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How to Clean Kids Bath Toys for Mold Prevention [Easy Guide]

How to Clean Kids Bath Toys

Bath time is one of the best times of the day for both parents and kids.

It’s a great way to spend quality time with your child, and it’s a great way for your bundle of joy to have fun with baby bath toys!

However, bath toys are always exposed to water and moisture. This leads to a breeding ground of mold other kinds of bacteria!

For your kids’ health and safety, read on to know how to clean bath toys effectively and how to prevent mold from growing in the first place!

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Why You Should Care About Moldy Bath Toys

Cleaning bath toys is slightly different from cleaning baby toys in general because of mold.

Is mold really as bad as it seems?

Several studies have shown that exposure to mold and bacteria can lead to respiratory problems and other immune problems for children.

Babies often put bath toys in their mouths, so you definitely want to avoid moldy bath toys as much as possible!

It would also be best to clean bath toys at least once a week for proper maintenance.

To keep your child’s bath toys free of mold, grime, and soap scum, here are the 6 ways to clean moldy bath toys all people can do easily!

6 Ways to Clean Bath Toys Effectively

1.) Bleach


An effective solution to get rid of mold and clean bath toys is to soak them with a water and bleach solution.

  • Before handling bleach, wear gloves, goggles, and a face mask.
  • Prepare 1/2 cup of regular bleach per 1 gallon of water.
  • Pour the solution into the bathtub.
  • Soak all bath toys for at least 10 minutes.
  • Scrub the bath toys thoroughly with a toothbrush to remove mold.
  • If the bath toy has holes/pores, make sure the bleach mixture gets inside the toy as well.
  • Rinse the bath toys with water, then leave to dry.

If your moldy situation is a lot worse than it seems, you can also let the bath toys soak overnight.

Also, make sure to keep the room ventilated by using the bathroom exhaust fan, opening the windows, and leaving the bathroom door open.

The bleach can irritate your nose and throat, so be careful!

2.) Vinegar


If you’re worried about how strong bleach can be, you can opt for a mixture of warm water and vinegar instead.

  • Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water.
  • Pour the solution into a bathtub or container.
  • Soak the bath toys for about an hour.
  • Once the mold becomes loose, scrub them off using a sponge or toothbrush.
  • Rinse afterward and leave it to dry.

Vinegar has antibacterial properties and is considered a mild disinfectant. It’s an effective option to get rid of mold and clean bath toys!

3.) Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

This essential oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal. It’s a natural ingredient you can use to clean bath toys and get rid of molds!

  • Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 1/4 liters of water
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the bath toys and leave it for at least 10 minutes.
  • Rinse afterward, then wipe them dry.

This might not be the most powerful cleaning option, but it’s a unique method you might want to consider if you already have essential oils at home.

4.) Dishwasher/Washing Machine

Dishwasher - Washing Machine

If you’re looking for easy ways to clean bath toys, using the dishwasher or washing machine would be a good idea.

These aren’t the most effective ways to get rid of mold, but they’re convenient ways to clean bath toys nonetheless.

Before using these methods, double-check the toy’s care instructions first to see if it’s safe to clean bath toys using the dishwasher or washing machine.


  • Place the dirty toys inside a lingerie bag.
  • Place on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  • Use a gentle detergent and a gentle wash cycle.
  • Use a heated cycle to dry.
  • After the heated cycle, lay the toys on a clean towel and leave them to dry completely.

Washing Machine:

  • Place the dirty toys inside a lingerie bag.
  • Toss them into the washing machine.
  • Use a gentle detergent and a gentle spin cycle.
  • After the cycle, lay the toys on a clean towel and leave them to dry completely.

5.) Disinfectant Wipes

Disinfectant Wipes

For routine cleaning and maintenance, you can use disinfectant wipes instead. It’s more affordable than other cleaning options, so that’s a plus.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning too!

Wipes won’t get rid of mold effectively, so only use them to clean dirty toys without any mold.

6.) Boiling Water

Boiling Water

If you don’t have any or all of the materials we listed above, you can still clean bath toys by boiling them instead.

  • Boil a pot of water on the stove.
  • Place the toys inside the pot for 10-20 minutes.
  • Take the toys out and scrub off any excess gunk.
  • Wipe the toys dry with a clean towel.

Heat is an effective way to kill bacteria and germs, but it might not be strong enough to eliminate mold.

Only use this method to clean out dirt and other messes besides mold.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

How to Prevent Mold Growth

After cleaning your baby’s toys, it would be nice to know how to prevent molds from growing back. Unlike other toys, bath toys are constantly exposed to water.

There are three ways you can prevent mold from growing on your baby’s bath toys.

Plug the Holes of the Bath Toys

Children’s bath toys are known to have holes that squeeze out water. Sure, these squeeze toys are fun to use for kids, but water can get trapped inside and lead to mold formation!

An easy way to prevent water from getting inside is to plug the holes.

All you need is hot glue from a glue gun, and you’re all set!

  • Clean the bath toy first and squeeze out any excess liquids.
  • Apply a dab of hot glue on the hole/s of the bath toy.
  • Wait for the glue to dry.

Make the Holes Bigger

The best way to prevent molds from forming is to keep all parts of the bath toy dry.

To help you keep the insides dry, you can drill a bigger hole instead of sealing it.

Make sure to drill the hole wide enough to fit a pipe cleaner or cotton swab. That should make the insides easier to clean and dry.

After every baby bath, wipe and dry the inside of the toy using a cotton swab or a paper towel.

Storing Bath Toys Properly

Another way to keep children’s bath toys mold-free is to store them correctly.

After bathing your child, you should remember to store all bath toys using an organizer bag. You can also install a bathtub rack where you can lay the toys to dry.

As long as your toys have a way of hanging and drying right after baths, that should help prevent molds from forming.



No one should worry about the dangers moldy bath toys can give children. Bath time should be fun for all families, so keeping your children’s bath toys clean and mold-free bath toys is a MUST.

We hope these cleaning tips will help all parents keep the bathroom a safe space at home for everyone!

As a side note, you could also just buy new, and non toxic bath toys for your baby.


August 9, 2022 – minor content edits

July 22, 2021 – updated article links

About the author

Angelica Graham

A few years ago, Angelica found out about all the plastic and toxic ingredients that got into most children’s products. And this worried her to no end. Because of this, she began to research what the best ingredients and materials were for children and made it her mission to share this information with other mothers.