It’s no surprise that little ones can make big messes, so sometimes it’s necessary to deep clean your baby’s gear. After months (or even days, sometimes!) of gooey hands, crushed up cereal and spilled milk, it’s probably time spring clean your baby’s gear.
Here are some of our favorite tips for keeping your child’s highchair, playard, car seat and other gear clean:
- Dishwasher duty. The dishwasher is a tremendous cleaning tool for items that are designed to go inside. Your dishwasher gets hot enough to sanitize items you put in, so be sure to check your instruction manuals. Some items—such as the removable cup holder inserts on the My Ride™ 70 Convertible Car Seat (& other seats), tray inserts on any number of Graco highchairs and the tank & tray on the Cool Mist Humidifier—are specifically designed to go in the dishwasher.
- Dust off your stroller. With beautiful spring weather right around the corner, it’s time to get your stroller ready so that you and your little one can get out and explore. If you’ve had it stored in a closet, garage or basement, chances are it might have gotten a bit dusty. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth, or for an extra cleaning boost, make a diluted vinegar and water solution and disinfect while you clean.
- Keep soft goods soft & clean. The soft goods on your products—they’re the soft, fabric covers on items like car seats, high chairs and playards—are the part of your baby gear that touches your little one’s skin the most, so of course you want it to be clean. Take a look at your owner’s manual and follow the directions to clean or launder the soft goods (many of which are machine washable—but make sure to confirm that in your manual). Your baby will love being in a soft, clean space!
- Pristine buckles work best. To clean your harness buckle, turn the restraint over and push the retainer through the harness strap slot. Place the buckle in a cup of warm water and gently agitate the buckle, pressing the red button several times while it is in the water. Do not submerge the harness webbing and do not use soaps or lubricants, only rinse the harness buckle with warm water. Shake out the excess water and allow the harness buckle to air dry. Once it’s completely dry, reattach the harness buckle into the same slot and re-check harness for correct installation according to the car seat manual before use.
- Toothpicks and cotton swabs are your friend. Keep these handy to clean out cracks and crevices, for messes as they happen. Cleaning a little along—especially visible crumbs and such—will make deep cleaning later easier. A damp cotton swab is particularly handy for collecting dry crumbs (like crushed crackers or cereal), since the pieces stick to the wet surface of the swab.
We’d love to hear some of your best tips—be sure to add them in the comment section below.