How to Clean Bath Toys in Dishwasher

If not cleaned regularly and adequately, blue whale, turtle, ducky, and all tub friends can potentially harm your kids. Bacteria and mold find breeding places in rubber or plastic playthings. It helps to know how to clean bath toys in the dishwasher.

The dishwasher is a versatile kitchen implement that can clean things that you usually wouldn’t call dishes. Dirty bath toys, especially those marked dishwasher safe, can either go into the top rack individually or be wrapped in a mesh bag. Give tub toys a weekly trip to the dishwasher using regular washing liquid with the heated cycle will completely clean dirty toys, saving children from harmful microbes.

It’s also easy to clean out your dishwasher after washing bath toys and before you can pop in your next load of dishes. Where black mold and other grime have built up on toys, bleach comes in handy. Please keep reading to learn to ensure that kids are safe even when they put bath toys in their mouths during bath time.

Can I Put Toys in the Dishwasher?

Yes, except those made of wood, metal, or BPA-containing plastics, most bath toys can go into the dishwasher. They can go on the top shelf by themselves, or you can use a laundry mesh bag to place them together. You must ensure none falls to the bottom shelf since high heat will make them melt.

Washing bath toys using regular dishwasher liquid and warm water may clean them, but germs won’t die. Your dishwasher may offer a sanitizing cycle that’ll help zap pathogens such as bacteria and flu-causing viruses. However, the high heat associated with such cleaning will melt some plastic toys, and you can use chlorine bleach with similar results.

I usually add a tablespoon of chlorine to the soap compartment of the dishwasher, and you can do the same with white vinegar. You can use hydrogen peroxide to sanitize bath toys before popping them into the dishwasher. Place the playthings on the top shelf of your machine as items can get deformed by the water heating elements at the bottom.

You can use the dry cycle with rubber toys, and I recommend taking the plastic ones out or skipping this altogether. Toweling them and then exposing them to warm airflow to dry works better. Other less-well-known disinfectants that are safe for dishwasher bath toy cleaning include straight vodka and tea tree oil.

Which Bath Toys Should You Clean in Dishwasher?

Bath toys are essential for keeping babies and toddlers entertained long enough so you can bathe them. While bathrooms are every mother’s target for clean surfaces that could contaminate your kids, how clean are the toys? Since these splash friends almost always end up in your child’s mouth, it is unhealthy if there’s mold or bacteria on and within the toy.

The great news is that the dishwasher will help sanitize your bath toys. Check if they’re dishwasher safe when washed in hot temperatures. Toys made of silicone are alright, but other plastics may not be Bisphenol A or BPA free. This chemical, a typical building block in many plastics and resins, has adverse effects on your child’s prostate gland and brain. BPA is linked to juvenile behavioral problems.

Once you’ve ascertained that your child’s bath toys are BPA-free and dishwasher safe, use some bleach or hydrogen peroxide for moldy and grimy toys. Ensure you rinse and dry thoroughly.

What’s the Importance of Cleaning Bath Toys in Dishwasher?

Thorough cleaning of your bath toys in the dishwasher once in a while prevents them from becoming a haven for mold, mildew, and bacteria. Washing the outside of rubber and plastic floating toys after a bath is not enough. That only makes them appear clean while they’re not because the inside is another matter.

To aid floatation on water, most bath toys have hollowed-out insides. Others have tiny holes where air can enter when they are squeezed, emitting squeaks or spouting water. Such toys don’t dry out, and being opaque, they have no light inside them, creating a dark, damp ecosystem that microbes love. Mold is the most noticeable of these, especially the black kind that’s exceptionally poisonous when ingested.

You can see examples of black mold as that dark stain collecting inside yellow ducky’s flipper. Discolorations that start to show within the dark recesses of rubber and plastic bath toys aren’t soap residues but poisonous fungi that’ll soon find their way to your infant or toddler’s mouth.

Which Germs are Found in Unclean Bath Toys. How Do They Affect Your Child?

Squirt bath toys with holes where water and airflow often collect black bits within. You’ll sometimes see them coming out in water spouts or as dark shades on a toy’s appendages. A Swiss study found that 80% of bath toys contain bacteria that can cause diseases. These include legionella and E-coli, alongside molds and other fungi.

The leading researcher for the study, Lisa Neu, concluded that such biofilm-containing toys lead to ear, eye, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and wound infections. On the scary side, excessive black mold exposure can lead to hemorrhagic pneumonia, fatal in infants. However, she confirmed that washing bath toys properly could help reduce the risks.

Mold is widespread, and any constantly wet toy will develop some on the outside and inside. While many fungi types aren’t harmful and help boost your child’s immunity, it makes sense to clean bath time playthings regularly. It’s imperative to sanitize toys if your child has underlying health issues like asthma or juvenile diabetes. That means they’re immune-compromised.


Bathtime is better and cleaner with bath toys that squirt, float or sink. As a mom, your dishwasher machine has many functions. One of these can be sanitizing and making water tub playthings free of disease-causing mold, viruses, or bacteria. Regular dishwasher cleaning will keep your children safe whether your toys are made of plastic, silicone, and rubber or if they feature holes or are without.

Buy bath toys that are dishwasher safe and look for BPA, Phthalate, or PVC-free varieties. Hermetically sealed playthings will discourage mold growth, and high-grade silicone is sterilizer-safe and non-toxic. With regular cleaning and sanitization of bath toys in your dishwasher, you’ll have a lot less to worry about.