Staying Mold Free: How to Clean Water Toys

Bath time is almost a daily occurrence here, and bath toys are quickly gaining popularity. As the weather warms, our water table has also been gaining popularity! However, I cringe every time my little one picks out the “squeeze” toys that fill with water! The idea of mold possibly growing in them is something I can’t shake …and of course they’re her favorite.

So, I set out to do some research on the how to clean water toys! After a little trial and error, this is what I found works best for us. I hope it helps you as well!

Staying Mold Free: How to Clean Water ToysPrevention

Prevention is the best way to start. One genius hack I discovered? Glue any holes on the toys shut, so they become water-tight. This keeps mold from ever being able to develop on the inside, where it’s harder for you to discover! However, I know how much fun the squeeze-able toys can be! So, I’ve also included ways to make sure those stay clean should you decide not to glue them shut. If you are gluing used toys, follow the steps below to ensure they are clean and dry on the inside first.

Deep Cleaning

First, to start fresh, clean the toys in a bleach bath. If you are wary of using bleach around littles, vinegar or a natural-based toy cleaning solution would be good options as well. One cup of bleach in a gallon of hot water should do the trick. Let them soak at least an hour, making sure any squeeze toys get solution on the inside too. After they have soaked, rinse them a few times to make sure they are clean. For any squeeze toys, a good shaking helps to make sure anything inside is loosened up and rinsed away! Lastly, rinse in clean hot water to remove any bleach, and let air dry completely. For toys that don’t come clean easily, toss and start new.

Once toys are clean, either leave them as they are, or glue them shut as described above! We glued some, but my daughter loves the squeeze toys, so we left a few as is for her to play with, and I take extra precaution to make sure they stay clean.


Make sure after play time, there is no water left inside toys, and air dry. An easy way to do this is to have two small sets of water toys to rotate, so they aren’t used as often. Another factor you may not have considered is storage—while a plastic container is handy, it does not let air flow and therefore some of the toys stay wet longer. Try a mesh storage bag!

Lastly, a quick wipe down with a cleaning agent periodically, or even a run through the dishwasher, will help them stay clean in between the deep cleanings.

Staying Mold Free: How to Clean Water Toys

Are there any bath-time tricks that you have learned? We love incorporating baths into our nightly routine! They seem to help our daughter play out her last bits of energy before bed, and get squeaky clean in the meantime. I love knowing that her toys are clean, too!

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