Bath toy mould, ugh. The constant replacing of bath toys because they continually get mouldy. All parents have had to deal with it at some point, when those fun squirty (or non squirty toys) have been hanging in the bath just that bit too long. With the squirty toys, to avoid mould growth inside the toy to begin with, use a hot glue gun to glue up the hole to prevent the water getting in. I have found that super glue can work in toys with a smaller hole, but overall I’d suggest a glue gun. Make sure you use a hot glue gun, not a low temp one. The low temp one won’t hold the glue nearly as well as the high temp glue gun will. I picked up mine from Spotlight for about $10, but you can also find them on ebay here.
Unfortunately, this won’t help the mould that can develop on the outside of toys. The bathroom is an ideal place for mould to develop because it loves the warm, damp environments. Once mould starts to develop, it can be hazardous to your family’s health. Especially to toddlers that like to put everything in their mouth. Spores released from black mould can cause a range of health problems; coughing and sneezing, headaches, eye irritation, and rashes. But keeping the bath toys clean can be simple, chemical free, and can save you money on buying replacements!
We own a set of lovely marine animals which we purchased for Mr Toys Toyworld. Miss 3 adores them, but they were left just a little too long in the wet, causing the nasty black mould to take over. Ick.
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This is sort of unavoidable with kids bath toys. Even if you take precaution when bath time is over, it’s hard to avoid the mould build up in the cracks and crevices of bath time toys. There is a simple and chemical free solution though. All you need is:
Vinegar (I did use double strength vinegar (8% acidity), but the regular type works just fine.
Pour 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water into a container. Add 5 drops of tea tree essential oil. Put the mould forsaken toys in the container and leave for half an hour (you can leave them overnight if you have the time). Make sure they are covered by the solution. Don’t leave the toys soaking any any longer than this because the acid in the vinegar is strong enough to fade the colour on the toy. (Believe me, I forgot once and left the toys soaking for a couple of days. They are now a shade or two lighter on one side!)
2. After the toys have been thoroughly soaked in the vinegar solution, remove them, and let them dry.
3. Next, you’ll need an old toothbrush and the tea tree essential oil. Take one toy at a time and give it a good scrub with the toothbrush and tea tree oil. Miss 3 helped me with this task, and we discussed how important it is to keep the toys from lying in the water all the time and getting all yucky. *Side note* She also informed me how real animals in the sea can get sick from all the rubbish that’s in it, and that people need to pick up all their rubbish after they’ve finished at the beach. (This topic was discussed at her daycare, and I love how much of it she’s taken in and she realises the effect people have on our earth.)
After a bit of scrubbing…tada! A clean, mould free bath toy!