What You Need to Know About Bath Toys and Mold
Bathrooms are more prone to mold issues than other rooms in your home. This is because bathrooms are warm and humid. But, with mindful actions, you can control the humidity in your bathroom. Opening a window or turning on the fan while showering both help. Leaving the door open after showering is also a good idea. This allows the cooler air outside the bathroom to circulate into the bathroom. This helps lower the humidity, dry your walls and surfaces. A wet surface is a surface perfect for mold growth. All in all, good ventilation is key to preventing mold in your bathroom or any room.
But many of your children’s bath toys do not get good ventilation. The outside of the toy may dry, but the inside stays wet. This is especially true for any squirting toy. Squirt toys, like the traditional rubber duck, never get dry on the inside. This makes them a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
It’s happened to all of us. We squeeze our child’s bath toy, and black mildew comes flying out. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. Even if you clean and bleach those toys every night, mold is still possible. Here is what you need to know about moldy bath toys.
Health Concerns of Moldy Bath Toys
Moldy bath toys are not only gross but a potential health hazard for your child. Mold in your home brings with it a list of health concerns. Exposure to some molds causes headaches, coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory distress. The chances of your child having an asthma attack from the mold in their toy are slim. But there are other health risks associated with moldy bath toys.
An environment that is well suited to mold is also well suited to bacteria. Every time your child squeezes water into their toy, that water is then exposed to bacteria and mold. The water they squirt out is now contaminated even if it comes out clear.
Swallowing small amounts of this water is not likely to affect your child. Even swallowing small amounts of the mold from inside the toy is not necessarily harmful. But repeated or larger scale exposure may cause side effects. Common symptoms from oral mold exposure include vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea.
Mold exposure is a serious issue for children with mold allergies. It is also dangerous for children with compromised immune systems. An allergic reaction looks different in every child. Some signs to watch for are itchy eyes, skin, or excessive coughing and sneezing.
If you have any concerns about your child’s health, please contact their pediatrician.
How to Clean Moldy Bath Toys
Some people or internet sources recommend bleaching all bath toys after use. It is important to know that bleach absolutely does not kill mold. The only thing bleach does to mold is discolor it. Sometimes it may temporarily remove mold from the surface. But it does not kill the spores or remove them from porous surfaces. The inside of bath toys does not come clean with bleach. Why? Because they do not dry. The humidity and moist climate of the inside of the toy breed mold and bacteria.
So how do you clean moldy bath toys? The simple answer is that you don’t. In the case of squirt bath toys, once they have mold, they always have mold. The only way to get those toys dry on the inside is to cut them in half. And at that point, they are no longer usable.
Luckily, there are still great bath toy options out there! Not all toys are the perfect environment for mold.
Best Toys to Avoid Mold Growth
When it comes to bath toys, there is not a shortage of options. Bath time is a fun time for any child. But the goal is to keep your child playing and not splashing. So what toys are the best option? What both keeps their attention and is good for avoiding mold growth?
Like we said before, squirting toys are a good time. But they are not the best choice for avoiding mold growth. You want to pick any toy that dries out completely between bath times. Or a toy that does not allow water to pass through at all. Be careful with some of the soft, plastic, floating toys. They sometimes have a hole in the bottom. It isn’t meant for squirting, but water gets trapped inside the toy because of it. You can still use these toys, though! Before you use them for the first time, plug the hole. Hot glue or super glue works great for this.
Hard plastic toys are less likely to grow mold or mildew. Cups, funnels, spoons, or even small bowls are great bath time toys. These toys are also open-ended. This means that they encourage critical thinking and creativity. Your child gets to decide how to play with them because they do not come with rules!
Glow sticks are another fun bath activity, sure to entertain your children. Give them a few glow sticks and turn off the lights during bath time. Now you have a bathtub disco party! Add bubbles for an extra sensory experience for your littles.
Playing with different size cups, bowls, and strainers is also a good science lesson. Playing with different size containers shows your child the first steps to understanding volume. How much water can each container hold?
You want their first science lessons to be fun. Not filled with mold. So remember to let all bath toys dry before storing them for next time.
Need Help With a Mold Problem?
Have you spotted mold in your home? Give iMold a call at (239) 208-6572. Our team full of certified professionals. We take your mold situation seriously. We work fast and by the book. It is important to us to use not only the best mold removal product but the best process. Each one of our team members is mold remediation trained.
Schedule your free inspection today. The best defense against mold is a quick offense. Contact us at the first sign of mold. Mold quickly becomes a large problem if left untreated.
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