How to clean baby bath toys (both outside and inside)

How to clean baby bath toys

Bath toys spend most of their time in warm soapy water so you might think they are always clean no need to clean them but what about inside which is always damp and ideal for mold and mildew growth. Having said that in this article learn how to clean baby bath toys.

Cleaning bath toys inside is not easy because they have small holes to reach the bottom and have hard to reach inside that the cleaning sponge cannot get in.

The bath toys are not only used for playing during bath time, but your child can also chew them while teething. You cannot allow your baby to squirt moldy water into their mouth you have to ensure the bath toy is clean.

So, for now, you know the importance of cleaning your baby bath toys.

Here are several ways on how to clean baby bath toys

How to clean baby bath toys with bleach 

The use of bleaches such as chlorine bleach is one of the ways to clean your bath toys and produce the best result as the toy comes out almost like new. 

Bleach helps to sanitize toys, kill bacteria, and remove mold.

Most parents fear using bleach because they fear exposing their children to this harmful product.

Step by step how to safely clean the bath toys using bleach?

  • Pour ¾ cup of bleach in 4 liters of water
  • Immerse the toys in the mixture and let the toys fill with bleach. Making sure the toys are filled with bleach will make sure there are thoroughly cleaned inside. Also, make sure the toys are fully submerged in water.
  • Leave them in the solution overnight
  • In the morning rub them outside gently using a sponge.
  • Inside shake off the mixture and squeeze out water
  • Rinse with clean water and leave them to dry.

Bleaches pose too many health risks to our children so make sure you rinse them thoroughly and leave them to dry before storing them.

Make sure when using bleach dilute it properly to lessen its harmful effect.

Also, when rinsing do it several times until you cannot see or smell the bleach.

How to clean baby bath toys with vinegar

Vinegar is another bleach-free method to clean bath toys.

You can use either Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. White vinegar is colorless and is less likely to leave unwanted residue.

Most people prefer using vinegar because is harmless and is effective in cleaning.

Vinegar can help kill mold and bacteria.

Step by step to clean bath toys using vinegar

  • Add ½ cup vinegar in 1-liter of water
  • Immerse the toys in the mixture and make sure the toys are filled with the solution.
  • Let the bath toys sit for 30 minutes
  • Clean outside of the toy using sponge
  • Inside shake and squeeze water out.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Squeeze excess water and let it dry thoroughly before storing it.

Use a small brush to scrub inside

The method applies only to the toys that have an opening that you can easily insert a small brush or pipe cleaner/Straw Cleaners cleaning Brush.

Some bath toys have a wide opening where you can insert a small brush.

Add a mixture of vinegar and water to the toy.

Scrub the toy inside in a circular motion using Straw Cleaners cleaning Brush.

Rinse thoroughly and let it dry.

How to clean bath toys in the washing machine

Put the bath toy in the laundry bag. Make sure they are loose to move around.

Put them in the washing machine and use regular detergent and rinse the cycle with white vinegar.

Remove the toys in the mesh laundry bag and let them dry separately.

Note cleaning hard items in the washing machine can be loud. Placing towels in the machine together with the bath toys will help reduce the noise.

How to clean bath toys in the dishwasher

Before using the dishwasher make sure the bath toy is labeled safe to use the dishwasher.

Dishwashers are run at a high temperature to kill bacteria and sterilization.

Throw the toys in the top rack of the dishwasher.

If the toys are small in size you can put them in a laundry mesh bag before loading them in a dishwasher to prevent falling.

Add vinegar or dishwashing detergent in the soap compartment.

Clean the toy at the top rack of the dishwasher the heat is not intense so the plastic bath toy will not get deformed by heat.

After cleaning them set the dishwasher on the warm cycle setting to ensure the toy comes out dry.

Use of boiling water and soap

The best and common way to clean most things in the house is by using warm soapy water. 

But in this case, we are using hot water to soak toys because it is well known for killing germs and sterilizing them.

Put water on the pot and let boil.

After boiling add dishwashing soap

Soak the bath toys in the water and let water inside the toy.

Take precaution safety when using hot water, you cannot use your bare hands to immerse toys in the soapy hot water.

Let sit for 15 minutes

Clean outside with a sponge 

Inside shake the water and squeeze water out

Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Squeeze water out using your hand and let the toys dry out before use or storage.

How to get mold out of inside bath toys 

The safe and harmless method is using vinegar method

Add 2 cups of vinegar (white or apple cider) to the 1 liter of filtered water.

Immerse the toys inside the above mixture and make sure they are fully submerged / fully covered. If not covered add more vinegar and water

Let the water get inside the toys.

Leave the bath toys soaked overnight.

In the morning shake and squeeze out water.

Clean outside using a sponge and rinse thoroughly using clean water.

How to sterilize bath toys

Bath toys can be sterilized by soaking them in hot water for some time.

