Bath time can mean fun time for babies, especially when they have colorful bath toys to play with. But even though your baby is getting clean, their bath toys may be far from it. Not only is mold disgusting, it's not good for your baby, who will likely try to eat their bath toys at some point. What can you do to keep bath toys from molding?
According to Health Guidance, anything that holds moisture can grow mold, and bath toys are no exception. Mold on bath toys may not be visible on the surface, but inside the toys, or between their crevices, is where the toys may hold the moisture and grow mold.
If you can, try to avoid using bath toys with holes or crevices. Health Guidance suggested throwing out toys with holes, like the squirt-y kinds, because they can present the problem of mold and mildew growing inside them. But if you don't want to throw them out, you can seal the holes to create a waterproof and mold-proof bath toy. According to The Maids, you can plug the holes with hot glue, which will act like a barrier, preventing the growth of any bacteria. Just make sure to clean the toys first.
So what's the best way to clean bath toys? The Maids suggested boiling them in hot water, soaking them in a bleach bath (mix 3/4 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water), or soaking them in a vinegar bath (1/2 a cup of vinegar with a gallon of water) for an hour. After cleaning the toys, The Maids advised letting them completely dry and cool before putting them back in the tub. You should also try storing toys on a rack or surface where they can air out and drain properly, making sure no moisture is left on them.
The good news is that even if your baby has been playing with moldy toys, there is no reason to panic. Dr. Saul Hymes, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Stony Brook Medicine, told NBC News that moldy toys won't be very harmful unless your baby has a major immune issue or an allergy to mold. He explained that if your baby is allergic to mold, they will likely exhibit common allergy symptoms like red eyes, sneezing, or skin rash.
It's a good idea to clean your baby's toys once a week, and throw out any toys that are moldy beyond repair. It does take a little bit of effort, but seeing that smile on your baby's face during bath time is well worth it.