I gues all the babies and toddlers love those squirty bath toys during their bathing time. While the problem is that it's next to impossible to get all the water out.
And after some time, you can see some black mildew is starting to form on the inside nooks and crannies of them.
You may squeeze with all your might to get the water out and try to keep them upside down all night long on a towel hoping it will eventually all dry out, but no luck.
What's worse, some of the mildew may be starting to come out when they are squeezed.
Are Bath Toys Sanitary?
As parents, have you realized that bath toys that aren’t water-tight can gather moisture inside? Do you know what is the black stuff inside bath toys? They are mold.
Those bath toys sit undisturbed for a few days at a time, usually in the dark, and that makes them the perfect breeding ground for mold.
1) Why Does Mold Grow in Bath Toys?
Just like shower walls, any toys which commonly get wet, like bath toys or toys that have been left outside, could be moldy inside. Rubber duckies are the most notorious for growing mold.
Due to the wet environment in the bathroom, mold can commonly be found growing in your kids' bath toys. Moldy bath toys can be a health risk for you and your children.
2) Can Moldy Bath Toys Make You Sick?
Perhaps we should learn something from this article -- Moldy Bath Toys: How Dangerous Are They?
"You may have already seen those black 'stuff' that sometimes comes out of bath toys and swims around with your children in the bathtub. We know it is mold.
Mold is most harmful if it is swallowed. If you think your child may have swallowed some bath water that had mold in it, relax, it was most likely not enough to make him or her sick.
If the mold does affect the child, you will probably see vomiting, diarrhea or an upset stomach.
Mold becomes a more serious concern if your child has a mold allergy or compromised immune system. You’ll know if your child is allergic if you see a rash or symptoms such as coughing and itchy eyes.
If your child has a reaction to mold it’s best to make an appointment with your pediatrician as soon as possible to come up with an effective treatment plan."
3) How Long Does it Take for Mold to Grow in Bath Toys?
Mold can grow pretty quickly in the presence of humidity. Most species take less than 48 hours to attach to surfaces and start to develop.
With water present and still, certain mold groups, like aspergillus, can grow in less than a day.
Since bath toys are always put in the bathroom where is wet most of the time, it will take 24-48 hours for mold to grow in them.
How Do You Keep Mold from Growing in Bath Toys?
Now, we all know that the bath toys, especially those toys with holes, have a tendency to get water sucked into them which over time, grows mold.
Aside from the typical solution of just squeezing the bath toys after the bath, is there any additional tips or tricks to help drain/dry them, and keep mold from growing in them?
1. How Often Should You Clean and Get Rid of Bath Toys?
You might assume your kids’ bath toys get enough cleaning from the soap in the tub, but about once a week, you should remove all the toys from the bathing area and give them a good cleaning.
2. How Do I Keep My Bath Toys from Turning Black?
There are squirt bath toys that can be opened to properly dry out. Some parents find that you can get these kind of toys from Munchkin.
However, most of the bath toys with squirt function are designed with holes in the bottom.
Thus "how do I keep my bath toys from turning black (growing mold)" will be one of the most frequently asking questions from parents.
1) Seal the Holes on the Bath Toys
The hole on the bottom is just a place for water to get inside the perfect mold breeding ground. Moist, dark and skin cells for food. Why do bath toys have holes on the bottom?
If there is no hole, the toy would be freekin heavy, and it very likely would not float. Putting the hole on the bottom at least means the toy has a chance to drain. Kids love to squeeze it, right?
As parents, you may not buy bath toys with holes in them for the reason of growing mold. Unfortunately your kid's grandparent or other relatives will buy, right? Since they are really cute and fun.
A good trick is too seal the holes with a hot glue gun so they can't suck up water anymore. No water gets in and it stays clean. Mold won’t grow if moisture can’t get inside the toy.
You can also seal the hole with rubber sealant or water proof glue like e6000 or gorilla glue. Only takes a tiny bit.
After you seal the hole of the bath toys, maybe not as fun as being able to squirt it out, but at least the toy can still float and be used imaginatively.
2) Clean and Sterilize the Baby Bath Toys
One option to clean the baby bath toys is to use vinegar, a natural cleaning agent that dissolves soap scum and gets rid of stains, making it perfect for cleaning bath toys.
Step1: Fill a bucket with equal parts vinegar and warm water, and a few drops of tea tree oil or lemon oil, if you desire.
Step 2: Submerge the bath toys and let them soak for an hour.
Step 3: Rinse each toy with tap water and allow them to air dry.
When you sterilize bath toys, this means you’re killing disease causing germs with high heat. So can you boil baby bath toys to sterilize?
If you want to boil bath toys in water, that works for those hard plastic toys. Turn off the stove once boiling, and throw the toys in. Use a spatula or a small glass lid to submerge them.
But you'd better to buy some dishwasher safe bath toys. Because the easiest way to sterilize bath toys at your home is to run the toys through the dishwasher.
- Tip 1: To prevent damaging the bath toys, please load them onto the top shelf of dishwasher where the heat isn’t as intense.
- Tip 2: If you’re afraid of smaller toys falling, place them in a mesh lingerie bag before loading them into the dishwasher.
3) Using Washing Machine to Clean Bath Toys
Can you throw bath toys in the washing machine? Yes, of couse. Washing the bath toys in the washing machine may be the easiest solution for those "lazy" parents.
However, in my experience, only those bath toys without holes in the bottom are suitable being washed in the washing machine, I am worried about those mold inside the bath toys.
You may also wonder: how to clean bath toys in the washing machine quickly and easily?
Just place all of the toys into mesh laundry bags. Placing some towels in the machine with the toys will help keep them from banging around too much and from making too much noise.
Use regular detergent and a rinse cycle with white vinegar. Then use a quick wash on cold, extra heavy, medium spin cycle, and fan dry.
Once your wash cycle is complete, remove the bath toys and let dry more separately.
When It's Time to Replace New Bath Toys?
How often should you throw out bath toys ? When to replace with new bath toys?
Some of the parents said that all of their bath toys are from the dollar store. They typically just throw out bath toys that are starting to turn black. Since they're cheap enough to replace and their kids will enjoy new toys often.
We know that the planet doesn't need single use plastic toys. However, they're not intended to be single use to our knowledge. The design just makes them that way.
According to Health Guidance, you should, "throw out bath toys which have holes in them." If the toys have not been cleaned in quite a while, it may be prudent to take them to the trash can.
To make sure your kids are living in a safe environment, it's suggested that bath toys need to be replaced when mold is present.
If you haven't used the toys in the bath yet, you could just use them for regular play and get new bath toys that are mold-free. That should be a better way to save both our planet and our children.