How to Disinfect Bath Toys in 2023

Bath toys are an integral part of many children’s bath time routine. They provide entertainment and make bathing more enjoyable. However, over time, these toys can become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, posing potential health risks to children. It is crucial to regularly clean and disinfect bath toys to ensure their safety.

In this article, we will explore how to detect mold in bath toys, the importance of disinfecting them, how often to clean them, and various methods on how to disinfect bath toys.

How to Spot Molds on Bath Toys

how to disinfect bath toys

To spot molds on bath toys, look for black, green, or brown spots or patches on the surface. Also, check for a musty odor or slimy texture. Here is a detailed list of signs to look out for:

  1. Examine Visually: Carefully examine the bath toys for any visible signs of mold. Look for black, green, or brown spots or patches on the surface of the toys. Mold often appears as small clusters or specks. Pay attention to hard-to-reach areas and crevices where mold may be hiding.
  2. Musty Odor: Mold often emits a distinctive musty smell. Take a sniff of the bath toys and check for any unpleasant or unusual odors. If you detect a strong, musty smell coming from the toys, it is likely an indication of mold growth.
  3. Texture and Discoloration: Mold can cause changes in the texture and color of bath toys. Feel the surface of the toys to check for any sliminess or stickiness, as mold can create a slippery film. Additionally, look for any discoloration or fading of the toys compared to their original color.
  4. Regular Inspection: It’s important to periodically inspect bath toys even if no visible mold is present. Mold growth can occur over time, especially in moist and warm environments. Regularly check the toys for any signs of mold, and if you notice any, take immediate action to clean and disinfect them.

If you observe any of these signs, it is essential to take immediate action to clean and disinfect the bath toys thoroughly.

What Does it Mean to Disinfect Bath Toys?

how to disinfect bath toys

Disinfecting bath toys refers to the process of eliminating or reducing harmful bacteria, viruses, mold, and other contaminants present on the surface of the toys. It is a crucial step in maintaining a clean and hygienic environment for children during bath time. Disinfection involves using cleaning methods or solutions that effectively kill or neutralize these pathogens, ensuring that the toys are safe for children to play with and reducing the risk of infections or illnesses. Proper disinfection of bath toys helps to protect children from potential health hazards and promotes a healthy and enjoyable bathing experience.

Why You Should Be Concerned About Moldy Bath Toys

how to disinfect bath toys

Moldy bath toys can have several negative consequences for both children and their caregivers. Here are some reasons why you should care about moldy bath toys:

  • Health risks: Mold can trigger allergies, respiratory issues, and skin irritations in children who come into contact with it. Exposure to moldy bath toys may lead to symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and skin rashes.
  • Spread of germs: Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in moist environments. When bath toys are infested with mold, they can also harbor other bacteria and viruses, creating a breeding ground for germs that can spread to children during bath time.
  • Deterioration of toys: Mold growth can damage the structural integrity of bath toys, causing them to deteriorate more quickly. Mold can eat away at the material of the toys, leading to cracks, discoloration, and a shorter lifespan.
  • Unpleasant odor: Mold produces a musty odor that can make bath time unpleasant. The odor can also transfer to children’s skin and hair, leaving a lingering smell even after they have finished bathing.
  • Aesthetics: Moldy bath toys are unappealing to look at and can create an unsightly and unhygienic appearance in the bathroom.

Bath toys, no mold, provide a clean and safe playtime experience for children during their bath. Taking care to prevent and address mold growth in bath toys is essential for maintaining a clean and safe bathing environment for children.

How Frequently Should Bath Toys Be Cleaned to Prevent Mold?

how to disinfect bath toys

To prevent mold growth and ensure the cleanliness of bath toys, it is recommended to clean them regularly. The frequency of cleaning bath toys depends on several factors, including the frequency of use, the type of toy, and the storage conditions. Here are some general guidelines:

  • After each use: After each bath, it is recommended to give the bath toys a thorough rinse with clean water. This simple step helps to remove any soap residue, shampoo, or bathwater that may have accumulated on the toys. By rinsing them daily, you minimize the chances of mold or bacteria growth, as these contaminants thrive in damp environments. Additionally, it prevents the formation of sticky residue that can attract dirt and promote mold growth.
  • Weekly cleaning: Perform a more thorough cleaning of bath toys at least once a week. This involves using appropriate cleaning methods to remove any accumulated mold, bacteria, or grime that may have developed over time. A weekly cleaning routine ensures that any potential contaminants are addressed promptly, reducing the risk of mold growth. 
  • Visual inspection: Regularly inspect the bath toys for any signs of mold or other visible contaminants, such as discoloration, or unusual odors. Mold often appears as black, green, or brown spots or patches on the surface of the toys. If you detect any mold, clean the toys immediately.

How to Clean Bath Toys

how to disinfect bath toys

There are several effective methods to clean and disinfect bath toys. Here are some popular methods along to help you find your best way to clean bath toys with their pros and cons:

Disinfect with Bleach

Begin by preparing a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Submerge the bath toys in the bleach solution for approximately 5 minutes. Next, thoroughly rinse the toys with clean water to remove any residual bleach. Remember to let the toys air dry completely before storing or using them again.


