Bath time can be a lot of fun for toddlers and young kids when you add in some simple bath toys. There are all kinds of different bath toys for toddlers from rubber ducks to fishing sets and they all need to be cleaned properly if you want to keep your child healthy and away from mold.
If you are worried about mold and mildew growing on your child’s bath toys, then you need to make sure that you are cleaning them the best way possible.
Tips for Cleaning Bath Toys and Bath Squirters
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you squeeze out any excess water that you can from the toys. This is especially true with the squirter toys and rubber ducks because these toys will be a breading ground for mold inside of them if you leave the water in there. Although you may not be able to get all the water out, make sure you squeeze them out as best as possible as soon as bath time is over.
When you store your bath toys make sure that you store them in an upright position so that it is possible for any leftover water to drip out of the toy inside of just staying stagnant inside. There are bath toy organizers you can buy that will help this or you can place them somewhere that they lie flat to dry out. It is also a good idea to let them dry someplace else besides the bathroom since the humidity in the bathroom can help the mold grow even more.
When it comes to cleaning the bath toys, I would recommend you avoid using bleach like I have seen other people recommend. Even after you wash off the bleach, when it comes to plastic toys, especially squirters, that bleach can stay on that toy for quite some time. I know that I don’t want my child chewing on a toy that may still have some bleach residing on it or inside of it.
So, how do you clean the bath toys if you know mold may be growing inside of them?
There are three ways that I recommend to other parents when it comes to cleaning bathtub toys.
The first would using your dishwasher to wash the toys. Most bath toys will be safe when placed on the top rack and the dishwasher will get the toys cleaned up really nice and the heat will help kill any of the germs growing in them. If you don’t have a dishwasher you could also try your washing machine as well. Just wash the toys alone to make sure they don’t get buried inside clothes.
Another way you can clean bath toys is to boil them in a large pot. Boiling plastic is a great way to sanitize it just like you would with something like a pacifier or bottle nipple. This is a good cleaning solution for smaller toys like rubber ducks. When you are done boiling the toys, wait until the toys have cooled down so you can touch them and then squeeze out all the water you can. If there is mold inside the mold will come right out with the water.
The last way you can try is to use a vinegar solution to wash the toys. Unlike bleach, the vinegar is completely safe for your child. For a vinegar solution you could start with about 1 cup of white vinegar mixed with about a gallon of water. Let the toys soak for at least 1-2 hours for the vinegar to start working. Make sure that with any toys with holes in them you fill them up with the vinegar solution. Squeeze out all the excess water when done. If you want you can repeat this another time for toys that may be especially bad inside.
Most rubber ducks and squeeze toys are fairly inexpensive, so don’t feel bad if you have to toss them out if they won’t come completely clean. It’s not worth the risk of having your child play with moldy toys.
If you want your toddler to have fun bath toys and you don’t care if they squirt water out or not, one solution that can solve all your problems would be to simply hot glue gun the whole shut so no water gets inside the toy at all. You could always do this with most of the toys and then just leave one or two inexpensive toys that you don’t mind replacing every few months open so your child can still squirt water.