I have to admit that I'm not much of a germ-a-phob. Of course I try to keep things clean, but I'm not the mom with a gallon jug of hand sanitizer in every room. In fact, I very rarely use sanitizer (unless I don't have access to a place where I can wash my hands). I've been on a quest lately to use cleaning products that are more environmentally friendly. I hate cleaning with something harsh, and then having to baby gate my son out of the room and/or wash my hands before picking him up. I've been replacing some of my cleaners (as the run out) with cleaners that are plant based. I've also been making some of my own cleaners from vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, etc (not all together, of course). To my husband's dismay, I've cut out using bleach in my home. He loves the smell of bleach, and has a hard time believing it's clean if it doesn't smell like bleach. Did you know that chlorine bleach is unclassifiable carcinogen, it's highly toxic, and a high severe eye and skin irritant. It can burn the lungs if inhaled too long, which can lead to an infection. To read more about the dangers of bleach in the home, you can view this link at HealthyChild.org (one of my favorite sites).
I recently decided, however, that I needed to clean some of my son's toys. He puts everything into his mouth, and toys get dirty after a while. I gathered up everything I wanted to clean (all of the little stuff), and headed to the kitchen. I rinsed everything off, dunked them in soapy water, and rinsed. Surely that is effective, but I wanted to disinfect everything. I hit the internet looking for a "green" solution, and almost all the results I found said to dunk the toys in a solution of water and bleach. As I mentioned above, I don't do bleach, and especially not when my son is going to put it into his mouth. I eventually did find a "recipe" for disinfecting toys with vinegar and water. So here's what I did:
1/2 c. of vinegar per gallon of water
Fill sink with water (I used two gallons of water), and add vinegar. Add toys and allow to soak for 15 minutes. I got distracted and ended up letting them sit for an hour or so.
Rinse and air dry.
Allow child to resume shoving all toys into their mouth :)