How to Clean a Pack 'n Play

By Rosenya Faith

Whether your youngster’s mashed bananas have dried on the Pack ‘n Play or everyday debris has been accumulating for a while, you don’t have to turn to harsh soaps and chemicals to get the playpen looking brand new again. A little bit of elbow grease and a gentle detergent will get the job done.

Remove the Pack 'n Play mattress from the playpen and set it aside for now. Remove the bassinet if it is in the playpen. Take the playpen and bassinet outdoors.

Fill a bucket with warm water and a mild, dye- and perfume-free detergent. Submerge a cloth or soft sponge into the bucket and begin washing the Pack ‘n Play from the top down. Start at the railings, scrubbing firmly when necessary to loosen and remove any dried on food or dirt.

Scrub the netting below the rails using a gentle touch to avoid tearing the material. You can place one hand behind the netting to stabilize it and scrub a little more firmly if necessary to remove any buildup. When you reach the bottom of the netting, wash the floor of the playpen and then the outer bottom supports. Wash the bassinet from the top down, too.

Turn the outside hose onto a shower or stream setting and rinse the playpen and bassinet from top down. You can use the “jet” setting, but angle it downward against the playpen’s netting, rather than directly onward. Let the playpen structure dry thoroughly outdoors.

Lay out the Pack ‘n Play’s mattress and scrub the top and bottom thoroughly with the soapy water and washcloth. Hold the mattress on its side and spray it to remove the dirty, soapy water. Let the mattress air dry, too.

Toss the mattress cover in the laundry with your next load of baby clothes -- a mild baby or natural laundry detergent should remove mashed bananas and milk spills just fine.

Tip

If stubborn stains have begun to set in, mix a little water and baking soda together. Scrub the mixture into the stain until it’s gone. Rinse thoroughly.

Use cleaning time as an opportunity to inspect the Pack 'N Play for any tears or worn areas.

Warning

Do not put the snap-on toy bag or canopy in the washing machine. Use the soapy water and washcloth to clean up any spills or messes.

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.