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When to Burn the Bath Toys

March 29, 2009

A few months ago we started “mommy time” in the evenings. After dinner is done, the Husband is in charge of getting the girls in the tub and in bed. He does the whole routine from bath to jammies, to reading, to singing, to praying, to stalling, to finally sleeping.

It’s about 60 minutes that I get all to myself. Sometimes I go to the store, sometimes I screw around on Facebook or Babycenter and sometimes I actually take the dog for a walk.

One thing that I apparently should have been doing is cleaning up the bath tub once they were out of it. The Husband, bless his heart does a wonderful job of getting the girls clean and getting them in bed. One thing he doesn’t do so well is cleaning up the bath toys. He usually just leaves them all in the tub full of water, figuring they will use them again the next day. (yes, I know how his mind works. It’s just like the question of why make the bed when you are just going to get back in it?)

When I am in charge of bath time (which has been way too often recently) we clean up the toys at the end of each bath. That means the foam letters all get stuck back on the tub wall, the washcloths get wrung out and hung to dry and the squeezie toys all get squeezed out and put in the hanging mesh back to dry.

Now I realize that in time, all of the squeezie toys will get gross and need to be soaked in a bleach solution or tossed in the trash. But when you at least squeeze the water out each night, they will last a bit longer.

So tonight, the Husband is TDY again so I was in charge of the nighttime routine. The Little One picked up a rubber duck and squeezed it. A few flakes of black mold came out, so I calmly asked her if I could have it and she obliged. As y’all know the Big One is a drama queen and I was afraid that if I freaked out about the mold, she too would freak out.

I squeezed the rest of the duck out in the toilet and then thought I had better get them all. Oh my gosh! It was completely disgusting. Just a side note, the Husband was gone for three weeks, so I did tubby time. In my defense we didn’t play with the squeezie toys at all while he was gone. So these things have been harboring little mold pools for at least a month.

As I systematically grabbed each toy and squeezed it into the toilet, the Big One became more and more interested in the mold. Thankfully she didn’t freak out, she just wanted to know what was in them. I explained a little about the mold and how it grows in there. She was genuinely interested until she noticed that I was struggling with one particular toy. I could feel there was still water in there but it wasn’t coming out. Then the Big One says, “What’s that Mommy?” pointing at the toy in question.

I just about died when I looked at the toy. It was an Ernie (from Sesame Street) toy where he is holding his ruby ducky. The water is supposed to come out of the ducky’s mouth. Instead there was this thick black sludge coming out. It honestly looked like a worm hanging there. I admit, I flinched just a little when I saw it. And that’s when I decided that some toys are not worth cleaning.

So my PSA to you is this… clean you squeezie toys every now and again. I usually use a bleach and water solution to soak them and then fill them up and squeeze them out a few times. Then repeat with just clean water. And if I am feeling really oogied out by the germs, I will throw them in the dishwasher for good measure.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2009 6:55 am

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  2. fixitmommy permalink*
    March 30, 2009 9:28 am

    UGH! I need more coffee… Allison, sorry I deleted your comment and can’t figure out how to get it back. Good luck cleaning your toys!!

  3. Caitlin permalink
    March 30, 2009 12:34 pm

    I am also grossed out by the yuck that lives in bath toys so I take them all and put them in a mesh laundry bag and then I throw them in the washing machine with laundry detergent and bleach and wash them through a cycle and they come out looking 10 times better! I do this once or twice a month so they don’t too gross!

  4. Laura permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:34 pm

    Apparently, I am a horrible mother who is subjecting my children to 4 years worth of gunk…. Honestly? They don’t get clean in the bath?

    I DO get them all into the strainer after every bath, so they do dry each time. And I think we only have 1-2 squeezies, and I don’t think that there’s sludge in them, (though I honestly haven’t checked).

    Am I really the only one not doing more bath toy hygiene? If so, then God Bless my children’s immune systems… they can take on anything!

  5. Karen permalink
    April 2, 2009 1:26 pm

    ugh! gross! I feel your pain! I inspect all those dang things every time now, following a similar incident @ my house! Ive found these great, cheap little sets of 3 ducks @ target. They are supposed to lightup in the water, but that little feature lasts only ~1-2wks. The GOOD thing is THERE ARE NO HOLES

  6. Karen permalink
    April 2, 2009 1:26 pm

    ugh! gross! I feel your pain! I inspect all those dang things every time now, following a similar incident @ my house! Ive found these great, cheap little sets of 3 ducks @ target. They are supposed to lightup in the water, but that little feature lasts only ~1-2wks. The GOOD thing is THERE ARE NO HOLES

  7. Karen permalink
    April 2, 2009 1:27 pm

    ugh! gross! I feel your pain! I inspect all those dang things every time now, following a similar incident @ my house! Ive found these great, cheap little sets of 3 ducks @ target. They are supposed to lightup in the water, but that little feature lasts only ~1-2wks. The GOOD thing is THERE ARE NO HOLES in these duckies and so they dont harbor the nasties quite so much! (sorry i think i accidentally posted this 3 times…)

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