6 Green Baby Care and Cleaning Tips

Keep your baby clean with green.
Keep your baby clean with green.
iStockphoto/Catharina van den Dikkenberg

Babies sure take up a lot of time. There's the feeding, the clothing, the rocking, the consoling. They're also incredibly messy. Still, you probably wouldn't dream of bringing harsh cleaners into your baby's nursery, or cleaning the assorted toys, pacifiers, and hygiene products with them. Our green cleaning kit is great for keeping most of baby's things clean, sanitary, and smelling fresh.

Baking soda is the star of the show when it comes to the general cleaning of your children's belongings. Safely clean the crib and baby mattress by wiping them down with a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda. Changing tables and playpens are more great places to use baking soda. Be sure to rinse thoroughly!

For green cleanups on the go, mix up a baking soda and water solution in a small, closeable spray bottle. Take this bottle with you on outings and you'll be ready for nearly anything.

Baking soda on a damp sponge is also a great way to clean any metal, plastic, or vinyl surface on strollers, car seats, and high chairs. Just be sure to wipe and rinse thoroughly.

First up, see how to care for baby toys in a green way.

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Toy Care

Baby toys can get grungy and smelly in no time flat. Clean noncloth toys in the same way you would the crib and mattress, with a damp sponge or cloth sprinkled with baking soda, making sure to rinse and dry thoroughly. For cloth toys, just sprinkle them thoroughly with baking soda and let sit for 15 minutes. Then brush or vacuum off the baking soda with a handheld vacuum.

Toy Cleaning Time-Saver

It can be a real pain to hand clean each of your child's toys. Cut down the time spent cleaning by herding a bunch of small stuffed animals into a large plastic garbage bag and sprinkling in a generous amount of baking soda. Close the bag up so nothing flies out and give it a good shake, getting all the animals covered in baking soda.

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Odor Patrol

You can eliminate lingering odors in cloth strollers or car seats by sprinkling them with baking soda. Wait 15 minutes and then vacuum thoroughly.

It probably goes without saying that you can keep a diaper pail smelling fresh if you cover the bottom with baking soda. Sprinkle a little baking soda on top each time you add a new diaper to the pail.

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Rugs

You can clean and deodorize any of baby's accidents on your rug or carpet by first soaking up as much of it as possible using a sponge or rag. Afterward, sprinkle the area with baking soda and let it dry. Vacuum after drying.

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Combs and Brushes

Give baby's personal hygiene tools -- including baby combs and brushes -- a good cleaning by filling your bathroom sink with water and adding 1 teaspoon baking soda. Swish the combs and brushes around in the water, rinse well, and dry.

2
Baby Bottles

Clean and deodorize baby bottles by filling them with warm water and adding 1 teaspoon baking soda. Close and shake vigorously, then rinse and clean as usual.

Bottle nipples and bottle brushes can be freshened up overnight by soaking them in a mixture of 4 tablespoons baking soda per 1 quart hot water. Drain, rinse, and clean as normal in the morning.

1
Baby Laundry

Having a baby around the house generally means having mountains more laundry to do -- including your own, which has been spit up on quite often. To keep spit-up stains at bay, dab them as soon as possible with a damp washcloth that has been dipped in baking soda. The odor will be controlled, and the stain won't set before you have a chance to wash your clothes.

Even though many parents have not adopted eco-friendly techniques for themselves, when it comes to baby's laundry, they use only all-natural and nontoxic products. In addition to that, you can reach for the baking soda to give your laundry soap or detergent of choice an added boost. Just add 1/2 cup baking soda to your soap or detergent for cleaner clothes that are good for the earth and for your baby.

For new parents who are being showered with baby clothes: First, enjoy it while it lasts! Next, remove any chemical residues that the clothes may carry by washing everything with mild soap and 1/2 cup baking soda. Rinse thoroughly.