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How to Easily Clean Bath Toys (Inside and Out)

Reviewed by Professional Cleaner Jennifer L. Betts
baby in tub with toys

Kids love to play in the bathtub and usually have multiple bath toys to keep them happy and entertained. Knowing how to clean bath toys is essential because they are a breeding ground for mold, bacteria, and worse.

How to Clean Baby Bath Toys

There are a few easy and practical ways to remove soap scum, grime, and mold buildup from hard bath toys.

Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is an easy way to clean bath toys. Just make sure they're dishwasher safe. Put the toys loosely in a lingerie bag on the top shelf. Use regular dishwashing detergent and the heated cycle to dry the toys. Once the cycle is complete, lay the toys out on a clean towel to dry completely.

Your Washing Machine

Your hard bath toys will sparkle if you put them in a lingerie bag and pitch them into your washing machine with laundry detergent and a few towels to prevent any excess noise during the spin cycle. Once the wash cycle is finished, dry the toys completely.

White Vinegar and Warm Water Soak

Mix a gallon of water with ½ cup of white vinegar and soak the toys in the solution for 10 minutes. Dip a sponge or cloth in the solution and scrub the toys. You can also use a toothbrush to remove mold from any nooks and crannies. Rinse and dry the toys.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide (3%) is non toxic, anti-fungal, and anti-mold. This makes it a quick solution for cleaning hard bath toys. Spray a 50/50 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide on the bath toys and wait 10 minutes before rinsing and wiping dry.

Tea Tree Oil

Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, tea tree oil is a unique way to clean bath toys. You simply add about 10 drops to a quart of water, spritz it on the toys and wipe dry.

Straight Vodka

As strange as this may sound, vodka is a natural disinfectant. So, pour some straight vodka into a spray bottle, spritz it on the bath toys, remove any residue with a cloth, rinse, and wipe dry.

How to Clean Moldy Bath Toys

Squeeze bath toys always get moldy on the inside and need extra attention. You should never assume that just because a squeeze toy looks clean that it's mold-free. You can try to clean mold from the inside of squeeze toys by sucking up the cleaning solution, shaking vigorously, and squeezing the solution out. Or you could modify the toys and make them easier to clean by:

  • Drilling a larger hole that will be wide enough for a pipe cleaner or cotton swab to dislodge mold and so you can use a rolled-up piece of paper towel to dry the inside
  • Sealing up the squeaky hole with a hot glue gun or even silicone glue
Rubber Ducks

How Often Should You Clean Hard Bath Toys?

It's advisable to clean hard bath toys once a week to keep mold and mildew at bay. However, if you're unable to remove the mold and mildew thoroughly, throw the toy away.

How to Clean Foam Bath Toys

Foam bath toys should be washed with soap and water, rinsed until all the soap is removed, and allowed to dry after each bath. They can also be placed in a dishwasher or a washing machine. The most important thing to remember about cleaning foam bath toys is to make sure they have been well rinsed and are allowed to get completely dry before using them again.

Mold Prevention

Humidity creates the perfect condition for mold growth. So, when bath time is over, the toys should never be left in the tub or placed in a bucket nearby. They should be rinsed off, dried, and put in a sunny spot where air circulates and there's a minimum of humidity.

How to Clean Bath Toys

These are all great ways to clean a child's bath toys and prevent mold from growing. But the safest bath toys for kids are hermetically sealed, no-mold, dishwasher and sterilizer safe, made from high-grade silicone and are BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free. When parents provide these no-mold and non-toxic bath toys for their child, they have a lot less to worry about.

How to Easily Clean Bath Toys (Inside and Out)