You can also use sterilizing liquid-like Milton Sterilizing Fluid.

Add 30ml of Milton Sterilizing Fluid into 5 liters of water.

Immerse bath toys in the water for 15 minutes

After 15 minutes rinse with cold water.

Leave it to dry and remember to squeeze excess water inside the toy.

Where does this mold come from?

Most parents ask themselves bath toys are always in warm soapy water so they are supposed to be mold and bacteria-free.

This is not the case where does mold come from.

When plastic toys are exposed to dirty bathing water (water with sweat) and soap there is a chance of mold growth

Why clean mold on toys

According to the story reported in the sun baby bath toys have a presence of bacteria like Ecoli and Legionella that risk your child to the eye, ear, wound, or even gastrointestinal infections. The risk can only be reduced by cleaning and storing your bath toys.

Mold affects people of all ages but affects mostly children because at their tender age have a weak immune system and cause respiratory problems and allergies to delicate babies.

How do you get mold out of bath toys?

This is the most question every parent asks how do I clean inside of the bath toys.

The only way is by soaking them overnight using hot soapy water, diluted bleach, and diluted vinegar.

Allow the mixture of vinegar with water or bleach with water to fill inside.

Let it soak overnight or for long hours.

In the morning shake and squeeze water out.

How to clean rubber bath toys

Rubber bath toys can be cleaned using vinegar solution and bleach solution but when using hot water, washing machine, and dishwasher make sure you are using the right temperature.

Too high temperatures can melt or burn the toy.

Also, check whether the toy is compatible with bleach some bleach might be harsh on a rubber toy.

Final thought

Always make sure the toys are completely dry before storing or giving your child to play with them.

To dry them completely squeeze out excess water using your hand and then place them on a dry towel or on the sun to dry completely.

Removing excess water will help cut down the growth of mold in the bath toys.

Also, read the manufacturer label of individual toys to ensure you are using the right temperature or chemical to not damage your baby bath toy.

Finally, if you have tried all the above methods and none is working simply throw them away. 

It is better to throw away a toy with mold to get a new one than risking their diseases.

Remember toys with batteries are not submerged in water unless they are waterproof.

Bonus video

Shop for the best baby bath toys

1Dmeixs Baby Bath Toy  3 years+Buy from Amazon
2WowWee Pinkfong Baby Shark Bath Squirt Toy2 years+Buy from Amazon
Buy from Walmart

3KIDSTHRILL Baby Stacking Cups Toynewborn -18 monthsBuy from Amazon
4Nuby Little Squirts Fun Bath Toys6 months+Buy from Walmart
Buy from Amazon

5Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy4 months+Buy from Walmart
Buy from Amazon

6Munchkin Bath Toy, Little Boat Train4 months+Buy from Walmart
Buy from Amazon
7Munchkin Wind Up Swimming Penguin Bath Toy9 months+Buy from Walmart
Buy from Amazon
8Yeonha Toys Bath Toy6 months+Buy from Amazon
9Laxdacee Bath Toy3 months+Buy from Amazon
10Dwi Dowellin Baby Bath Toys 18 months+Buy from Amazon
11Boon Boon Pipes Building Bath Toy Set12 monthsBuy from Amazon
12Boon Cogs Water Gears Bath Toys Set (Pack of 5)12 months+Buy from Amazon
13Baby Loovi Foam Bath Toys 3 years+Buy from Amazon
14The First Years Disney Baby Bath Squirt Toys6-18monthsBuy from Amazon
15Robo Alive Junior Baby Shark 3 yearsBuy from Amazon
16ZHENDUO Bath Toys3 months+Buy from Amazon
17Click N' Play Assorted Colorful Bath Squirters 6 months+Buy from Amazon
18GOODLOGO Bath Toys Bathtub Toys  1-3 yearsBuy from Amazon
19INNOCHEER Bath Toys and Stacking Cups 18 months+Buy from Amazon
20Hoovy Bath Toys Fun Baby Bathtub Toy 12 months +Buy from Amazon
21Nuby 2-Pack Tub Tugs Floating Boat Bath Toys6 monthsBuy from Amazon

How often should I clean bath toys?

You should clean bath toys once per week.

Can you wash bath toys in a dishwasher?

You can wash bath toys using a dishwasher but make sure you read manufacturer instructions whether the individual toy is labeled safe to use the dishwasher.

Is mold in bath toy dangerous?

Mold in the bath toy can pose health risks such as gastrointestinal infections

Does vinegar kill mold?


How do you clean bath toys without vinegar?

You can use warm soapy water or bleach.

Related baby bath articles:

  1. Baby bath tips
  2. Baby bath mat
  3. Baby bath thermometer
  4. Baby washcloths
  5. Baby hooded towel
  6. Bath toy storage ideas
  7. Baby bath books

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