Before my son was born, I started organizing and cleaning all my baby supplies. As I was washing baby bedding, I realized that I had never washed my pack n play. I had washed the sheets many, many times and had wiped down the metal and plastic parts, but I had never washed the pack n play itself. I began to picture all the blowout poops and spit-up incidents that had happened in the pack n play.
After feeling slightly disgusted, I remembered seeing a picture of a pack n play in a bathtub, on Pinterest. I went back for instructions, but only found a picture. I decided to make my own concoction and see if it really worked.
I began by filling my tub with very hot water.
While the water was running, I added 1/2 C of laundry detergent, ¼ C of baking soda, and a couple of glugs of vinegar (maybe ⅛ C). I began by putting the pack n play “mattress” in the tub. It floated. So, I put the base of the pack n play on top of the mattress to hold it down. The water covered about half of the the pack n play, so after 45 minutes, I rotated the base. After rotating the base, I added additional hot water and swished everything around in the water. I left everything to soak for another hour. When I came back, the water was absolutely disgusting! After draining the water, there was a thick layer of dirt and gunk on the bottom of my tub. GROSS! I rinsed the base and mattress off in the shower. I laid the mattress and base outside to dry. The base dried after about 4 hours. I let the mattress dry for 24 hours, just to be sure all the moisture was gone.
The pack n play smelled clean and fresh and looked so much brighter. I can’t believe how filthy the pack n play had been, and I’m so glad I washed it before my baby slept in it.
Important updates and notes (Since I received a handful of comments regarding if you mat has a cardboard inside)
- Firstly, please be sure to check the materials the pad is made with. If it feels like wood or cardboard, I suggest hand scrubbing with the solution without getting the pad too wet.
- My pack in play is a Graco, and it still turned out fine. I think the trick was lying it out flat until it was completely dry. That way the base of the mattress didn’t bow.
- I didn’t scrub, but I swished it around. I’m sure scrubbing with a rag or a soft bristled brush would be just fine.
- When I laid the mattress out, I laid it in the sun. It’s possible that the fact that it was very hot and in direct sunlight made the difference.
And lastly few reader’s comments that may help:
- Melissa said: Mine was super gross. Something spilled on it on a camping trip. It’s light blue. I didn’t scrub and it came right off. I was shocked. I swooshed it in the hot water but that was it. It looks brand new again.
- Elizabeth said: I soaked the pack and play in the tub as said and it cleaned up great! I was worried about the mattress molding because of previous comments so I didn’t soak it. Instead I ripped the seam and pulled the wooden slats out. Then I used safety pins to close the seam and washed it on hand wash setting in my washer. Then I dried it outside with the pack and play in the sun. After it was dry I put the slats back in and sewed it closed. It worked out great! The stains and smells were gone!
When did you last clean your pack n play? If you like this post, please PIN it to Pinterest by hoovering your mouse over on the image below.
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