10 Cleaning Supplies Safe For Kids' Stuff (Even The Highchair Tray)
You want the surfaces your little one touches every day to be as germ-free as possible, but what's the point of wiping down a highchair tray with a disinfecting wipe that leaves traces of toxic ingredients behind? (You don't want your kid getting those in his mouth, either.) Luckily, there are lots of cleaning supplies that are safe for kids to be around,so you don't have to clean your child's stuff twice: Once to remove the dirt, and then again to remove the germ-killing chemicals.
Of course, it goes without saying that you always need to exercise caution when it comes to housecleaning supplies, no matter how natural. "All cleaning products can be toxic to children if ingested," author and pediatrician Whitney Casares, M.D., MPH, FAAP, tells Romper, "though some can cause skin or eye irritation as well." Warning labels on bleach (which is commonly used in bathrooms) often explicitly mention danger if it gets on the skin, in the eyes, or ingested. (In fact, if you're using bleach, Dr. Casares recommends letting it dry on surfaces "for at least two to five minutes after application" before assuming it's safe to touch. If you want to avoid bleach altogether, she says "vinegar or baking soda mixtures may be less toxic but should still be used with caution.")
Other household cleaners can pose a risk to kids as well. Parents should also "avoid products with extra phalates and parabens when possible as these have been associated with harm to the endocrine system," Dr. Casares says.
On the bright side, more companies than ever are developing products without using harmful chemicals. Here are 10 you can use on your kid's stuff without having to worry that they accidentally get traces of it on their fingers (which is to say, in their mouths). And if you've got an older toddler or preschooler on your hands, you can even encourage them to help out without worrying about them inhaling harmful fumes or getting dangerous residue in their eyes.
1. Honest Company Multi-Surface Spray
Available in Coastal Surf, Free & Clear, Grapefruit Grove, Lavender Field, and Fragrance Free
Honest Company has a huge assortment of non-toxic products for the family, and their multi-surface spray is one of them. Each 26 fluid-ounce bottle is free of parabens and phalates and smells delightful.
2. Seventh Generation Bathroom Cleaner
Seventh Generation makes this paraben and phalates-free disinfecting spray that will leave your bathroom smelling fresh and clean. It kills 99% of germs, including influenza A, the common cold, H1N1, salmonella, e coli, and more. Each bottle is 26 fluid ounces and made from natural ingredients.
3. Method Glass Cleaner
This glass cleaner can be used on windows, mirrors, and anything else that's glass in your home and promises not to leave streaks. Each 28 fluid ounce bottle contains a plant-based solution (no ammonia) and comes from a cruelty-free company.
4. Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap
Have your kiddo scrub some dishes using this soap that's free of just about every harmful ingredient you can think of (including parabens and phalates). Each bottle is 16 ounces and has absolutely no warning label, because it's just that clean and natural.
5. Babyganics Surface Wipes
Babyganics has a whole line of safe-for-kids products, including these fragrance-free multi-surface wipes. They can be used all over the house, including baby toys that will eventually end up back in your baby's mouth (but of course should not be ingested). Bonus, they come from a cruelty-free company.
6. Dapple All Surface Spray
Dapple makes some of the safest cleaning solutions out there, including this 30 ounce spray bottle of multi-surface cleaner. It's plant-based, hypoallergenic, and totally non-toxic. Not to mention, it leaves everything sparkling.
7. Method Floor Cleaner
Have your kids grab a mop, and let them clean your linoleum, vinyl, laminate, and tile floors (they make a separate cleaner for hardwood floors). It's paraben, phalates, and aluminum-free, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic. Each bottle is 25 ounces and can be squirted directly on the floor.
8. hello bello Laundry Detergent
Available in Fresh & Free and Soft Lavender
Everyone's favorite couple, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, are behind this organic hypoallergentic laundry detergent that's free of harmful chemicals, artificial dyes, parabens, and phalates. Each bottle comes with 96 fluid ounces of liquid detergent that's safe for your kid to use (just make sure they can pour without making another mess for you to clean up).
9. VEO Active Probiotics Surface Cleaner
They're said to be good for everything from your digestive system to your skin to your immunity levels, so why wouldn't probiotics help you clean your house? VEO Active Probiotics Surface Cleaner doesn't just "biodegrade dirt," it leaves surfaces clean for up to three days. (Not that you won't be wiping your kitchen counter a million times anyway, but it's nice to know there's some germ-fighting going on all the while.) But fans know the best thing about this stuff is the apple-jasmine scent. Seriously, it makes you want to clean.
10. Love, Home and Planet Multipurpose Cleaner Spray
Love, Home and Planet makes a wide range of non-toxic household cleaning supplies, from surface sprays like this one to dish liquid and laundry detergent, all made with sustainably-sourced ingredients like argan oil, coconut water, and murumuru. Even better, their products are available in five different fragrances that will make you home smell legit amazing: Lavender & Argan Oil, Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower, Rose Petal & Murumuru, Vetiver & Tea Tree Oil, and Citrus Yuzu & Vanilla.
Whitney Casares, M.D., M.P.H., author of The New Baby Blueprint: Caring for You and Your Little One and founder of www.modernmommydoc.com