good day to start!
Since babies and toddlers touch everything, put everything in their mouths, and tend to have sensitive skin, it is more important than ever to decide to make the switch and ditch those toxic chemicals. Often when you read articles on disinfecting items for your baby you will see that some concentration of bleach is used. While cleaning with bleach you are told “not to use near children” and to “rinse thoroughly.” While bleach is an effective disinfectant, it also has quite a few hazards that come from using it. For me, in my home, I would rather use safer methods that work just as well without all the warning labels. The good news is that all those daily messes your little one makes can be effectively cleaned and sanitized using only safe, not toxic ingredients.
To clean your home, consider assembling a Non-Toxic Cleaning-Kit to have handy for everyday cleaning. Having these items prepared in advance, makes it easy to grab and go when you have a moment to clean (even it that moment is at 3am).
Cleaning baby’s laundry
In a previous post , I talked about how what you use to wash baby’s clothes can affect your baby’s health and skin. In today’s post, I will show you some examples of how to clean and sanitize baby’s items without having to reach for that bleach!
Cleaning baby’s toys
Small, plastic toys without any electronic or cloth parts can be tossed in the dishwasher (top rack only). Add 1/4 vinegar to soap cup and run on a normal cycle (avoid using a high temp cycle as this may melt or warp the toys) This should be done after any illness and on a regular basis to keep those germs at bay. Washable, stuffed toys (check labels) can be tossed in laundry. Clean non-washable items by sprinkling with baking soda and allowing to sit for at least 15 minutes. Brush or vacuum excess baking soda off.
Cleaning baby’s bottles and nipples
Clean in dishwasher using a green soap when you can. If that is not possible, fill bottles with warm water and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Close and shake vigorously. Rinse and clean as usual. Soak nipples overnight in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda per 1 quart hot water. Drain, rinse, and clean as normal in the morning.
Cleaning baby’s rugs and carpet
Soak up as much of the mess as you can by blotting with a sponge or rag. Sprinkle the area with baking soda and let it dry. Vacuum after baking soda and rug have dried.
Cleaning baby’s crib
Cover baby’s mattress with a high quality mattress cover to protect the mattress. Throwing a dirty cover in the laundry is much easier than have to deal with a mattress stain! If you have one, use a steam cleaner to periodically clean the mattress and dry in the sun. If not, sprinkle some baking soda on the mattress, let sit for 15 minutes, then vaccum.
Cleaning baby’s changing table
Remove changing pad cover and launder. After wiping off any liquids or solids, wash entire pad in with hot, soapy water in the tub. If there are any cracks or tears in the pad, do not submerge in water and try out these alternate methods: Sanitize the changing pad with a steam cleaner or spray pad with straight white vinegar then spray with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for a few minutes, then wipe. This Dual-Spray System* was accidentally discovered while scientists looked for a method disinfect meat without contaminating it with chlorine and this happy accident created a powerful, safe disinfectant! Please note: combining the peroxide and vinegar will not be effective. It must be spray on separately, in any order, to work.
Cleaning baby’s stroller and high chair
Plastic trays can be removed and placed in the dishwasher when possible or can be wiped down with a Daily All-Purpose Cleaner* Remove washable components and launder according to manufacturers instructions.
Keep non-washable/removable areas clean by having a microfiber cloth and a small spray bottle filled with Daily All-Purpose Cleaner* handy to tend to messes as soon as they happen. It is always easier to clean a stain as soon as you see it happen then to deal with a hard, soaked in stain later. Keep some Spot Wipes* in your diaper bag to clean up messes on the go.
Don’t settle for less when other’s clean for you
The same non-toxic methods need to be followed when you hire a cleaning service in order to spend more time with family and less time cleaning. Always make sure they only use green cleaning solutions and are OSHA compliant, using only green sealed & certified products to keep your home clean and healthy for you and baby.
I hope this post has inspired you to go green when you clean. If you have any green cleaning tips to share I would love to hear them!
*Recipes mentioned in this blog post
Besides cleaning, this mixture can be used to disinfect surface areas in your home. Hydrogen peroxide eventually turns to water, so make sure to add more each time you use the solution.
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup club soda
8 drops of essential oil (for scent)
Combine ingredients and soak 20 heavy-duty paper towels in the mixture. Squeeze out the excess and store in a plastic sandwich bag. Use to clean spots and spills as needed.
3% Hydrogen Peroxide
Clear spray bottle
Dark spray bottle OR a spray nozzle to fit over Hydrogen Peroxide bottle
Fill clear spray bottle with straight vinegar. Fill dark brown spray bottle with Hydrogen Peroxide or apply spray nozzle directly to Hydrogen Peroxide bottle. To disinfect any hard surface, spray vinegar then hydrogen peroxide or vise versa. Spraying order does not affect effectivness. This solution can also be used to safely clean and disinfect produce. Spray both solutions, then rinse throughly.