How To Clean Pack N Play Mattress (3 Ways)

Do you have any ideas on how to clean a pack and play mattress? The solution is simple. When a new baby is on the way, the first thing most parents look for is the perfect baby mattress.

Most parents have a pack n play on their must-have items list when they have a new baby at home. It is very handy to have in the home and while you travel.

Pack n play can be referred to as playard, playpen and a myriad of other names, but it is a foldable crib-like baby item that provides parents with a safe space for their little ones to play and sleep.

These pack n play’s are so versatile and are used on a daily basis, which means they can get pretty yucky, pretty quickly.

The good news is, a lot of these pack n plays were designed for easy cleaning and sanitizing, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to properly do that so your little one has a clean and safe space to be in.

If you are curious about which pack n play you want to purchase, here is a wonderful guide to help you out.

If you are here to learn how to clean pack n play mattresses and the entire unit, then keep reading.

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Before you clean your pack n play, there are 3 main cleaning strategies you can consider.

Depending on how deep of a clean you need, these are all great ways to ensure your little one has a clean and sanitized playard.

It is a good idea to give your pack n play a thorough deep clean once a month if you are using the unit on a daily basis, and less often if you’re using it less. It’s a good idea to give it a good wipe down on a daily basis as well, to ensure you are keeping it safe and clean for your baby.

Why It’s Important To Clean Your Pack n Play

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests cleaning infant toys on a regular basis to remove dirt and bacteria. There is no hard and fast rule that states you must clean your child’s toys every day or even on a regular basis. However, it is reasonable to conclude that the same is true for a pack and play.

And, to avoid a buildup of mould or mildew in your child’s pack and play, use at least one of these cleaning procedures.

Mold has the potential to grow over time if your pack and play is not properly cleaned. It may also become discoloured if you do not keep up with spills or normal infant messes.

It may be tough to maintain it spot cleaned on a regular basis, but in order to avoid future concerns with the cleanliness of your pack and play, you can avoid severe problems that may end in the removal of the yard altogether. 

How Often Should I Clean My Graco Pack N Play Mattress?

Your child’s play mattress should be a safe refuge for him or her. So, how frequently should you wash your Pack N Play Mattress? The sheets in the infant mattress should be washed twice a week.

Remember that here is where saliva, perspiration, milk, and food spills gather. Every two weeks, blankets and comforters should be washed. I recommend washing them in a machine with hypoallergenic detergent.

Also, replace your baby’s pillowcase twice a week. In addition, to keep dust and grime at bay, their cushions may be cleaned once a month.

Check Your Owner’s Manual

Before cleaning your travel crib, play yard, or pack ‘n play, consult your owner’s handbook to see what cleansers are advised, as well as any special recommendations. For example, the Graco website recommends using household soap and warm water instead of bleach.

Graco also recommends leaving the pack ‘n play to drip dry, although the carrying bag is machine washable. Hang the bag to dry after washing it in lukewarm water without detergent.

If you have sand in your pack ‘n play following a day at the beach, be extremely careful when removing it. The top rail and lock are readily scratched by sand. In addition, if you have lost or forgotten the instruction manual for your specific pack ‘n play, you may go to the company’s website for cleaning instructions or search for a downloaded copy.

It’s also worth noting that most mattresses in pack ‘n’ plays, travel cribs and play yards aren’t waterproof, so avoid immersing them in water. You may clean them with a damp cloth or buy waterproof mattress coverings made particularly for your make and model.

How To Clean A Pack And Play Mattress: A Complete Guide

To clean and disinfect your pack and play, follow these three steps. It’s totally up to you whether you stick to one approach or alternate between them, but it’s always nice to have choices.

Wipe Down: To stay on top of any spit up messes and stains, a wipe down method is a good way to ensure your pack n play stays clean. To use this method, it is best to use a vinegar-water solution and spray it onto the mattress directly, followed by a dry rag to clean and dry the mattress. If you don’t enjoy cleaning with vinegar, then a natural cleaning solution that is baby safe will do. We love the Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner for these types of things!

To begin, mix a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water in your spray bottle. This can be used to remove some of the stains that come up all too frequently when you have little children.
Then look for stains in your Pack and Play, which will occur frequently as your baby grows older.
Dab the area to absorb as much liquid as possible before spraying it with the white vinegar and water solution.

Allow it to soak for a few minutes before dabbing the affected area again. You may also use a cleaning solution that is suitable for your infant.
Allow drying fully in the open air.

Rinse: To effectively clean the entire unit, it’s a good idea to take the whole thing outside or into your bathtub so you can give it a good rinse. Most playpen mattresses have covers that you can take off, so you can just throw that into the washing machine. To wash the rest of the unit properly, take out the mattress and put it into the bathtub. Mix a solution of baby-safe laundry detergent and water and use a brush to scrub down the mattress. Be sure to rinse it off well and then leave it to drip dry. It’s always nice to leave it in the sunshine for drying, but the bathroom will do as well.

Deep Clean: You can thoroughly clean your pack ‘n play if you’ve owned it for a long or if it’s especially filthy—say, slathered in peanut butter and jelly filthy. However, keep in mind that this method of cleaning is not usually included in the manufacturer’s instructions. As a result, you must evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of this technique. After using this cleaning procedure, be sure to not only give it enough time to dry, but also to examine all of the moving components and locking mechanisms to ensure they are all in functioning condition.

