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Babies often love bath time. Having their favorite bath toys with them can make the whole experience even more exciting and fun for them. However, bath toys require proper cleaning lest they can become harmful for the kiddos.
Bath toys have nearly constant exposure to moisture, whether it’s sitting in a water-filled tub, or sitting in a humid bathroom environment. This makes it easy for bacteria and germs to grow inside them, resulting in mold and other icky things. Additionally, body waste like dead skin cells in the bath water can also get inside the bath toys. Gross!
Although according to doctors, most children should be able to fight off any germs that come from their bath toys, if you have a child with a compromised immune system or an infant, both can be affected by mold and bacteria. Regardless, the task of cleaning bath toys should be added to every parent’s home cleaning checklist!
How Often Should You Clean Bath Toys?
According to those in the know, it’s said that almost all of your baby’s bath toys have mold in them, whether they’re made of rubber or hard plastic. However, surprisingly plastic toys are the dirtiest. You should clean your child’s bath toys with plant-based cleaning products or disinfectant spray, at least once a week to be safe.
How to Clean Baby Bath Toys
You probably know how to wash baby clothes, but do you know how to clean bath toys? Below are some of the most commonly used methods on how to clean kids bath toys and keep them safe from mold. However, if the toy is badly infected, you may have to throw it away.
Clean Toys with Vinegar
Vinegar is a known disinfectant; it has both antibacterial and anti-microbial properties. Additionally, it’s acidic nature is strong enough to get rid of any grease, grime, or mineral deposits, plus mold and mildew.
With vinegar, you don’t have to dilute it. Simply dip the bath toys in pure vinegar and allow them to sit for a couple of hours. Wait until all mold is dissolved. Then wash and rinse the toys thoroughly.
Clean with Heat
Another efficient and simple method of cleaning bath toys and getting rid of mold and mildew inside them is to boil the toys in hot water. People have been using this method to clean and disinfect anything and everything for centuries.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and then add the toys. Using a pair of tongs, remove the toys from the pot after a few minutes and dry them on a towel. Boiling with hot water can be used on both hard-plastic and soft-plastic toys.
Clean with Bleach
Although this method may sound dangerous, it’s actually quite a safe and efficient way of getting rid of mold. Mix 1 part bleach and 10 parts water in a bucket. Soak the toys in the mixture, making sure the water is able to reach all parts of the toys, inside and out.
This is especially necessary for areas with mold growth. Once the toys are clean, rinse them thoroughly to make sure no bleach is left behind and let them dry completely before use. Make sure to wear protective gear––gloves, mask, and goggles––before coming into contact with bleach.
Clean with the Dishwasher
Not everyone has the capacity or the time to clean the baby’s bath toys using one of the above methods. Never fear, there’s an easier way. Simply stick the toys inside the dishwasher!
First though, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the toys. They will tell you if they’re heat and dishwasher safe. Once you’ve determined the toys are safe for washing in the dishwasher, put them in the top rack and run them on a hot cycle.
Clean with Disinfectant Wipes
Depending on the type of toy, some can be cleaned with a simple disinfectant wipe in a pinch. If the baby bath toy is made so that water gets trapped inside, you’ll need to clean the baby bath toy using one of the previously mentioned methods.
However, if the toys are completely closed and don’t hold water, they can be wiped clean with alcohol disinfecting wipes and that should suffice.
How to Prevent Mold Growth
Plug the Holes
Every time your baby takes a bath, she plays with bath water mixed with a little bit of mold, coming from inside the toy. This is because water easily gets inside through small holes in the toy. To deal with this, try sealing any design holes with hot glue.
Drain the Toys
Invest in a bathroom rack or shelf for your bath toys. After every use, put them on the shelf and allow them to drain all water and completely air dry.
Dry the Toys
After each use, all toys should be kept in a dry place so they can get rid of the excess moisture inside of them. A drain rack is great but they still need to be moved once drained. Keep the exhaust fan running for 15 minutes while the baby toys are drying and then move them somewhere away from the tub so they don’t get wet again.
Learning how to clean bath toys is simple, the key is remaining consistent. Once a toy is molded beyond redemption, it’s wiser to toss it and get a new one.
Perry, C. (2021, January 20). 5 Easy Ways to Clean Your Baby’s Bath Toys. Parents. https://www.parents.com/baby/care/bath/how-to-clean-bath-toys/
Team, T. M. (2020, October 12). How to Clean Bath Toys & Prevent Mold. The Maids Blog. https://www.maids.com/blog/how-to-clean-and-prevent-mold-in-bath-toys/
(2021a, May 10). How To Clean Bath Toys – Get Rid Of Mold Easily! Essential Home and Garden. https://www.essentialhomeandgarden.com/clean-bath-toys-get-rid-mold-easily/
How to Clean Bath Toys & Keep Mold Out. (2019, February 28). Molly Maid.https://www.mollymaid.com/practically-spotless/2017/december/how-to-clean-bath-toys-keep-mold-out/
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