Just like shower walls, your kids’ bath toys are at risk for mold growth. They also come in contact with germs floating around in the bathwater, which could spread illnesses among your children. To keep bath toys clean and mold-free, follow these tips to clean them properly.
After each bath, squeeze as much water out of the toys as possible. Set them along the side of the tub or somewhere else where they can dry quickly. Turn on the bathroom exhaust fan for 15 to 20 minutes after bath time to draw humidity out of the room and help the toys dry even faster.
The most prominent place for mold to grow is inside bath toys. It’s fun to squirt water from tiny holes in rubber toys, but moisture becomes stuck inside, and mold proliferates there. This means the next time you use this toy at bathtime, traces of mold enter the water. If this thought disgusts you, seal the holes in bath toys with a dab of hot glue.
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.
One option is to use vinegar, a natural cleaning agent that dissolves soap scum and gets rid of stains, making it perfect for cleaning bath toys. Fill a bucket with equal parts vinegar and warm water (and a few drops of tea tree oil or lemon oil, if you desire). Submerge the bath toys and let them soak for an hour. Then, 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. The easiest way to do this at your home is to run the toys through the dishwasher. To prevent damaging them, load them onto the top shelf where the heat isn’t as intense. If you’re afraid of smaller toys falling, place them in a mesh lingerie bag before loading them into the dishwasher. Use regular dishwasher detergent and run a cycle with just the toys inside.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can still sterilize bath toys in the sink. Fill a basin with the hottest water possible and a few squirts of dish soap. Submerge the toys and let them soak for several minutes. Then, wipe them down with a clean sponge or cloth. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat. Rinse the soap from the toys and let them air dry.
For a deeper clean, consider using bleach. The trick is to use a solution that’s strong enough to kill bacteria and viruses, yet weak enough to ensure no dangerous bleach lingers on toys that your child is bound to chew on during bath time.
To strike the perfect balance, we recommend using 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. Mix this solution in a bucket and submerge the bath toys. Let them soak for about 10 minutes. Then, rinse the toys thoroughly with tap water and allow them to air dry.
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