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Cleaning Bath Toys!

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So we have a ton of bath toys, and when I say bath toys I use that term very loosely, what we really have is a bathtub full of things that the two yr old thinks she needs to have in the tub.  We have hard water and everything is just getting nasty in there so I decided I would try to figure out some ways to clean bath toys or at least get them a bit cleaner.


First thing is if it’s got black growth or heavy mildew, better to just throw them out, they are not worth the effort to get clean and are probably putting off some bad junk into the tub.  Remember, tubs are supposed to be about getting clean.

Therefore, as far as actually cleaning them I have found a few things that are suggested.  Washing in the dishwasher with commercial dishwasher detergent that includes bleach.   I have tried this and while I think they were cleaner theoretically, I do not think they looked any better.  Well it could be the hard water is in the dishwasher too.  So, next on the to do’s is fill the tub about ¼ full and add a cup of bleach and soak the toys for an hour, rinse thoroughly and then let out in the sun to dry.  For me this would be my last resort, I hate the smell of bleach.  If you do not mind the smell this might work for you.  Dish soap and an old toothbrush, this seems like a good idea if you have a few small toys that need to be cleaned but if you have a tub full like us, it’s just not going to be feasible to do.  Then there is good old vinegar, soak bath toys much like the bleach soak but use vinegar instead and then rinse and dry in the sun.  Vinegar is a wonder cleaner, I might try this one the next time I have things that are a little dirty but I don’t think it is going to do much good on things that are as yucky as ours are at this point.


Here are a few unconvential options you can try.   Washing them in your washing machine with soap, vinegar and baking soda then drying in the sun.  I have read as well that you can use your dishwasher with just vinegar in there to get them clean.


I don’t know but I think the real thing is they need to make bath toys that resist mold and mildew and don’t collect all the gunk on them that we don’t want.  Maybe someday they will come up with something like that.  In the meantime, I think I am going to just trash what we have and buy some new bath time toys.  Maybe that is the best way to get them clean.  What do you do and what has worked for you.  Would love to know!

5 thoughts on “Cleaning Bath Toys!

  1. Thank you for these suggestions. My grandkids love playing with toys in the tub and I always want them to have clean toys to play with.

  2. Moldy bath toys are the worst. Blech. I have a rule after bath time everyone must step on the duckies ( to get the water out) it’s kinda fun and makes them last a little longer.

  3. These are some awesome tips. I am one who use to just toss and get new ones or toss in bleach but then then i would soak for for a while to rinse off. Sadly we don’t do toys in the tub anymore since we don’t have one.

  4. I’ll be the first to admit that I used to routinely throw out my kids bath toys. Every couple of months I would just toss the old ones and buy new ones. Better safe than sorry. My kids are a bit too old for bath toys now, though.

  5. For the really grubby looking toys, I spray them with bleach, then put them through the dishwasher. I like the vinegar suggestion – I’ll have to give that a shot!

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