Ball pits see some serious playtime. Sticky fingers, food, drink, play-doh, and unexpected toys mean it will need a clean-out from time to time.
Cleanliness is important, especially if your children are playing in it with their friends. Just as you would expect a soft play area to clean out the ball pit regularly to avoid the spread of germs, the same applies to your own setup at home.
Depending on the size of the ball pit and how many balls are used to fill it, this may mean emptying all the balls out for a deep clean.
1. Empty out
Empty all the balls into sacks or pillowcases so that you can tip the ball pit over, shake it out or vacuum out any crumbs or dust.
2. Clean the pit
Depending on what your ball pit is made from, adjust these cleaning instructions to meet your needs.
Clean the pit with a soft cloth and soapy water, rinse with clean water and wipe out, or spray all over with toy safe anti-bacterial spray, wipe over, making sure you get into the seams and corners and then leave to dry out fully.
If you have a fabric ball pit sponge clean or follow the washing instructions on the manufacturing label.
3. In the bath
A quick, easy way to wash the balls is to put them into bath with soapy water, depending on how many there are, you might need to do this in two batches.
Leave them to soak a while, stir around a few times to ensure they all get washed, your children will no doubt think this is great fun and what to jump in with them and splash around to get them clean! Make sure the water is warm but not hot.
Whichever way you wash them, once they are clean, scoop out with a colander and lay them out on towels and allow them to dry fully before putting the back into the pit.
4. Washing machine
As an alternative to this, some parents have had great success with putting balls inside a duvet cover and then putting them in the washing machine on a cool wash.
If you try this it is best not to overfill the washing machine but to make sure you leave space for them to move around freely, so you’ll most likely need to do this in batches but a quick wash will be plenty.
Avoid using hot water in the wash as the thin plastic balls may start to melt or change shape, so turn the temperature right down.
Before using the washing machine, check the balls are all sealed, and that water cannot get into them.
5. Spray clean
If you have a smaller ball pit and therefore fewer balls to clean, it might be simpler to lay them all out on a sheet and spray over with toy safe disinfectant, shake the sheet to move them around and re-spray until they’ve all had a good covering.
Put all the balls back into the clean dry pit, make sure the balls are dried out and they don’t have water trapped inside (squeeze the water out if they do) and let play recommence!
Maintaining the cleanliness of the ball pit will keep your children safe and ensure the fun lasts and lasts.