If you wish to deep clean your pack ‘n play, follow these steps:

Remove the mattress pad and fold up the play yard. Fill your bathtub halfway with warm water and the following ingredients:

  • 12 cup baby-friendly laundry detergent
  • a quarter cup of vinegar
  • a quarter cup of baking soda

Once your tub is full and the materials are properly mixed, carefully submerge your folded pack ‘n play, travel crib, or play yard in the water for one hour. Make certain that the mat or mattress is not submerged. This item will constantly require spot cleaning. Submerging it in water will deteriorate it and make it dangerous for your baby.

After removing your back in play from the water, clean it with a warm, damp rag and towel dry it to eliminate any extra water. Pay special attention to the hinges and locks, ensuring that they are as dry as possible. Then, take the pack ‘n play outside and place it in the sun to dry.

Again, if you don’t have a sunny location in your home where it can dry in the sun, find a sunny spot in your home to allow it air dry fully. Check all of the locks and hinges to ensure they are still in functioning order before reusing your pack ‘n play.

Extra Tips

  • Check which materials your mattress pad is made from. If it is wood or cardboard, it’s not a good idea to submerge it into the water as it may become warped.
  • Make sure to lay everything out flat to ensure it all dries correctly to prevent mold growth.
  • You can swish the mattress around or scrub with a washcloth or soft brush while cleaning, just be sure not to scrub too hard so you don’t damage the material or rip the mesh.
  • Direct sunlight is awesome for killing germs, so if there are any germs that were leftover from your deep clean, the sunlight will help get the rest of them off.
  • Try to avoid using bleach on the mattress as this is a space your baby sleeps in and bleach is not great for their health.

Why You Need To Clean Your Pack N Play

All things that your baby interacts with on a regular basis should be cleaned regularly according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. To kill germs and get rid of the dirt that can potentially hurt your baby is important and should be done on a daily basis. While this is very much applicable to toys and bottles, it is also very important for sleep spaces such as the pack n play. To prevent the buildup of mildew and mold in your child’s safe sleep space, it is a good idea to use these methods listed above to keep that space clean for your baby.

Mold can build up over time, so your pack n play should be properly sanitized which you can do with vinegar to keep chemicals out of your babies safe space. Try to be on top of baby messes such as spills and spit up incidents so you can get that pack n play cleaned up right away.

If your pack n play gets caught in a flood while it’s being stored away, I would throw it out right away, because you never know what kind of gross germs can stay on your playpen even if you give it a deep clean.

If you are purchasing a pack n play second hand, I recommend giving it a deep clean before placing the baby in it.

Some areas of your Pack and Play are more prone to dirt accumulation than others. The mattress is one of these. We all recognise that no matter how hard we try, we cannot protect our children from all dirt and pathogens.

Regular cleaning of toys and infant equipment, such as a pack and play mattress, may keep them safe from germs that can cause them to become contaminated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can washing make the pack n play warp or change shape

Depending on your pack n play it is possible to ruin and warp the unit. It’s a good idea to look at the care instructions on your pack n play before submerging it into water. Some pack n plays have cardboard inside of them, so they should not be deep cleaned but spot cleaned.

How do I get the stains out of the pack n play mattress?

The best way to get stains out of the pack n play mattress is mixing a 1/4 cup of baby laundry detergent with 2 tbsp of baking soda and a little bit of water and then rubbing that solution on the stain. Wait a few minutes, (10 is good) and then wipe it off with a cloth and a little water if you need to.

What if I do not have a bathtub and cannot wash my playard outside?

If you have a shower, then you can always rinse the unit off. You won’t be able to soak it, but you could scrub it down and wash the soap off in the shower.

How often should I wash the pack n play?

Depending on if you use your pack n play on a daily basis or one in a while. If you use your pack n play everyday, then you should wash it more often, but if it’s not in use most of the time, then you can get away with a casual wipe down once in a while.

How to clean a pack n play in winter?

You’ll want to clean your pack n play in the bathtub in the winter time, don’t do it outside. Use the deep clean method and soak the unit in the tub for an hour and rinse off with the shower head.

My Favorite Pack N Plays

Just in case you are in the market for a pack n play, these are the ones I love the best.

Baby Trend Trend-E Nursery Center

This nursery center is a great pack n play because it has everything you need in one unit! Use this center to change the baby, play and sleep. It also has an organizer to help you keep your baby items close at hand.

For Twins: Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center

For parents of twins, this nursery center is great! It has a sleeping option for when the babies are brand new which can be removed and then the babies can sleep on the mattress of the playard when they get a bit bigger.

Final Thoughts On How To Clean Pack N Play Mattress

Keeping your pack n play clean and clear of germs is important and it’s pretty easy to clean a pack n play so you can do it as often as you like. Wiping it down on a regular basis is always a good idea, as baby spit up seeps into the mattress, making it harder to clean later and gives mold an opportunity to grow.

Whether your pack ‘n play is brand new or has seen a few children, frequent spot cleaning will help it maintain looking beautiful and fresh while also keeping germs to a minimum. If your play yard becomes too dirty for a once-a-week spot cleaning, you may scrub it down or even employ the thorough cleaning approach.

Pack and Plays are a great product that provides new parents with ease, mobility, and a safe sanctuary for their child. However, bear in mind that your child will spend the most of his time there, thus learning how to clean a pack and play mattress properly is essential to ensuring that your baby is protected from illness.

Keep your baby safe and keep your pack n play clean!

Recommended Reads:

The Best Baby Safe Floor Cleaner (Safe For Pets Too)
4 Ways To Diy Hand Sanitizer
Cleaning Mistakes You Must Avoid (For Your Health)
Cleaning House While Sick And After Illness Strikes Your Home

how to clean pack n play mattress

Thank you for reading on how to clean pack n play mattress here at the cleaning mommy! I appreciate you stopping by.

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