Bath toys pose a potential health risk to children if they are not thoroughly cleaned after each use. Discover “5 Simple Methods for Cleaning Baby’s Tub Toys,” as well as some suggestions for toys that are less likely to become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold in the first place.
A study conducted in 2018 found that bath toys are quite susceptible to “the proliferation of opportunistic pathogens and unwanted organisms.” This is true regardless of how much soap the toys are submerged in each night. Yes, organisms. In point of fact, the same research discovered that every single bath toy put through the same set of tests showed positive results for the presence of mold and other types of “biofilms,” including feces.
All bath toys are at risk of harboring mold and mildew due to the humid conditions in which they are typically used. Consider the following: The toy is submerged in hot water for a few minutes, either once per day or once every other day. After that, it is left in a steamy bathroom without being dried off (thanks to the diaper-less toddler who immediately ran down the hall after taking a bath), and there is a possibility that it still contains water that has not been removed. This opens the door for a wide variety of bacteria and viruses. So, do they pose a threat?
According to Jennifer Foersterling, M.D., a pediatrician at Premier Pediatrics and a graduate of Washington University’s department of pediatrics, “the majority of children’s immune systems should be able to fight off the pathogens found in bath toys.” “On the other hand, infants, children with weakened immune systems, and those who are allergic to mold may be more likely to be affected. Mold and bacteria can potentially cause serious respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and lung infections, in populations more susceptible to their effects.”
You are in luck because there are two simple solutions you can implement. To begin, you can take your routine for cleaning toys to the next level. And two, you can get rid of some of the bath toys that are the most likely to spread bacteria (looking at you, the rubber duckie!) and replace them with new bath toys that are less likely to become contaminated with mold as quickly. Here is how you can approach both of them.
How to Clean Playthings for the Bath
If you want to ensure your kid’s bath toys are always clean and safe, you can do so in several ways. Determine which method is most suitable for your daily routine.
1. Bleach can be used to sterilize.
When it comes to cleaning bath toys, a good place to begin is by using bleach that has been diluted. According to Dr. Foersterling, a ratio of 1:10 is required for complete disinfection. If you need help cleaning the interior of bath toys, one way to do so is to ensure that the bleach solution is poured into any openings that allow water to enter the toy. However, don’t forget to give any waterlogged toys a good draining and rinsing so that your child doesn’t accidentally swallow the bleach mixture the next time they take a bath. Dr. Foersterling advises, “After cleaning, I would recommend rinsing off the bleach and then allowing the toy to dry completely.”
2. Vinegar should be used to wash.
Do you hate the smell of bleach? It can be irritating to the eyes and nose, it can dull colors and patterns, and it is harmful to one’s health if swallowed. These are some of the drawbacks. If you have been wondering whether or not it is possible to clean bath toys with vinegar, the answer is yes; however, Dr. Foersterling advises using it at its full strength: She says that vinegar is not as effective as bleach and that it must be applied at full strength and allowed to soak for a longer period of time to be effective.
3. Put it through the dishwashing machine.
If your day is about as hectic as it gets (trust us—we get it!), then you might be looking for a faster and easier solution to this mess with bath toys. You can easily clean the bath toys for your little one by placing them on the highest rack of the dishwasher and running it through the hot cycle. Toys that are now spotless Because some bath toys can’t be cleaned in the dishwasher, we strongly suggest that you check with the manufacturer before you use this method to see if they have any recommendations.
4. Boil in hot water.
One more way to sterilize bath toys is to boil them in a large pot of water. This is an easy and effective method. This method is effective for working with foam letters and numbers and toys made of hard plastic. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil, then use a pair of kitchen tongs to add the toys once the water is boiling. After allowing the toys to soak for a few minutes in the water that has been brought to a boil, carefully remove them and lay them out on a towel so that they can dry completely. In addition, boiling is an excellent method for cleaning the interior of bath toys.
5. Use disinfectant wipes to clean the area.
Many of the easy-to-clean bath toys on our list below can be simply wiped down with disinfectant wipes to stop the growth of mold and keep them in pristine condition for your little one to use. “Wiping toys down after bath and allowing them to dry between baths fully should be good enough,” says Dr. Foersterling, as long as there aren’t any places where water can get inside the toys.
5 Bath Toys That Are Mold-Free That You Can Buy
Mold can grow inside anything that allows water to enter it. In addition, it is frequently difficult to spot and eliminate. Keeping this in mind, the most effective course of action is to steer clear of toys that have openings through which water can enter but that are impossible to access to clean them. The following are some of our personal favorites:
1. Munchkin CleanSqueeze Bath Squirts
The majority of squirting toys have a problem with retaining water, but these clean squeeze bath toys solve this problem by having a body that can be twisted apart. This makes it very easy to clean the interior of the toy.
2. Dwi Dowellin Swimming Whales
To prevent mold growth on the inside, all of the small animals in this bathtime fishing game have been completely sealed and have no holes in them. In addition to that, you can clean them up in the dishwasher without any problems.
3. Munchkin Little Boat Train
These adorable pastel-colored boats are timeless bath toys that will get your little one’s creative juices flowing. You can use them to make a train out of them, or you can use them to dump soapy water on your brother or sister’s head (more realistically). And when it comes to having a simple cleanup, this toy is a winner all around. Your child can safely enjoy these entertaining bath toys for many years because there are no moving parts inside them and very few nooks and crannies.
4. Boon Building Bath Pipes
Playing with this award-winning bath toy teaches children about STEM topics while they relax in the tub. To say the least, it’s a win-win situation, right? In addition, the pipes can be disassembled entirely, making the process of cleaning them a breeze.
5. Mele the Sea Turtle
Tossing in this adorable little turtle from CaaOcho will ensure that bath time is free of harmful chemicals and mold. It is sealed to prevent the growth of mold and mildew, and it is constructed entirely of natural materials that do not contain phthalates. It is crucial to remember that after each use, this toy absolutely needs to be dried off with a towel to prevent gross things from growing on the surface. Vinegar can be used to clean it, providing an additional assurance layer.
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