For the little kids, baths are all about splashing water and chewing bath toys. Children love playing with their bath toys. As soon as they get in the bathtub, they grab their bath toys, and more often than not, they take them in their mouths. By the looks of it, the bath toys look clean, but have you ever thought about how clean or unclean they might be on the inside? Do you know these squeeze toys can cause potential health issues to your child if you do not clean them properly.
Mold and bacteria grow in a damp environment. These can cause respiratory problems, infections, allergies, and other illnesses in children, especially in those children who have a weak immune system. After baths, if you leave these toys in the bathtub or a water bucket, or any wet environment, you are providing them with the ideal environment for mold or bacterial growth. There are a lot of bacteria and mold spores in the air and when they get in contact with the ideal environment, they start growing there. Therefore, you have to make sure to dry them properly.
You need to deeply clean the bath toys from the inside out to get rid of the mold or bacteria that might be growing inside them. It is recommended to properly clean these toys at least once every week. There are many ways to deep clean squeeze bath toys. If the mold won’t go away even after thorough cleaning using methods listed below, just throw away the toys, your child’s health matters more than anything.
You can use half a cup of bleach in a gallon of water to make a dilute solution that is strong enough to clean these toys but not strong enough to linger on the toys and harm your child, use all the safety precautions when dealing with bleach. In bleach solution soak the bath toys for about 10 to 15 minutes, make sure the bleach solution enters the interior of the toys by squeezing them in the air then placing them in bleach solution so that it takes up all the bleach solution in it so that the toys are deeply cleaned from inside out.
After the soak, rinse thoroughly with water, squeeze out all the bleach solution from the interior of the toys then rinse with water inside out. Make sure there is no bleach solution residue left on these toys, then let these toys dry properly.
If you don’t like bleach, which is understandable because bleach is very harsh and you would not want to use it on your child’s toys. In that case, you can use white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, it is 5 percent acetic acid so it can break down some bacteria and dirt particles. Mix equal part water and white vinegar to make a dilute vinegar solution and soak the toys in this solution. As vinegar is weaker than bleach, you should soak the toys for a longer time, about an hour, for the vinegar to work fully. After the soak, scrub, rinse and properly dry the toys.
A quicker way to clean or disinfect the bath toys is by washing them in the dishwasher, this will sanitize them and kill any germs in them. Again, you have to make sure no water is present inside the squeeze toys so that the interior also gets washed by the dishwasher. Place them on the top rack and keep the settings on moderate so no harm is done to the toys.
Another easy way to clean squeeze bath toys is to boil them. This method is very good for cleaning as the high temperature of water kills the mold or bacteria with heat. In a large pot bring water to boil, then place the toys in the boiling water. Let them soak in boiling water for about 5 minutes then strain them and let them dry properly. You can also put hot water in a big pot, add a detergent or shampoo, and soak the toys in it for a few minutes. Squeeze the toys so all air gets out of their interior, then place them in the hot soapy water so that all the hot soapy water enters in and kills any germs.
For everyday disinfecting, you can wipe the bath toys with disinfectant wipes after every bath, making sure to first squeeze out all the water inside them. This method will only clean the outside of the toys and it is much suitable for non-squeezable toys, with no holes.
The easiest way to make sure that the squeeze bath toys remain clean and mold-free on the inside is to close their hole! Every squeeze toy has a hole at the bottom, from here water enters them. Closing this hole will prevent any water from entering inside them and this will prevent any mold or bacterial growth inside them. All you have to do is put a small dot of hot glue on the hole so that it covers it, blocking the entrance. This way you will only have to clean them from the outside. This method will prevent the toys from squeezing or squeaking.
With proper cleaning, you don’t need to throw away your child’s favorite bath toys. To prevent them from becoming infectious you should never leave them in a damp environment. Always rinse, and properly dry the squeeze bath toys after every bath.
Make sure to squeeze as much water from their interior as possible because it’s the damp interior where these molds grow, without you knowing. For proper drying, place them on racks and preferably on a sunny spot, where there is no humidity, the side with the holes facing upward so that the inside dries easily. And lastly, store your child’s toys in a clean and safe environment, with proper ventilation to avoid dampness.
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