Cleaning a Pack n Play

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

What is a Pack n Play?

A Pack 'n Play is a portable crib designed for use with an infant. This is not my first rodeo so to speak. It seems like everyone deals with this issue at some point of parenthood, whether you travel often or are visiting relatives for extended periods.

Pack n Play cribs are designed with your baby in mind, and you should know how to clean Pack N Play mattresses to keep your little one safe.

Pack-n-Play products are a “must-have” for parents as they are convenient for on the go and at home. As you know, Pack n Play is a foldable crib that your baby can sleep and play in. Because of its function, it is similar to a playpen or playground to keep your baby safe.

Since babies would stay in the crib for hours, it could undoubtedly get dirty, especially the mattress inside, as young children could throw up or pee on it.

Thorough cleaning is therefore necessary. But don't worry, pack n games are easy to clean and clean up. With our simple guide, you wouldn't have a hard time getting rid of the nasty stuff on the mattress and crib. So read on to learn about cleaning a Pack n Play. But firstly...

Types of Pack n Play

Chevron Design

It has a chevron pattern on the side. They are usually used as an extra accessory for your baby. The Chevron design, however, is most popular among kids due to its bright colors and fun patterns.


  • Two mesh windows with zippered closure
  • Has a carry bag for easy storage and portability
  • Comes with a removable top so you can bring it anywhere you go
  • Foldable frame
  • Suitable from newborn up to 4 months old because of thinner mattress thickness

Mattress Dimensions : 30 x 51 inches (length x width)

Price: $74.99

Luxury Matched Sheet Set

Aside from being beautiful, this design has a luxury feel. The matching sheets can be easily folded and stored when not in use. If you want to own the best-looking pack n play, opt for this one.


  • Mesh viewing windows
  • Has a changing station with cushioned pad for comfort
  • Machine washable dries very fast

Matteress Dimensions : 30 x 51 inches (length x width)

Price: $149.99

Prescott Design

This model is also another kid's favorite because of its bright colors and sturdy frame that won’t fall or collapse even if your baby pulls or pushes it around. It's sturdy enough to do some jumping on it!


  • Two mesh windows with zippered closure
  • The fitted sheet is machine washable
  • A sturdy frame won’t fall or collapse even if your baby pulls or pushes it around

Mattress Dimensions : 30 x 51 inches (length x width)

Price: $129.99

Delta Design

This model is known for its modern style. It's stylish, compact, and comes with a carry bag that makes portability easy.


  • Mesh sides allow for ventilation, keeping the pack 'n play cool
  • Comes with a deluxe storage/travel bag that has straps for easy carrying
  • The fitted sheet is machine washable

Mattress Dimensions : 30 x 51 inches (length x width)

Price: $89.99

3 steps to clean the Pack N Play 

For you as a parent, cleanliness is important, especially when you have a baby at home.

Our little ones are very susceptible to bacteria and germs that transmit diseases.

So it is important to clean the pack once a month, especially if you use it every day. It is recommended to wipe the mattress before and after the baby. Regardless, here is a list of the steps for cleaning a Pack n Play.

Step 1. Wipe off the stains

Wiping the stains first will make the washing process easier. Although wiping the mattress alone could remove the dirt on the mattress and crib, it is best to use a vinegar-water solution and spray it on the bed.

Wipe off the excess solution with a clean, dry rag. The stain on your crib is efficiently removed when vinegar gets through the foam. However, if you are not a fan of vinegar because it smells bad, try a natural cleaning solution but make sure it is safe for your baby.

Step 2. Rinse off the solution

To make sure your Pack n Play flushes well, consider placing it outside or on your bathtub if you have one. Some parents would cover the mattress, but you can throw it in the washing machine.

If you don't, that's fine too. After wiping off the stains with the vinegar-water solution, it is time to wash the appliance. Take out the mattress and bring it outside near the water source or into your bathtub. Add water and a child-safe detergent. Scrub the mattress, then rinse the soap off the mattress and let it drain.

It is best to leave the mattress under the sun or put it in the bathroom when you run out of space outside or when it rains.

