You know all those cute little plastic bath toys that kids love to have in the tub? You might want to consider throwing every one of them in the garbage.
You’d be surprised to see what’s lurking inside of those innocuous little rubber toys. You would think, since they float along in the soapy bubbles, that they get clean inside and out. You’d be wrong.
One brave soul, YouTuber Vivia Frei, decided to investigate what the inside of a rubber bath toy looks like and he discovered a whole lot of mold.
In one video, he slices a toy open to reveal a bunch of black goop inside, even running his finger along the substance to further demonstrate. In the video, he notes: “That black stuff is mold, in bath toys that children play with and sometimes drink the water out of.” Yeah, think about that for a second.
Mold produces allergens and, in some cases, can be toxic, especially when inhaling it or coming into contact with it.
Frei wrote in the YouTube description of a cautionary rubber duckie video: “I noticed some discolored water oozing from rubber ducky’s mouth in the tub. I knew exactly what it was. Decided to cut open old rubber ducky, and what I found inside was a disgusting, moldy death trap. Of sort. But not really a death trap. Still pretty disgusting though. Enjoy! Peace out! And chuck your rubber duckies!!!”
While you may want to ban all rubber bath toys for their potential to grow mold, one commenter on The Daily Mail’s coverage of the story offered this potential solution: “These toys typical have a small air vent. When my daughter was bath toy age (long ago, she’s 19 now) I used to put a little bleach in a pail of water and suck it into the toys like a syringe, swirl it around, and quirt it out again. Never had a problem with mildew.”
He added: “Do this once a week and you’ll never have this problem.”
Another commenter noted: “Here’s the thing – if a rubber toy or cleaning implement has a hole in the base then moisture will get into it. So what do you think you should do? Clean it often. Likewise clean your washing machine and dishwasher regularly to avoid aspergillus infection, because once it takes hold in a house it is very difficult to remove.”
Another person offered this suggestion: “That’s why you replace those toys after a few months. Another option is to buy toys that dont squeeze, they last a lot longer.” True enough, there are plenty of bath toys available that don’t have a point of entry for water to get inside.
Care.com recommends that “once mold has gotten into a product, it’s not always easy to clean adequately. For small items like bath toys and sippy cups, replacement is the best plan.”
However, if you want to clean the toys, the site suggests: “soak them overnight in a mixture of 3/4 of a cup of bleach to one gallon of water, and then allow them to air dry.”