How to clean kids' toys

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Kids' toys get dirty. They pick up germs and maybe you bought some great toys at a mom-to-mom sale or a garage sale. Now what do you do to clean and sanitize them? Actually it’s easy.

Hard toy cleaner and sanitizer:
Wash with hot soap and water to remove dirt. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Soak toys for 5 minutes in a solution of ½ cup liquid chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of warm water. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

Plastic toy paste
This will remove difficult dirt and staining.
¾ cup of baking soda
1 Tablespoon dishwashing liquid.

Mix to combine, adding more dish soap as needed to create a stiff paste. Use a nail brush or toothbrush to apply to plastic dolls and other plastic toys. Rinse well and dry.

Plastic stain cleaner
You will need Cream of Tartar (spice aisle) and lemon juice. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Swab onto the stain that is difficult to remove and leave on for 30 minutes. Rub gently and rinse. This many times will remove magic marker from dolls.

Stuffed animal dry cleaner
½ cup of cornstarch OR ½ cup of baking soda.

Place stuffed animal in large plastic garbage bag, then pour in cornstarch or baking soda. Seal the bag and give it a good shake for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the stuffed animal over the sink or outside and brush the fur to remove the dust, dirt and cleaning agent.

Other cleaning tips
Rubbing alcohol works well with plastic stains. If the stain is really tough, try cuticle remover. Allow the cuticle remover to sit for 30 minutes before wiping off.

If dust mites are an issue in stuffed toys, put them in a plastic bag and put in the freezer for 24 hours. Allow to defrost before returning it to your child.

For more information on the Queen of Clean Linda Cobb, to find products used and recommended by the Queen and FREE printouts go to Find the Queen’s books at national book stores, on Amazon and