The bath toy situation has quickly gotten out of hand here.
We have far too many bath toys – not to mention regular toys that have made their way into the bath – and they are all getting quite filthy. I wouldn’t want to sit in a bath with them.
So (and these are quickly becoming my favourite words) … it is time to get organised!
Here are my tips to clean and organise your bath toys.
How to clean and organise your bath toys
1. Soak all the toys.
Pop them in a big tub with hot water and a cup of white vinegar. The solid, open toys (like stacking cups etc) can just soak. But make sure you squeeze the water out of any rubber toys with openings (rubber ducks etc) then let them fill with the vinegar water. I have a couple of dolls that are meant for the bath. To clean these take each limb and their head off and treat as though they are individual toys (tip: don’t let the kids see their dismembered ‘babies’!!)
2. Scrub the toys.
After the soak, use a rag and an old toothbrush to remove visible grime from the outside of the toys. Give the soft toys a shake to try to move some of the grime from inside then squeeze the water out (along with some gross black stuff … ew).
3. Cull/organise the toys.
Once the toys are as clean as you can get them, sort them into a few piles. My first pile is for the bin as the toys are broken or impossible to clean. The second is going back in the cupboard as they are too baby-ish for my older kids and I want them to stay clean for when my youngest is old enough to play with them. The third pile is heading to the playroom as these toys aren’t made to be full-time bath toys. And the fourth pile will return to the bathtub all shiny and new!
4. Keep the toys clean.
Now I know how hard the toys are to clean I’ll make sure to give them a bit of a wash after every bath. Remove all water from rubber duck-type toys, give them all a bit of a wipe and then make sure they are stored somewhere they can dry. I’ve found mesh bags just grow mold too so I store them in a small plastic basket which allows airflow and can easily be transported outside to dry in the sun every so often and can be wiped down to clean.
5. Choose more appropriate bath toys.
Now that I’ve seen how gross bath toys can get, and which ones are almost impossible to clean, I know which ones I’ll be buying in future (although I doubt I’ll be buying any more now the kids are getting a bit older). From now on I’ll always look for open container-type toys – cups that stack and pour – and steer clear of anything with hard-to-clean parts and places where water can get trapped.
– written by BH Editor Rebecca Galton
Image credit: kozzi/123RF Stock Photo