Most the time, after a bath, babies emerge from their bath sparkling clean and ready to dive into another round of delightful mess-making (most of the time because sometimes things just don't go to plan, right?!). Wiping down baby's bath is fairly straightforward, but what about those annoying bath toys?

Are you looking for an effective way of cleaning the bath toys your baby loves to play with? Keeping bath toys fresh is an important step in ensuring that your little one stays safe and healthy in the tub. But, how exactly do you clean inner tubes, rubber ducks, and other plastic or fabric objects that tend to accumulate mold or mildew over time, no matter how nicely we store them?

Read on to find out simple techniques for banishing bacteria from bub’s beloved bath time accessories – so you can watch them create a splash without worrying about them accidently drinking moldy bathwater!

clean baby bath toy

The importance of cleaning baby bath toys regularly

As parents, we will always prioritize safety and health in everything we do for our little ones. We know not to let them out of our sight when they are in or around water, we hold on to them for dear life when they are tiny and having their first baths and we stop them as soon as they look like they're are bout to start eating bath bubbles.

One important aspect that should not be overlooked is the cleanliness of their bath toys. These toys are exposed to water, soap, and a variety of germs on a daily basis, making them a prime breeding ground for bacteria. I hadn't reaslied the importance of this until my daughter had been using her bath toys for a few weeks and I noticed that when I squeezed her silicone dinosaur, the water that came out had ugly black spots: mold.

To make sure this doesn't happen to you, we must ensure that all of your baby's toys are thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, viruses, and mold. Not only does this keep our babies safe but it also ensures they continue to enjoy their bath time experiences without any unnecessary health risks. So, let's make sure we take the time to learn how to clean baby bath toys effectively, so our little ones can continue to splash and play in clean, safe water.

dirty bath toy

Step-by-step guide on how to clean baby bath toys

Baby bath toys often accumulate mold and dirt, making them unsanitary for babies to play with. While a quick rinse off may be find for the day-to-day cleaning, it's a good idea to deep clean toys once per month to ensure a healthy and safe environment for your little one. To do that, here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean baby bath toys.

  1. Firstly, gather all the toys and inspect them for any damages. Look for small holes or tears in the fabric, plastic or silicone. This is important because even a small hole can allow water inside and become a breeding ground for mold. Tears or holes in sturdy materials like plastic or wood could also be dangerous to your little one so make sure that all of their toys are whole and  undamaged before moving forward.
  2. After inspecting the toys, take them to a workable area and prepare your cleaning solution. You can use a mild dish soap or laundry detergent mixed with hot water in a large bucket or bowl. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions if any of the toys have special cleaning requirements.
  3. Next you need to make up your cleaning solution. The absolute best thing to clean baby toys is a diluted bleach solution. To create this, mix together 1 part bleach with 10 parts of water in a large bucket or bowl, and make sure you stir it until the two are fully mixed.
  4. Now it’s time to clean the toys. Submerge all the toys in the cleaning solution for about 10 minutes. Then take them out one by one and scrub each toy using an old toothbrush - make sure you get in all the nooks and crannies. If there are any hard-to-reach spots, use an old toothbrush to get the job done. I have also found it helpful to use one of those tiny brushes that you use to clean your kid's cup straws with to get to those really hard to reach places.
  5. Once you’ve scrubbed the toys, rinse them off with hot water and use a clean cloth to dry them thoroughly before storing. Be sure to turn the toys over so that all of the water has drained out and is not left inside which could lead to mold growth.
  6. Place your freshly cleaned bath toys in an area where they will air dry. Make sure the toys are completely dried before storing them away for baby’s next bath time.
moldy bath toy

The Best Way to Dry Baby Bath Toys

As I found out the hard way, one of the most important steps in washing the bath toys is drying them to ensure mold doesn't grow. It is crucial to ensure that baby bath toys are thoroughly dried after each use to prevent mold and bacterial growth.

One of my friends told me about a popular and effective method that they had learned from their Mother's Group, which is to stick a hot glue gun in the holes of bath toys, creating a seal that prevents water from getting trapped inside, thereby avoiding the creation of a damp environment where mold could thrive.

However, remember that this is a permanent solution and toys will no longer be able to squirt water. I tried this with one of my daughter's dinosaurs and it did not go down well, apparently half of the fun of them is the squirting! So this method may not be for everyone.