  • Kills a broad spectrum of bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.
  • Effective in removing tough stains and odors.
  • Affordable and readily available.
  • Simple and quick process.


  • Harsh chemicals that may require careful handling.
  • Can cause discoloration or damage to certain types of toys.
  • The strong smell of bleach may linger even after rinsing.

Wash with Vinegar

Create a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar in a basin or bucket. Submerge the toys and let them soak for 15-20 minutes. Gently scrub the toys with a sponge or brush to eliminate any residue. Rinse the toys thoroughly with clean water, and ensure they air dry completely. 


  • Natural and non-toxic cleaning agent.
  • Effective against mold and bacteria.
  • Safe to use on most types of toys.
  • Helps remove soap scum and mineral deposits.


  • May not eliminate tough stains or odors.
  • The smell of vinegar may be unpleasant to some people.

Boil Bath Toys to Clean and Sanitize Them

Fill a pot with enough water to fully submerge the toys. Place the toys in the pot and bring the water to a boil. Let the toys boil for 5-10 minutes. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully remove the toys from the boiling water. Rinse them with cool water to eliminate any remaining residue. Finally, ensure the toys air dry completely before using them again.


  • Effective in killing bacteria, viruses, and mold.
  • Simple and straightforward method.
  • Suitable for most types of toys.
  • Removes tough stains and odors.


  • Can cause damage to toys made of certain materials, such as those with electronic components.
  • Requires careful handling to avoid burns or scalding.

Use a Dishwasher

Ensure the toys are labeled as dishwasher safe. Securely place them on the dishwasher’s top rack, using caution to prevent them from falling through. Add dishwasher detergent as instructed and run a regular cycle with heated drying if available. After the cycle, inspect the toys for cleanliness. Rinse if needed and let them air dry.


  • Convenient and time-saving method.
  • Suitable for toys made of hard plastic or silicone.
  • The dishwasher’s high temperature helps kill bacteria and mold.


  • Not suitable for toys with electronic components or those made of delicate materials.
  • The dishwasher detergent may leave residue on the toys.
  • May not be as effective in removing tough stains or odors.

Do Washing Machines Disinfect Bath Toys?

how to disinfect bath toys

No, washing machines are not recommended for disinfecting bath toys. Bath toys are typically made of different materials, such as plastic, rubber, or foam, and they may have small openings or electronic components. These factors make them vulnerable to damage or ineffective cleaning in a washing machine cycle.

The agitation and spinning motion of the washing machine can cause bath toys to collide with each other or against the machine’s walls. This can result in the toys getting deformed, losing their shape, or even breaking apart. Additionally, the high temperatures reached during the washing machine cycle can cause materials like plastic or rubber to melt or warp, rendering the toys unusable.

Besides, the washing machine may not effectively remove mold or bacteria from the toys. Bath toys often have intricate shapes or hard-to-reach areas where mold or grime can accumulate. The water jets and detergent in the washing machine may not adequately penetrate these areas, leaving behind contaminants that can pose health risks.

To ensure proper disinfection of bath toys, it is best to utilize other methods mentioned earlier in the article, such as hand washing, boiling, or using vinegar or bleach solutions. These methods allow for more precise cleaning and targeting of specific areas where mold or bacteria may be present.

How to Clean Bathtub Toys with Mold Inside

how to disinfect bath toys

To clean bathtub toys with mold inside, soak them in a solution of equal parts dish soap and water, scrub gently, rinse thoroughly, and air dry before using or storing. Here’s a detailed method to effectively clean bath toys with mold inside:

  1. Start by preparing a basin or bucket filled with a mixture of hot water and mild dish soap. The hot water helps to loosen the mold and grime inside the toys, while the dish soap helps to break down any grease or residue.
  2. Submerge the moldy bath toys in the soapy water and use a brush or sponge to scrub them thoroughly. Pay extra attention to the areas with visible mold or spots where mold is likely to accumulate, such as small openings or crevices.
  3. After scrubbing, rinse the toys with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  4. Prepare a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water in a separate container. Bleach is effective in killing mold spores and disinfecting the toys.
  5. Submerge the toys in the bleach solution for about 15-20 minutes. Ensure that all parts of the toys are fully immersed.
  6. After the soaking period, remove the toys from the bleach solution and rinse them thoroughly with clean water.
  7. Allow the toys to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area before using or storing them. Ensure that they are completely dry to prevent any moisture that can promote future mold growth.


Regularly cleaning and disinfecting bath toys is essential for maintaining a safe and hygienic environment for children during bath time. Moldy bath toys can pose health risks and lead to the spread of germs. By following the cleaning methods on how to disinfect bath toys, outlined in this article, you can effectively eliminate mold, bacteria, and other contaminants from the toys.

Remember to inspect the toys regularly, and if you detect mold growth, take immediate action to clean and disinfect them. By prioritizing the cleanliness and safety of bath toys, you are ensuring that bath time remains a fun and healthy experience for your child.

Ehsanul Hoq
Ehsanul Hoq
Articles: 73


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