I don’t fancy myself a domestic goddess in the least. Along the way, I have learned some tips on how to clean our baby gear or hacks on how to avoid having to clean to begin with. Whether it be from other moms, youtube tutorials, Pinterest, or various FaceBook groups, I’ve learned a few things since having my first baby. Below are a few tips and hacks that have saved my sanity – or at least crib bedding – at one point or another.
Bedding: For quick and easy sheet changes make the bed with a mattress protector, fitted sheet, mattress protector again, then fitted sheet again. This way if you have an overnight leak/accident you can just pull off the top sheet and mattress protector and the work is already done for you.
Uncluttered bedrooms: This might not be a hack, but, in the kids rooms we only keep clothing, books, and a few stuffed animals. If Reece has quiet time in his room I will bring a toy he picks out into his room. When he’s done the toys go back in their bin and back to the play room. So far, this has kept their rooms relatively mess free.
Meal Time: Use smocks instead of bibs to avoid staining baby clothes for messy eaters.
Stain removing must haves: Shout, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, Kids & Pets (or some other enzyme carpet/fabric cleaner), and rubbing alcohol.
Poop-cidents: Potty training underwear blow outs are covered here.
Socks: Hang a mesh delicates bag on the side of the hamper for socks so your socks can stay with their match.
Crayons: Art project missed the mark and got some crayon on the table or wall? WD40 is super easy. A lot of people swear by Magic Eraser, if you have only one coat of paint, tread carefully.
Mega blocks and Duplo Lego: there are two easy ways to clean: 1) Throw in large mesh laundry bag and wash on delicate in the washing machine or 2) Soak in the tub with a little bleach and agitate manually (swish around with hands), make sure to follow up with a rinse.
Sour smelling sippy cups: Do a bleach and water soak, then wash as you would normally. (1 tbs bleach to 1 gal water ration) Another trick is denture tablets!
Microwave: For the love of all things holy, buy a microwave cover and use it. EVERY time you nuke something. It will save you so much cleanup and they are super cheap. I clean my microwave pretty much never, but it’s not because I let it slide. It just doesn’t have the ick buildup that I had before using a cover.
Stove/Counter Black Hole: For the space between the stove and counters use a stove guard. Maybe this space isn’t a place you think about cleaning, which makes the guard even more vital, but spilled or splattered oil dripping down the sides of the counter and stove is a fire risk if it gets bad enough.
Gas Stove Grates or Grill: Throw it in a trash bag and add some ammonia. Let it sit for a few hours then rinse off. No elbow grease needed.
These tips aren’t “simple” but a lot of first time parents, or even seasoned parents aren’t sure how to clean these items so I added them to the post.
Car Seat: Always, Always! Refer to your car seat manual. Some seats can only be surfaced cleaned, some hand wash only, and some can go in the washing machine. If you can put yours in the washer, wash on gentle cycle and use a gentle detergent such as Tide Free and Gentle. For the base vacuum up crumbs then wipe down base and straps with a baby wipe. DO NOT use a Clorox wipe, it breaks down the integrity of the car seat.
Pack and Play: If it’s only a minor stain use a baby wipe. If it needs a deep clean, it’s improtant to check if your mattress has a cardboard/pressboard or plastic board. If it’s plastic it’s safe to throw all parts, mattress and play yard part (collapsed), into a tub to wash. Soak in warm water, detergent, and Oxi.
If it’s cardboard I would recommend sticking to surface cleaning for the mattress. If you must deep clean the mattress you might have to get a little crafty. Cut a slit in the back and remove, wash minus the board, then glue velcro strips where the opening is so you can close it after cleaning.