Whether they’re three or 13 months, babies make their fair share of messes — from crumbs and spills to drool and even when sick. The last thing you want is to replace your play mat because it’s become a health hazard to your little one.
The simple solution is effectively cleaning and maintaining your child’s non toxic play mat. Regularly cleaning this essential part of your baby’s development benefits you as the parent and ensures they can safely and comfortably enjoy their mat without worrying about bacteria and germs.
In this article, we explore the importance of cleaning a baby play mat, the types of mats and how they’re best maintained, and a helpful guide on learning how to clean a baby play mat in your home.
Why Cleaning Your Baby Play Mat Is Crucial
Play mats are one of those nursery must-haves that offer so many benefits to infants in their early development stages. They play a crucial role in the process and should be treated with care and attention — so they can continue to foster a safe space for your little one to learn and enjoy their play mat exercises.
As fun and inviting as they are in your child’s nursery or playroom space, it’s equally important to know how to properly clean a baby play mat to help maintain its longevity. Play mats can accumulate dirt and bacteria when left uncleaned, which poses health risks to your child and can lead to allergies.
The process for cleaning a baby play mat in your home will vary depending on the type of mat you own. Understanding the types of mats and how to keep them clean is an important place to begin.
Types of Baby Play Mats & How to Clean
Cleaning a baby play mat the right way starts with knowing the type of material you’re working with. Just as you have different products for your furniture, appliances, and carpets — the same mindset applies to cleaning a play mat in your home.
When it comes to finding a non toxic playpen made of sustainable materials, vegan leather is at the top of the list for many consumers. This faux leather is often made of polyurethane and can be customized to fit any shape and size. Its versatility makes it a highly sought-after material for many brands, especially brands designing products for children and infants.
Cleaning vegan leather is simple. For dirt and spills, a microfibre cloth will do. Once the surface has been wiped clean, gently spot-treat any stains using warm water and mild dish detergent or any baby-friendly cleaning products you have on hand. Excess solution can be wiped away, allowing the play mat to dry before letting your little one enjoy tummy time again.
Fabric play mats can be a comfortable and cozy way for your infant to explore and play, but they can also be more challenging to clean and maintain — since they can absorb spills and stains easier than their smooth-surface counterparts.
Loose dirt and messes should be taken outside and shaken off the mat before wiping down with a gentle cloth or baby wipe. Baby wipes are a great solution to any manageable mess. Since they don’t contain any harsh chemicals, you already know they’re safe for your child to come into contact with. Use a clean cloth to pat dry and let the mat sit before you bring it back into the nursery or playroom.
Smooth surfaces such as vegan leather and rubber are often the easiest to clean and maintain — however, the latter requires specific steps to ensure it’s safe for your infant to continue to use. Firstly, it’s important to follow any cleaning instructions listed on the product to avoid colour fading or damage.
With a microfibre cloth or non-abrasive brush, wipe away any loose dirt or crumbs before taking out a soft, wet cloth to wipe down the entire surface. Rubber surfaces can absorb stains, so you may need to scrub the mat with an abrasive brush to get any stubborn messes out of the material. Lastly, letting it dry completely is imperative to ensure your child doesn’t come into contact with any cleaning residue.
Safety Considerations for Your Play Mat
The way you’re cleaning a baby play mat is equally as important as the products you’re using and how frequently you’re cleaning the mat, your child’s foam blocks, and any of the products they come in contact with on a regular basis.
Consider these important safety considerations when you clean a baby play mat.
- Clean your play mat in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhaling harmful fumes and to ensure lingering odours and chemicals evaporate.
- Always use baby-friendly, non-toxic products to clean a foam play mat. Avoid products with harsh chemicals or disinfectants.
- Never leave your child unattended while cleaning a baby play mat. Keep them away and out of reach of any cleaning products.
- Rinse your baby’s play mat thoroughly to ensure any chemical residue is eliminated.
- Let your mat dry completely before setting it up again for your child to enjoy. Excess moisture can lead to mould and mildew growth, both harmful to your child’s health.
How Often Should I Clean My Baby's Play Mat?
Play mats are a must for promoting your child’s early development and motor skills. Cleaning your baby tummy time mat is the best way to ensure it lasts throughout their infant and toddler stages.
Regular spot cleaning anytime a spill or mess arises is essential, but it’s equally as important to deep clean a baby play mat — just because you can’t see the dirt with your own eyes doesn’t mean your infant’s mat is truly clean.
Deep-cleaning a play mat once a week is recommended to remove any bacteria or allergens not visible at first glance.
Play Mat Storage Solutions
Storing your play mat is a great solution to ensure it stays clean when it’s not in use. While there are bags and baskets you can use, the simplest solution is investing in a foldable mat that can be safely tucked away in your child’s closet.
At Wunderkids, we’re proud to be the exclusive supplier of ALZip play mats and indoor baby gyms in Canada, with the ability to ship quality play mats and babyrooms across North America. With washable, vegan-leather covers and nine layers of inside foam, cleaning is a breeze. Our foldable play mats can be easily stored when not in use — and make the perfect addition to any nursery or kids' playroom.
Cleaning and maintaining your child’s play mat doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Wunderkids makes it easier to keep little ones safe and help babies crawl and explore with ease.