Step 3. Deep cleansing

Pack n Play mattress isn't just the one you need to clean. The crib itself should need to be cleaned thoroughly as the children would take their mouths with them wherever they play.

After you've removed the mattress to dry, refill your bathtub with water and add half a cup of baby-friendly detergent.

Dip the Pack-n-Play unit in the solution and let it soak for an hour. When it is time, first drain the water with soap and then rinse the in-game pack. Drain it and leave it in the tub or place it outside.

If you are having a hot day you can put the Pack n Play outside and leave it out in the sun for 4 hours. However, if you let it sit overnight, let it dry completely for 24 hours.

Everything around your baby needs to be cleaned thoroughly, as the American Academy of Paediatrics would say. Mold growth is common in toys, your baby's bottle, and the bedroom. If you are purchasing a used Pack n Play package, have it cleaned thoroughly before use.

Tips on how to choose a good Pack n Play

The size of the Pack n Play can be a factor in your decision, but there are other important elements that you need to consider. The dimensions should be big enough for your baby to sleep comfortably or play around. Even if it is not used as a swing seat, you still need to make sure it comes with all the features needed by your child.

You also need to check the materials used; because children love tumbling and playing inside this kind of bed, they might accidentally bump into them or fall out of it. Your children do not only need comfort but safety too.

Always test out or try checking all types of surfaces on the Pack n play before purchasing it; make sure there are no toxic materials exposed and no sharp objects sticking out of it.

The best way to do this is by letting another family member use the pack n play first while you monitor their movements and actions carefully. If they don't induce any health problems after a week or so, then you can go ahead and buy them.

If the Pack n Play has been used for an extended period of time, just double check your baby's skin and its overall condition. If there are no visible signs of irritation on their skin and they do not show discomfort when lying down on it, then you should feel safe buying the pack n play for your family.

Make sure that all parts of the mattress have been washed properly before use; even with Stain Guard System, some stains would still be left behind if cared for wrongly so make sure to follow instructions. Do not allow anyone else to use this except for your child.

Some good things about buying brand new Pack n Plays

If you think time after time cleaning is a hassle, then get yourself a brand new pack n play mattress. You can just wipe it clean and you're good to go.

You might think that the mattress is only for your baby's comfort, but this is not true. It also protects your child from harmful bacteria and germs that could cause infections and diseases such as pneumonia or diarrhea.

If you read reviews about different brands of Pack n Plays, you will find out some parents complain about the stains left on their mattress after a few months of use, even with regular washing and cleaning procedures. This problem would be solved if you get yourself a brand new one instead of buying a used model from Craigslist or from another family member.

Most used pack n plays

If you want a really cheap Pack n Play but still something reliable and sturdy enough to use, the DaVinci Sleigh crib model could be an option for you. It is one of the most used Pack n Plays in the market and a lot of parents won this for their baby showers.

You can also get a second-hand Pack n Play from your friends or relatives, but make sure it has been kept clean all the time before use. A good way to double-check if their pack n play mattress is fit for your child is to test it out at home first, make sure its height allows you to reach your baby when he needs something.

Try sitting on it too and imagine what kind of pressure it would give you over a long period of time (not crucial).

Best Pack n Play manufacturers

Graco Pack n Plays are made of sturdy materials and provide excellent safety features. The Cool Flow fabric on this brand is breathable and comfortable for the baby to lay on. It also makes sure that your little one stays cool even when it is hot outside or inside during Summertime.

Another popular brand, Evenflo has a Pack n Play with a bassinet feature. If you have twins, triplets, or quadruplets, you can buy this model so they all have their own space and comfort while parents tend to their needs.

Risky places

Cribs with flat surfaces without any sort of crack in-between pose a threat because bacteria could creep through the thickness of the fabric. If your baby lays in these areas, it might cause them health problems in the future.

Bottom line

Cleaning Pack n Play mattress is similar to washing baby clothes. If you follow instructions, it should be easy enough to do. Just make sure that the mattress is not too old or has been used by another baby first before allowing your child to use it.

Also, check carefully for any tears in the fabric and other potential hazards like sharp objects sticking out of it.