Have you ever picked up a bath toy and seen black stuff in the crevices? If not, give that ducky a squeeze and see if black liquid comes out. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you. It’s mold. Yep, that little ducky your dear child is slobbering on in the bath is moldy! Most bath toys may eventually grow mold. But there are some molds that can be more dangerous and pathogenic, which can cause respiratory infections like pneumonia, particularly in people with immune systems that aren’t really strong. Like old people and sick people and really small humans? Yeah, like them.
But don’t freak out completely as I did after reading above and throw everything out. Just breath. While in and of itself, the exposure to mold may not make you sick, it could temporarily make some children experience diarrhea or nausea. The “Today” show did a report on the hidden filth in bath toys and actually found … wait for it … fecal matter in and on the toys, as well as Staph bacteria. I think this is a good lesson in “we need to make sure our kids toys are clean”.
Dr. Paul Williams of Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Allergy and Immunology, says, “[Parents] don’t need to be worried in the sense that their child’s health may be harmed by ordinary quantities of mold in the environment. There are thousands of mold spores in the air that we breathe every day. So, in a lot of ways, molds are just a part of our everyday environment and our system handles it quite nicely.”
There is conflicting information out there, but I think I am going to play it safe, and use these methods below to keep the “filth” at bay.
5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Bath Toys
- Buy bath toys without holes, just like these: Now, this won’t prevent all mold, but if you don’t have a squirty, you can reduce the chance of mold growth inside the toy. If there’s no water inside, mold won’t grow there unseen. If you absolutely NEED squirters, you can find squirter bath toys that come apart so you can more easily clean them.
- Squirt out the water: If you keep your squirters, be sure to squirt all the water out once bath-time is over. Store the toys in an airy container like a toy net or bin with air holes.
- Plug the holes: You can rebuild it. Into a non-squirter that is. Use a glue gun to patch the rubber ducky’s hole and solve the problem that way.
- Clean toys weekly: Once each week, clean your bath toys with a solution of 1:1 vinegar and hot water. Add a few drops of Thieves oil and soak your toys. For squirters, be sure to fill the inner guts with the solution, too. Soak for about 10 minutes, using a toothbrush to scrub, if necessary.
- Essential oils: Try lemongrass and thyme in addition to the Thievesin your soaking solution. The combination of these three oils is your very best way to keep your kids' toys sparkly clean!
How do you feel about your kids beloved rubber ducky, now? That's what I thought. Death of the rubber ducky with holes.
How do you keep your bath toys clean?