TikTok Mom Warns of Mold in Baby Bath Toys

by David Allen
Published: Last Updated on

A concerned parent took to social media Sunday, Nov. 13 to share that large amounts of dark brown mold had grown in one of her baby’s bath toys after about two weeks of on-and-off use.

“If you have these in your bath tub — TOSS THEM,” says the mother, Ms. Lauren R., who goes by the TikTok handle @lomo1294.

“Two weeks in and out of the bath and this is the amount of #mold inside them. These shouldn’t even be legal, any squirting bath toy is a breeding ground for mold. Toss them!”

Mother Lauren R. in a TikTok video seen 205,000 times.

“We bought these for the pool but two of them ended up in the bath a few weeks ago because #toddlers…,” the mother shared in her video’s caption.

Yellow squirtigator had mold

The now-moldy bath toy, by popular brand B. Toys, appears on Target.com under the name “B. Toys Animal Bath Squirts – Squish and Splash Cat.”

Of the nine different animals the set contains, only the alligator is shown to be moldy in the mother’s video.

But other buyers of the same product have also shared mold growth in previous product reviews.

Some viewers commented that baby toys with small holes in them should never be used in bathtubs.

But the mother points out that even the product entry on Target.com says the toys are intended as “Animal Bath Squirts.”

Many similar infant squirt toys exist on Amazon and at other retail outlets.

Other parents shared more positive experiences with what they say are the same toys:

“Had these for over a year now[,] decided to cut one and it was perfectly fine. Gonna drain them out after every use to prevent this. Not mom shaming just informing,” parent Tanner Hiltz commented.

@lomo1294 So… hear me out – we bought these for the pool but 2 of them ended up in the bath a few weeks ago because #toddlers … 2 weeks in and out of the bath and this is the amount of #mold inside them. These shouldn’t even be legal, any squirting bath toy is a breeding ground for mold. Toss them! #babiesoftiktok #bathtoys #candycrush10 #momtok #ChevyEVSongContest #sick #btoys #targetfinds ♬ Oh No – Kreepa

Clean “with soap and water”

Viewers recommended plugging the squirt toy’s holes with hot glue, cleaning them in bleach, or vinegar, or alcohol, or scalding hot water.

On Target.com, a data table with the product entry advises users that “Care & Cleaning” consists of “Wash With Soap and Water.”

But in reply to multiple past reports of mold, the toy manufacturing company has provided more information, detailed below.

Bath toy buyers share more mold stories

It’s important to understand that all baby bath toys with holes in them may, sooner or later, grow moldy.

Mold can grow in any bath toy that water can get into. Routine cleaning can prevent it and distilled white vinegar is usually recommended as the best nontoxic way to clean baby bath toys.

Bleach should be avoided, particularly with children in the house.

The baby bath squirt toys under discussion by parent Lauren R. on TikTok are rated 4.5 out of 5-stars on Target.com, with 75% of buyers saying they’d recommend it (16 recommendations total).

But four past users of this bath toy set have shared their own photos of the toys growing moldy:

“They will mold no matter how much you clean them.”

One parent who bought the squirt toys says, “They will mold no matter how much you clean them.” — MsBrittanie – 2 years ago, on Target.com

[Company response: Hi MsBrittainie! We’re sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the design of our B. Toys Animal Bath Squirts! Your feedback has been forwarded to our design and engineering teams for review. We always appreciate honest reviews – whether in our favor or not! It helps us make our toys better. Thank you for taking the time to write us. Sincerely, Team Battat.]


“Mold Trap!”

Another parent called the squirt toys a mold trap and shared that mold grew inside the squirt toys within two months of her buying them.

“MOLD TRAP! Very cute but I diligently squeezed all water out of them after my son’s baths each time and left them to dry & they grew this much mold within 2 months of purchasing! So disgusting! Very cute and my son loved them but not ok! Avoid these toys or any bath toys with holes!” — mamat – 2 years ago, on Target.com

[Company response: Hi mamat – We are sorry to hear you are disappointed in the B. Toys Animal Bath Squirts. All bath toys, whether they squirt water or not, can develop mold over time if not cleaned properly.

“Recommended cleaning: Toys that go in the bathtub need to be cleaned extra carefully to avoid water accumulation, which can lead to mold growth over time.

“Here’s our recommended cleaning method to disinfect toys using only natural/non-toxic products: Simply fill a bowl with hot water (about 4 cups) and add in 1/4 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda (you can also add in a few drops of baby-safe essential oils like Eucalyptus or Mandarin).

“Place your toys inside your cleaning concoction and suck up some of it to disinfect the interior. Let sit overnight and rinse thoroughly in the morning! We hope you find this helpful, and that your son can enjoy these little cuties for years to come. Sincerely, Team Battat”] (Emphasis added in bold; link added.)


“I thought these were great toys”

A third parent who shared her experience with the moldy bath toys said her daughter loved them but they grew moldy even though they were drained after each use.

“My daughter absolutely loved these toys. The turtle was her favorite until we discovered a surprise inside. I was upset to find that this was inside toy even after draining them out after using them. My daughter usually puts to mouth and bites sometimes and to know this could be what upsets her stomach. I wish there was a better way to clean inside. I’ve attempted to contact the company as well about this issue.” — Jaunai – 2 years ago. on Target.com

[Company response: None noted.]


“Moldy”

“Moldy after two months, super cute trashed despite efforts to empty water. Seems the larger hole for squirting somehow meant it molded faster.” — 1 year ago, Verified purchaser, on Target.com

[Company response: Hi Sarah – We are sorry to hear you are disappointed in the B. Toys Animal Bath Squirts. All bath toys, whether they squirt water or not, can develop mold over time if not cleaned properly. Recommended cleaning: Toys that go in the bathtub need to be cleaned extra carefully to avoid water accumulation, which can lead to mold growth over time. Here’s our recommended cleaning method to disinfect toys using only natural/non-toxic products: Simply fill a bowl with hot water (about 4 cups) and add in 1/4 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda (you can also add in a few drops of baby-safe essential oils like Eucalyptus or Mandarin). Place your toys inside your cleaning concoction and suck up some of it to disinfect the interior. Let sit overnight and rinse thoroughly in the morning! We hope you find this helpful, and that your kiddo(s) can enjoy these little cuties for years to come. Sincerely, Team Battat]

All bath toys that squirt water can grow mold

Again, it’s important to note that all bath toys with one or more holes in them are prone to mold growth.

There are no obvious features of the above toys that make them more likely to mold than any other company’s bath toys.

If a bath toy has a hole in it, mold can grow inside of it.

It does not matter what company manufactures the bath toy.

When and how to clean baths toys to prevent mold

Mold can grow in bath toys in as little as 24-48 hours, but it’s up to you often how you choose to clean them.

To prevent mold growth in bath toys, you wouldn’t need to clean them thoroughly each day, but should consider laying them out to fully dry after each bath, and plan on cleaning them with distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda every 2-4 weeks.

For more on preventing, killing, and cleaning moldy bath toys, see 10 Ways to Clean Mold in Bath Toys.

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