To dry all types of toys, after washing using the instructions above or rinsing if today isn't your day for a deep clean and shaking off excess water, place them in a mesh laundry bag and hang the bag somewhere with good airflow. This allows the toys to dry quickly and completely, minimizing the chance for mold.

I tried this and had the bag hanging over the side of the bag. It was just a free mesh bag that had come with our soft foam characters and I thought it would be large enough for multiple toys.

I was wrong. The fact that I had overfilled it and also left it on the side of the bag where air couldn't move through it effectively meant that it wasn't able to do its job properly and let the toys dry. As such, I recommend hanging bags from the shower head or curtains rail so they are away from any walls and the air can move in and around the bag in its entirety.

Ensure toys aren't layering up inside the bag to allow air to move between each toy, also. Do not put too many toys in the bag to the point where there are toys on the inside that you can't see from the outside.

Alternatively, you can use a dish rack or a clean towel laid flat for drying. Position the toys with the hole facing downward so that any trapped water can drain out. Be sure to move them to a new, dry spot after a few hours to ensure all sides have a chance to air dry.

Remember, the key to drying bath toys is ensuring that no water is left to stagnate within or around them. It's a simple step that can significantly prolong the life of your baby's bath toys and create a safer environment for your little one's bath time.

floating bath toys

Tips for making sure these toys are always clean and safe

As I'm sure you know, babies love putting things in their mouth and playing with their toys, so it's crucial to keep them free from harmful germs and bacteria. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have winced as my son sits outside making sandcastles then decides to start sucking on his fingers. While there isn't much we can do to prevent that (other than not going near sand!) we can make sure that the thing in our baby's environment that they may put in their mouths, are clean.

One way to do this is to clean them regularly using the deep clean method above and dry them with the instructions provided.

You can also consider investing in a good-quality disinfectant that is safe for babies. Using a disinfectant on aby toys after washing is a good idea to ensure that all germs are killed before the babies start playing with them again. It's important to check the label for age recommendations and to always read the instructions carefully before use so that baby doesn't ingest any harmful chemicals.

Another useful tip is to rotate your baby's toys regularly to keep them interested and engaged while still ensuring their safety. While you deep clean one set of bath toys and leave them out for drying, baby can use another set. You can rotate them every evening or weekly or monthly, what ever suits your family and your baby. This will give you a chance to ensure all of the toys are always clean as well as keeping things interesting for your child and offering them opportunities to learn new skills.

These simple steps can go a long way in keeping your baby healthy and happy. It's also important to remember that some toys may need special care and attention, so always check the manufacturer's instructions first for toys that may have special, specific care instructions.

Creative ways to store bath toys

In my hunt to ensure the cleanliness of my kid's bath toys I have come across some creative ways to store all the bath toys once they've been cleaned up. Rather than just tossing them haphazardly into a basket or bin, you can use a variety of clever solutions to keep everything organized and tidy.

For example, you could repurpose a shower caddy to hang on the wall and hold all the toys neatly within each compartment. This means they are close to hand when they are needed and shower caddies usually have plenty of holes for air flow to allow the toys to dry effectively.

If you don't have or your toys don't cone with a purpose made mesh bag, you can try using a simple mesh laundry bag and use the strings to tie the bag somewhere it is able to hang freely.

Another option is to repurpose an over-the-door shoe organizer to store all the bath toys in individual pockets which is great because you can see everything at a glance. And, if your bathroom is lacking storage space then all you need to do is hang the organizer over the door.

For smaller items like bath letters and numbers, you could consider getting a small container with multiple compartments or even a muffin tin to separate them and keep them tidy.


Cleaning baby bath toys is an important part of maintaining a sanitary and safe environment for your baby during bath time, which goes on to create a more enjoyable bath tome for you and baby. With my step-by-step guide, you can easily clean up these toys using simple ingredients found around the home.

Making sure to store them properly and in a way that prevents bacteria growth is key when cleaning even the smallest items like these.  However, choosing the right kinds of bath toys are immensely important - not all of them are built for safety or long-term use as babies grow! Thankfully, there are plenty of great resources for helping parents pick out the best ones on the market that will last and be enjoyable to use. If you're looking for some guidance on this front, check out my article on the best baby bath toys and best baby bath products available today.

Ultimately, no matter how involved your cleaning process becomes it will always be worth it knowing that your babies can safely enjoy their playtime in the tub without any risk of harm.

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