How to Clean Bath Toys Inside

How to clean bath toys

The fact is that the inside of kids bath toys are the perfect breeding ground for mould and bacteria. It’s a moist dark environment with little bits of dead skin and soap scum mixed in with the water. Nice!

While the idea of this might have you wanting to throw any offending toys straight in the rubbish bin, in reality, it’s probably not actually that dangerous for your child. And in fact, exposure to small amounts of bacteria can actually strengthen your child’s immune system.

Still most of us would be happier if it wasn’t there. So the good news is that there are ways you can clean your kid's bath toys, inside and out, and things you can do to help keep them clean.

First things first

There are basically two ways to clean the insides of your bath toys. Either by soaking them in something that will kill the nasties or boiling them to sterilise them.

Before doing either of these things you want to make sure they are as clean as possible so if you feel they are dirty giving them a good rinse and a bit of a scrub in hot soapy water. For toys with holes in like the classic rubber ducky or other squirty of squeaky toys fill them with your hot soapy water, give them a shake and squirt out, repeating until the water runs clean.


Providing your bath toys can take the heat boiling is a great method of sterilisation that requires nothing but water. Note: this method is not suitable for natural rubber bath toys as the high heat will degrade the rubber.

Step 1. Take the toys you have cleaned and pop them in a pan of cold water, enough to cover the toys.

Step 2. Place the pan on the heat and bring to the boil. Cover and boil for 15minutes.

Step 3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.

Step 4. Remove the toys, empty of any water and leave them to dry on a cooling rack or towel. Drying in the sun will not only speed up the process but improve the results as well. Just don’t leave them in the sun too long or the colour will fade.

Soaking the toys

There are a number of different options for soaking toys including Milton, Bleach and Vinegar. Which you choose is totally up to you. Obviously vinegar is the most natural choice, and you can also use a vinegar solution on natural rubber toys without damaging them.

Again start with toys you have cleaned as well as possible to get rid of surface grime. Make up your solution and ensure toys are full of it. This is easier said than done with squirty toys so you might want to do it twice sitting them upside down the second time to be sure you’ve got all the inside surfaces of the toy.

Leave the toys to soak for an hour (or even overnight) then rinse thoroughly. This is particularly important if you are using bleach.

Allow toys to dry fully before giving them back to your child.

If you still feel the insides aren’t clean you can cut a larger hole in squeezy toys to allow you to scrub the inside of the toys.

Sealing up holes in new toys will stop water from getting inside and keep them clean.

Next up: read our article on when to introduce bath toys here.

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