Since a recent study of plastic bath toys found significant amounts of mold and bacteria accumulating after a couple of dunks in the tub, bath toy manufacturers have upped their mold-free game. But these manufacturers can only do so much.
The solution is to prevent mold growth before it’s too late. Once your bath toy gets moldy, even these new toys that come apart easily, are nearly impossible to get squeaky clean again.
Are the mold and bacteria dangerous?
Exposure to bacteria and mold isn’t necessarily bad for your kid and it might even help boost their immune system. That being said, it’s better to replace your dirty toys with options that are easier to clean instead of squeezing water with chunks of biofilm into their face and possibly causing an infection.
What should you look for?
Finding fun bath toys that don’t create a soup of mold or bacteria doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are three things that you need to look for:
1. A bath toy shouldn’t trap water inside.
The old rubber ducky squirter has got to go. Sure, they’re fun when you blast your sibling right in the eyeball with a stream of water. But that cute yellow bird is an incubator for all kinds of gross stuff.
2. The toy is easy to take apart.
Emptying out all of the water immediately after the bath is the most important step in preventing mold growth. If it’s easy to take the toy apart, you’ll find yourself more likely to clean them up right away.
3. There’s no exposed metal on the toy.
To be honest, there are some super fun bath toys out there that I couldn’t in good conscious put on this list. Why? Because they have exposed metal. Metal and water is a recipe for rust, and that’s just another nasty thing you don’t want in your bathwater.
The best mold-free bath toys.
Your child will love taking these little tugboats for a ride on a suds tsunami. The Fleet Stacking Boats by Boon, a set of five stackable boats, aren’t just for playing. Their ingenious design lets you trickle water over your kid’s body. And it’s gentle enough that you can let some fall on their head to get them used to having water on their face. You can find them here.
Another great bath toy from Boon are their COGS water gears. 5 gears come in a pack. They suction securely to the bathtub or a tile wall and begin to spin when your kid dumps water on them. Start off with one set and expand your collection as your child gets better at chaining them together. You can find them here.
Five adorable animal-themed buckets by Skip Hop let your little one fill and dump water to their heart’s content. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Have your kid fill the bucket up, hold it as far in the air as their tiny arms can, and make it rain! Each animal-themed bucket has holes of varying sizes in the bottom that let water drain out—from a drizzle to a downpour. You can find them here.
These cute dolphinlike bath toys are perfect for scooping and pouring. As a bonus, these little porpoises work perfectly for rinsing off soap and shampoo. Water can never get trapped inside, so quick cleanup is as easy as flipping them over and letting them air-dry. You can find it here.
Your kid will take their little yellow submarine on an epic nautical quest to the bottom of the tub. This submersible is made in the USA and constructed from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs. It features a flat bottom, free-spinning rear propeller, easy-to-grip handle, and a wide-mouth opening perfect for scooping and pouring. The submarine comes apart for easy cleaning and is 100% dishwasher safe. You can find it here.
Reignite your kids’ excitement for bathtime by dropping off the captain of the submarine above using this sweet seacopter. It can soar through the sky with its free-spinning propellers or it can stick the water landing with its attached floats. Can you believe all of these toys from Green Toys are made out of 100% recycled plastic milk jugs? Cleaning is a cinch. The attached floats come apart for quick drying and everything is dishwasher safe. You can find it here.
Have your kid take the two included cars for a nice ferry boat ride around the tub. When the voyage is over, they can extend the slide-out ramp to the edge of the bathtub so the cars can stay safe on dry land. How fun is that? Pop the boat and cars into the dishwasher after your kid is done bathing to quickly sanitize. You can find it here.
Here is another fun bathtime activity that won’t grow mold.
A parents life is a hectic life. If you find yourself crunched to fit in a bath, story, and bedtime at the end of the day (We all do, right?), I’d like to recommend bringing storytime to the tub. All of these books are waterproof and can be wiped clean for the next read.
- The Rainbow Fish Bath Book – Marcus Pfister
- Wake Up, Magic Duck! – Moira Butterfield
- Barnyard Bath! – Sandra Boynton
- The Pigeon Needs a Bath Book! – Mo Willems
Have you seen any mold-free bath toys that aren’t on this list? Let us know!