I had been out of my house for a month, and came back to find that my toddler feeder and my mug in the sink had mould on them.

I am not sure if it is safe to give my kid milk in his feeder, or to use my mug. Though I washed it, I'm still not sure.

What is that mould/fungus green stuff? Should I just throw away the feeder and mug? Is it unsafe to my health?

  • What materials are we talking about? – Stephie Sep 26 '19 at 5:45
  • Not sure about mug but feeder is plastic – localhost Sep 26 '19 at 7:33
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    Compared to the things your child will put in its mouth over the first three years of its life it's likely quite benign once thoroughly washed. If you have pets you child may already have ingested far worse. Most environments see you covered in/breathing mold and spores all the time (if there weren't any spores in your environment or the food in the feeder it wouldn't have gone moldy). Wash it well and crack on! – Caius Jard Oct 6 '19 at 17:34

Even if you clean them, it is hard to know that you have cleaned them completely. This is especially true if there are any grooves, cracks, or hard-to-reach places in them (like a built-in straw or other opening). If there is still mold in grooves / cracks / openings, it could turn out to be poisonous. This could be especially dangerous for your child, whose immune system is not as well-developed as yours. I would throw them away.

  • Threw them but not sure about a cooking pot which had water it in and spoons – localhost Oct 6 '19 at 18:34
  • Water will penetrate any groove, crack, hard-to-reach place, etc. Mold can't hide. Boil the items, soak them in a chlorine solution, and all mold (and other harmful organisms) will be completely destroyed. – user151841 Nov 19 '19 at 16:53
  • @user151841 That's mostly true, but surface tension can prevent water from entering a tiny cavity that has air in it. Since mold could be poisonous (and the items are not very expensive) it's not worth the risk. – BrettFromLA Nov 20 '19 at 1:11

Mould is an organism that grows where there is sufficient nutrient and moisture.

Plastic and ceramic are both non-porous surfaces that prevent the fungus from becoming embedded in the material itself.

Physically, clean the mould from the surfaces with a paper towel or scraper and rinse the surfaces.

Then, clean the dishes in normal hot soap and water. Afterwards, you can use a solution of one part each of white vinegar and water to wash with also.

Alternatively, you can run them both through a normal wash cycle in a dishwasher. The soap, hot water, and jet-action of the cycle will be sufficient to kill the spores, and any residual "stuff" (the technical term.)

A fine article with more detail can be found at Hunker.com

Good Luck

  • 2
    Mould is not a plant. It is a fungus. – electronpusher Oct 9 '19 at 16:09

What is that mould/fungus green stuff? Is it unsafe to my health?

It is definitely unsafe for anyone's health. Do not ingest it under any circumstances. Do not feed it to anyone else either.

If the surfaces of the mug / feeder are good, then normal washing should do it. Maybe more careful washing than usual.

For extra safety, you may let then sunk in a concentrated solution of baking soda. Also, have them cleaned with a good alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide.

Another simple disinfection method: just boil them for about 30 min. Pretty much everything will die. It will damage plastic, so be warned.

However, if they are ceramic (of any kind, or any porous material) and have cracks, fissures, dents, they might already have more-or-less dangerous colonies built inside the walls.

Things to try in this case, after proper cleaning (see above).

Alternative 1: first use you mug for 2-3 days. If nothings bad happens, use the feeder - maybe even on yourself first. Then on the child, monitoring the result. If nothing happens in 2-3 days, they are completely safe.

Alternative 2: especially if they are cheap, throw them away and buy new ones.

Note: I have no idea how the feeder looks like, I just assume it can be used by an adult.


A long soak in a salt and hydrogen peroxide mixture may also do the trick. I had once read that such a solution can create a mild hydrochloric acid. It has worked in the past whenever food has been stuck in a plastic container in the refrigerator for a long time and began to have some something growing on it. After the 24 hour soak in the solution and a quick scrub in dish soap, the container was as good as new.


Mould is totally destroyed by bleach. This situation occasionally happens at home. I first wash out the mould with hot water and detergent and then leave the object in bleach which gets into the cracks.

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    Hi user1741137, Welcome to Lifehacks. Note that bleach does not kill mould on porous surfaces such as wood and can actually spread it as it does not reach the roots of the fungus. Better is vinegar which also works on porous surfaces and non-porous surfaces too. – Stan Sep 27 '19 at 14:49
  • I'll believe you about this point concerning wood, but from what I read this is not a wood mug. As for vinegar versus wood, do you have any experimental evidence? – user1741137 Oct 8 '19 at 17:10

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