Back when I was designing the original ScrubBEE prototype, I remember having a specific conversation about the handle. I’d submitted a design file representing the product with a solid core. Upon review, my factory suggested I make the handle hollow instead. See, they know the costs of materials like the back of their hands (the cost of silicone is pretty high), and they didn’t want me putting money into materials unnecessarily. What they didn’t know at the time was that there were two important reasons I wanted that handle to be solid: (1) I needed to provide a nice, firm grip to make it easy for little hands to hold, and (2) I didn’t want to create a trap where yucky stuff could grow.
Have you seen all the icky pictures of plastic bath toys with moldy cores? I saw a picture like that for the first time when the Little Bee was about a year old. Panicked new mom that I was, I immediately grabbed all of her bath toys and chucked them in the trash. All those cute squirt toys? Gone! And I detest waste, so that was a big deal for me! While I no longer buy bath toys that can trap water, some still make their way into my life. Prizes from the preschool treasure chest, party favors, you know how it goes. Fortunately, my friend Stephanie Moram, Good Girl Gone Green, shared some great tips on how to keep it a little cleaner in the tub, even if those bath toys aren’t designed as I’d like:
Empty 'Em Out
After bath time is over, squirt any excess water out of the toys with holes until they’re as empty as possible. Then, when you store them for the next use, keep them in a toy net or container with holes to let the air flow.
Plug the Holes
If you have a glue gun, you can easily turn a toy with a hole into a toy without a hole. Use a dollop of glue to plug the hole so water can no longer get stuck inside. No, it will no longer be a squirt toy, but it will still be cute and fun!
Give the Bath Toys a Bath
Clean the bath toys on a weekly basis. Give them a soak in a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar. For the squirting toys, be sure to fill the insides with the solution as well. Soak them for about 10 minutes. (Full Transparency: I don’t actually do this one. I mean, I can barely motivate myself to do the laundry on a weekly basis, so this would be a bit of a stretch. But in a perfect world, I totally would!)
Bath toys still a little grimy on the outside? Use your ScrubBEE to scrub it off!