Bath toys make a wonderful addition to your child's nightly bath time routine; from colourful sea animal toys to fun fishing nets and even educational numbers and letters, they'll help make bath time more enriching and enjoyable.
But, no matter how much water and soap they splash around in each night, bath toys should still be cleaned regularly.
Keep reading to find out the reasons why we should clean bath toys and the best ways to clean them safely and thoroughly.
Why Do We Need to Clean Bath Toys?
Just like our bathtubs and showers, bath toys are at risk of mould growth. Baths can be a breeding ground for germs, mould and mildew. And, if your bath toys are soaking in warm water every day and then being left out to dry in a humid bathroom, it's a welcome invitation for germs to grow.
Generally, most children's immune systems can fight off any germs in bath toys. However, these germs could also lead to respiratory illness, such as asthma and lung infections, in children who may be allergic or sensitive to mould or don't have as strong an immune system as others.
So, it's very important that you take the time to clean out your bath toys often.
1. Clean with Bleach
The easiest and most effective way of cleaning your child's bath toys is with bleach. Bleach will immediately target and destroy any germs or bacteria that may be forming and is ideal for toys with holes to clean the inside of them thoroughly.
If you're using bleach, make sure to properly drain and rinse the toys and allow them to dry fully below giving them to your child during their next bath.
It's totally understandable if you feel worried about using bleach to clean bath toys that, more often than not, will end up in your child's mouth. Luckily, it isn't the only option, and there are plenty of other ways to clean bath toys without the powerful chemical.
2. Wash with Vinegar
Did you know vinegar is a natural cleaning product that can dissolve dirt, bacteria and stains? This is a great option for bath toys as it's much gentler than bleach, won't ruin the colours or patterns of toys and isn't harmful if accidentally ingested.
White distilled vinegar is the best type to use for cleaning. Fill a bucket with equal parts vinegar and warm water, then submerge the bath toys and let them soak for an hour before rinsing them with cool water and letting them air dry. Easy peasy!
3. Put Bath Toys Through the Dishwasher
If you've spent all day running after a toddler and feel too tired to then wash out all of their bath toys (don't worry, we get it!), putting them through the dishwasher is the quickest solution. Put the toys on the top rack of the dishwasher, run it on a hot cycle, and your toys will be cleaned in no time.
Side note: some bath toys may not be suitable for the dishwasher, so make sure you double-check they are dishwasher safe before using this method.
4. Soak in Hot Water
As germs can't survive heat, soaking bath toys in boiling water is another effective cleaning method. Fill a sink with boiling water and a few squirts of washing-up liquid, then add the bath toys and let them soak.
This method works for all types of bath toys, from hard plastic to squishy foam and is also a great way to clean inside the toys. After they've been soaking for a few minutes, rinse them off with cold water and leave them on a towel to air dry.
5. Use Disinfectant Wipes
This method is ideal for a quick clean straight after bath time and then letting them fully dry in a non-humid room. But, the toys should still undergo a deep clean, using one of the other methods above, every now and then to make sure any lingering germs are properly destroyed.
Take a look at our full range of baby and toddler bath toys to make bath times fun!