How To Clean a Pack and Play Safely

VD October 10 2023

If you are a parent or caregiver, you presumably own a pack 'n play or travel crib for moving your baby or providing them with a good sleep.

These portable sleep and play solutions are literally a godsend because they are designed to be a reliable and suitable space for your infant.

Nevertheless, with regular use, they can get dirty very quickly, and cleaning them may seem like a daunting task. Maybe you have been postponing this action for a long time, or you just have no idea how to do it right.

In this comprehensive guide, we will give you some instructions on how to clean a pack 'n play effectively so it always remains hygienic, as cleanliness is the key to health for your baby!

The significance of cleaning

Cleaning your pack 'n play is not just about aesthetics, which is quite obvious. It is also about maintaining a perfect habitat for your baby.

Unfortunately, babies and toddlers are magnets for germs, and the pack 'n play can harbor dirt, oils, and even food crumbs. Regular cleaning helps prevent the spread of illnesses and keeps the play area comfortable and sanitary. So, do it regularly.

How often should you clean your pack 'n play?

The frequency of cleaning your pack 'n play depends on how often it is actually used. For instance, if your baby sleeps in it daily, consider spot cleaning it weekly.

This routine prevents dirt and grime buildup. Besides, wash the sheets once a week to remove dirt, body oils, and dust mites. Spot cleaning should also be done as required, especially if your baby spills or spits up often.

If your baby or someone in the family has been sick, it is vital to clean the pack 'n play to prevent the spread of illness.

What do I need for cleaning?

To clean your pack 'n play safely, you will need gentle household cleaning products, of course. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals as they can be harmful to both the play yard and your baby. Here is a short list of items you may need:

Spot cleaning your Pack 'n Play

What do I need for cleaning?

Spot cleaning is the most straightforward way to maintain your pack 'n play's cleanliness. It is a fast and effective method that reduces the risk of damaging the play yard. Here is how to spot clean your pack 'n play:

A) Open your pack 'n play and remove the mattress.

B) Use a washcloth or soft-bristled brush to wipe down the rails and sides with warm water and soap. Tougher stains may need some extra effort.

C) If you use sheets, a mattress pad, or a waterproof mattress cover, remove them for washing.

D) Wipe the pack 'n play mattress clean with warm water and soap.

E) Let the pack 'n play air dry, preferably in a sunny spot for quicker drying.

Ensure the pack 'n play is thoroughly dry before reassembling and using it again. This helps prevent mold, mildew, and odors caused by trapped moisture.

Scrubbing your pack 'n play

Scrubbing your pack 'n play

While spot cleaning is usually sufficient, some situations may call for more thorough cleaning. Stubborn stains or extensive dirt may require gentle scrubbing. Here is how to scrub your pack 'n play safely:

A) Open the play yard, removing the mattress and any accessories. Place clean towels or a tarp underneath to protect surfaces.

B) Gently scrub your pack 'n play with a soft-bristled brush and warm soapy water. Avoid harsh chemicals as they can damage the play yard.

C) For tough stains, you can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Test an inconspicuous area first to ensure it won't harm the fabric.

D) Create a vinegar-water solution (equal parts) in a spray bottle and apply it evenly. You can also make a paste from equal parts vinegar and baking soda, let it sit for 30 minutes, then wipe clean.

E) If you're cleaning outside, rinse the play yard with a hose, avoiding soaking the mattress.

F) Use towels to absorb excess water and allow the pack 'n play to air dry in the sun. Ensure the pack 'n play is completely dry before storing it to prevent any lingering moisture-related issues.

Deep cleaning your pack 'n play

Deep cleaning your pack 'n play

Deep cleaning is a last-resort method for heavily soiled pack 'n plays. This approach involves submerging the play yard in water, and while it's not commonly advised in the manufacturer's instructions, it can be a lifesaver in extreme cases.

Keep in mind that some pack 'n play mattresses may not withstand soaking. To deep clean your pack 'n play, do the following:

A) Fill a bathtub with warm water, half a cup of detergent, and a quarter cup each of vinegar and baking soda, ensuring thorough mixing.

B) If the mattress is made of materials that can handle immersion, place the folded pack 'n play in the tub. If not, leave the mattress out.

C) Soak the pack 'n play for at least an hour, rotating it if it's not fully submerged.

D) Drain the tub and rinse the pack 'n play thoroughly, either with a shower or an outdoor hose.

E) Pat the play yard and mattress dry with towels before allowing them to air dry. Opt for a sunny day for faster drying.

Please use the deep cleaning method sparingly and only when other cleaning methods prove insufficient. Ensure every part is completely dry before reusing the pack 'n play to avoid potential damage and mold growth.


Without a doubt, keeping a clean pack 'n play is critical for your baby's health. Regular spot cleaning, occasional scrubbing, and deep cleaning when necessary are the keys to a hygienic and safe play area.

With these cleaning techniques described in this article, you can ensure that your pack 'n play functions well and remains in good shape.