How To Get The Yuck Out of the Ducks, Other Bath Toys and Items and The Bathtub Itself

Oh Yuk Jetted Tub System CleanerWhen this Grandma tries to get to the source of a series of articles, I find some really obscure on line journals.  The one for the source of learning that rubber ducks and other such bath toys and bath items that retain bath water grow very bad bacteria and fungus, a Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and University of Illinois microbe study, led me to the Journal Biofilms and Microbiomes.

I had no idea what biofilms and microbiomes are, and now I know they have something to do with diseases, especially of the skin.  There are articles about other diseases, such as colitis, so take a look at the website. See this link.

If you want to read the actual study, go to this link.

What I do know is what I have seen with my own eyes.  My seven year old grandson, as much as the other grandchildren until they were about eight years old, loves to take baths with as many toys as possible.  Sometimes it was hard to find the grandchild among the mass of toys.  Yes, a rubber duck is a must but so are water boats and other toys that retain drained bath water.  I did not have to be a genius or even know what biofilms and microbiomes are to know there was a clear yuck factor with the bath and the toys.

There were many news sources that reported on the issue but I liked the article in the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, April 6, 2018, in “Rubber Duck Just Yuck, Microbes Study Finds,” where the authors, Frank Jordans and Jamey Keathen wrote:

“Tap water doesn’t usually foster the growth of bacteria, the scientists said, but low-quality polymers in the plastic materials give them the nitrients they need.  Bodily fluids–like urine and sweat–as well as contaminants and even soap in the bathwater add microbes and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus and create balmy brine for bacteria.”

This Grandma has written that sometimes we keep our grandchildren from germs to their detriment, as some germs build their immune systems, and about other germs that surround our grandchildren.  See post, “More Germs Than We Want to Know About Surround Us.”

However, too much yuck in the bathtub can lead to eye, ear and intestinal infections.

What I liked about this Sun Sentinel article is that the authors gave some solutions, such as that lists a rubber duck that is advertised as watertight to prevent mildew among its top sellers in its “baby bath toys” category.  However, I could not find it!

On my own, before I knew about the study, I added bleach to water in the bathtub and dumped the toys in and allowed them to soak.  Then I noticed that this jacuzzi tub was oozing black gunk from the jets.  I bet the Swiss did not think of this!  On Amazon, I found Oh Yuk Jetted Tub System Cleaner and cleaned the tub first.

Little did I know that then soaking the tub toys in bleach and water and rinsing well and airing out to dry on towels would not do the job well enough.  Now, in addition to cleaning the toys I can, I know to let the parents of the grandchildren to get rid of any tub toy which holds bath water when the tub is empty.

Bath toys now become a more expensive item because we grandmas can only look for bath toys made of a higher quality plastic and those that are watertight to prevent fungus and bacteria, if you can find them, replace toys often, or learn how to clean those that are not the worst offenders.  Check out this link.

We also need to share how to clean that newborn body sponge that holds the baby.  See this link.

As shared about newborns, on the website:

“Neha Kapoor observed round shaped red spots about the size of a pinhead on the buttocks, under arms and hands of her daughter after sponge bathing for a week. She didn’t pay serious attention to it assuming they would disappear of their own. The red spots started appearing on her cheeks and ears too, before a post medical examination diagnosed her with a fungal infection that was carried from the bath sponge.”

Bathtime is playtime as you can see by the hundreds of bath toys available on the market.  We only want our grandchildren to be clean, but now we have to be extra careful about the toys they play with in the bath.

Remember our own sponges, loofahs, and the like as well!













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