Cleaning products that describe themselves as “gentle enough for baby” may sound wonderful when you’re pregnant or have a fragile newborn in your arms, but here’s an old-timer mom prediction for you: After suffering through your first projectile vomiting incident, your first instinct will be to leap for the strongest, industrial-strength cleaning agent you can find. Bleach, abrasive, harsh chemicals—whatever will blast those yucky germs into oblivion…bring it on.
The thing is, those kinds of products aren’t really kid-friendly. That’s why they have all of those poison control warnings on them, often in huge font with a toll-free hotline to call in case your child is exposed to their frightening ingredients.
The good news is that eco-friendly and baby-friendly cleaning products have come a long way in recent years, thanks to the power of plant-based cleaning agents including coconut and palm kernel. I was a skeptic—but have to say I am amazed by how well some of these work!
Here are a few of my picks for baby-safe cleaning products:
BabyGanics The Cleaner Upper Toy and Highchair Cleaner—The warning label actually says, “BabyGanics isn’t meant to be consumed but things happen, so relax.” When your baby wolfs down those yummy strained carrots but can’t hold his lunch, this is the product you want to use to make the highchair presentable again for the next meal. It’s also great for cleaning the toys your baby keeps putting in her mouth.
Seventh Generation Baby Natural Bottle and Dish Liquid—You’re going to need more than warm water to clean those bottles (especially if you’re like me and forget that you left one on the nightstand—only to be reminded of it when your room starts to smell like old cheese). Instead of using chemical-filled dish soap to banish evidence of the milky science experiment, stick with Seventh Generation’s 95% plant-based formula, which is non-toxic and designed to fight milk and formula residues.
Method Baby Laundry Detergent—It’s every mom’s dilemma: how do you find a laundry product that’s strong enough to take on those particularly icky stains you want to eradicate (like diaper blowouts—ugh!!!), gentle enough to be safe for baby’s delicate skin, and also eco-friendly. I really like Method Baby because it accomplishes all three of these things. It’s hypoallergenic and just a few squirts is all you need to clean a full load (score one for Mother Earth!)
BabyGanics Stain Stain Go Away Fragrance Free Stain Remover—Use this non-toxic formula on those stains and odors on the carpet, upholstery and bedding. Spray it on stained clothes and then throw them in the laundry—you’ll forget all about the Macaroni and Cheese Incident of 2012. (Unless you took pictures.)
Jorie Mark is the Creative Director of Vitacost.com and mother to three children, ages 2 to 9.