In the March issue of ShopSmart, put out by the publisher of Consumer Reports, experts analyzed used baby gear to determine “when you can gratefully say yes and when you should gracefully say no thanks.”  I am devoting several posts to discussing their findings.

Here’s what ShopSmart has to say about bath products:

Safe: Used baby bathtubs are fine as long as the lining isn’t full of mold or mildew.

Not Safe: If the tub has an odor of either of these, say no thanks because they can be hard to remove. Also, skip secondhand bath seats, bath rings, and inflatable tubs since they have been responsible for many deaths among babies.

While I’d obviously steer clear of the bath seats, rings, and inflatable tubs, I wonder how hard is it, really, to remove mold or mildew from a baby bath?  A spritz of vinegar or a scrub with soapy water, or even a douse of boiling water would probably clean a baby bathtub up just fine.  I hate to think of tossing a huge hunk of plastic into a landfill and then buying a brand new one made from crude oils.  It’s obviously greener to find a used one and try to wash it off.

Full disclosure: We decided we needed a baby bathtub after our daughter outgrew the bathroom sink.  (The kitchen sink wouldn’t work for a variety of reasons.)  We found a plastic tub at the consignment store–sitting under a tree in the rain and mud.  We took it home, washed off a layer of dirt and pine needles, and it worked just fine for a few months before Audrey graduated to the full bath.

Do I need to take dirt a little more seriously?  Am I throwing caution to the wind?  Or will my strength in the face of grime end up saving the planet?  A secondhand baby bathtub worked for me.  For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer.