There’s no doubt about it, germs can be a parent’s worst nightmare as kids can go from healthy to hospitalized in a day. To keep your kids healthy, it’s important to regularly clean the surfaces they come in contact with. Want to know how? This article will teach you how to clean a foam puzzle mat, a playpen, and other common play surfaces.

How To Clean A Foam Puzzle Mat And Other Play Surfaces - Featured Image

How bad can it be?

A concerned mom, Erin Carr, enlisted the help of scientists to analyze the sanitary conditions of public play areas. Her findings are disturbing. Bacteria that cause all sorts of ailments, and even death, were uncovered by the microbiologist and analytical lab. She gathered data from a variety of establishments and from different types of economic and populated areas. These findings are enough to show that the battle against germs is very real for everyone and anyone.

Most assuredly, your child’s health and safety are important. Maybe you don’t have dozens of other children coming into contact with your child’s playthings. That doesn’t mean your child’s play areas are not susceptible to harmful bacteria. Just from day to day activity, your child can pick up germs and bring them home. You, your pets, and guests can bring in germs – and the daily build-up of dirt and dust can contribute to health hazards.

That being said, we want to help you by providing some helpful tips on how to clean a foam puzzle mat and other play surfaces. Let’s make your kid’s playtime a good time by keeping them safe.

Petri dish

How to clean a foam puzzle mat

First, grab a vacuum. Test part of the mat with your vacuum. Depending on the quality of the foam, it could get scratched up and dented. If that doesn’t work, most vacuums come with different attachments and a hose for vacuuming. Employ the proper attachment and let it get at any loose dirt.

Next, mix up a gallon of equal parts water and vinegar, or use a safe antibacterial household cleaner diluted in water. Dunk your mop or rag into the cleaner and squeeze out as much of the excess as you can. Being that your foam puzzle mats can be very porous, you want a very damp mop or rag. Sanitize the surface and allow to air dry.

For those extra tough grimy spots, grab yourself a scrubbing pad and soap. Scrub the area with warm water. Proceed to wipe it with a damp cloth with just warm water. Allow your surface to air dry before play time.  

Now you know how to clean a foam puzzle mat!

How to clean a playpen

Maria at Maids by Trade offers two different methods of cleaning a child’s playpen.

With the first method, you fill up a bathtub with hot water, adding 1 cup of vinegar and ½ cup baking soda. If applicable, take out the removable bottom and clean it separately with soapy water and a rag. Let the playpen soak for half an hour. Flip it over and let it soak again for another half hour. After all that, hose it down outside and leave it out to dry.  

The second option she offers is the sponge method. With the sponge method, you use warm soapy water and a rag to scrub the playpen down, starting with the outside. Hose it down or wipe the playpen with a fresh wet rag. Finish up by cleaning the inside in the same manner. Rinse it out and your child’s playpen is clean!

How to clean a gymnastics mat

Gymnastic mats, though useful for health exercises, can easily provide a breeding ground for an extensive collection of bad microbes. So it’s certainly a good idea to keep your child’s gym mats in check.

Once again, pull out your trusty vacuum and pick up any loose soil with it. Outside, roll the mat out flat. Mix together a homemade cleaning solution of water vinegar, equal parts. If you’d like to add a fresh scent, a few drops of kid-friendly essential oils mixed in will do the trick.

With a rag, clean your mat with that solution and rinse it off with a hose. Clean the other side in a similar fashion. Let the mat air dry out in the sun.

How to clean artificial grass

Artificial grass

Some parents like artificial grass in their child’s outdoor play areas. It mitigates allergies and maintenance (no mud to track in after playing hard around the swingset!) However, as with anything else in life, artificial grass can use a good cleaning too.

You can start by picking up debris that’s too big to blow away. Then you can pull out that air blower. It’ll blow away smaller debris, and bring some new life to your artificial grass by fluffing it up a bit.

It’s recommended that you clean it once a week with just water. If you have a problem spot, a 50/50 vinegar mix will come in handy. Let it soak and then rinse it off.

Keep your home germ free!

Germs are no joke, that’s for sure. Knowing how to clean a foam puzzle mat and other surfaces can prove useful as you go the extra mile in ensuring your kids have a safe place to grow and play. We hope this article helps you in your cleaning efforts.

Moms don’t have to bear the brunt of cleaning. Here’s how a chore list can get your family working together for a clean home!

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