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06/07/2012 08:52 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

How To Clean Water Toys For Safe, Summer Fun

Water toys are a timeless pleasure: whether it's an inflatable raft or a plastic beach ball, they keep both adults and children amused for hours on end. But don't let that slick surface fool you: just because they spend their days in the water doesn't mean they're clean; all that plastic and foam still requires the occasional scrub. Sure, the chlorine in pools sanitizes your toys, but when they're not dried properly, mildew and mold still lurk around. (Especially on those porous pool noodles.) And if you use them in non-chlorinated water, you may start to feel a slimy film, which is growing algae. (Mmmm!)

To clean your water toys, pour two cups of household bleach into one gallon of water and mix. Sponge the solution over your toys and scrub any grime off with a soft-bristled brush. Then, rinse down with the water hose. Completely air dry before storing or pat down with a towel for faster results. Just make sure there's no moisture left for mold or mildew to grow again.

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