Cleaning Ball Pits & Balls
Ball pits are great fun! They help to develop different essential skills and give you baby or toddler a fun place to play. However, ball pools, especially public ones, have a reputation for containing lots of germs and bacteria. A lot of people choose at home alternatives instead, like Tweepsy’s foam ball pits, but it’s important to clean your ball pit and ball pit balls regularly, even at home. This prevents the spread of colds, viruses and bacteria.
Read our top tips and advice on how to clean your ball pit and ball pit balls so your child can play without you worrying!
How Often Should I Clean My Ball Pit?
An at home ball pit should be thoroughly cleaned and washed around every 3-6 months. It will depend on how often it’s used! You should aim to clean the balls around every 2-3 uses. For a ball pit that is used extensively, try to clean the balls properly at least once a week, using a disinfecting spray between washes when needed.
If your ball pit gets particularly messy or dirty for whatever reason, be sure to clean it at that point. Children often have accidents, spill drinks or make a mess which can impact the cleanliness of your ball pit and should be dealt with straight away.
To keep your ball pit clean for longer, you could avoid letting your child eat food or drink while in the ball pit, especially sticky foods and juice! This should help to keep the ball pit cleaner. It can also be a good idea to keep anti-bacterial wipes, or a spray and a reusable cloth, on hand to catch any spills or messes when they happen.
Cleaning Ball Pit Balls
Ball pit balls should be cleaned regularly as they are the element of the ball pit that has the most potential to harbour germs and bacteria. This is especially important as babies will often put the balls to their mouths. Read advice on cleaning and washing ball pit balls…
Using A Washing Machine
It is possible to use a washing machine to clean your ball pit balls. This is often the quickest and easiest option for at home ball pits. You have to ensure that the balls don’t have any holes or cracks, which can happen if you’ve had them for a long time. If they have holes, they could fill with water and be hard to empty!
Add the balls to the washing machine with some mild detergent or, even better, some steriliser appropriate for washing machines. Run the washing machine on a cool and fast wash. You’ll end up with clean balls with little effort!
Some people prefer to put the balls into a duvet sheet, for example, to keep them together and make it easier to get them in and out of the washing machine.
The most important part of cleaning the balls is disinfecting them. This kills bacteria and ensures the balls are safe for your child to play with, slobber on and enjoy!
Bleach and Warm Water
You can use a solution of bleach and water to disinfect the balls. Fill a bucket or washing up bowl with a bleach and water solution. This is usually 1 part bleach to a minimum of 5 parts water, but follow the instructions on your bleach container to ensure you don’t make it too strong.
Put the balls in the bleach solution. You can leave them for a few minutes, shake them around in the solutions or wipe them with a clean cloth to wash them. The bleach will kill any bacteria or viruses.
Once washed, leave the balls to dry on a draining board or laid out on a towel. Once they’re completely dry, then can be returned to the ball pit.
If you have a lot of ball pit balls, you could use the bathtub to clean them all. You can use a bleach and water solution in your bath — provided your children can’t get to it. If you do, be sure to rinse out the bathtub thoroughly afterwards so no bleach residue remains.
Alternatively, you could run warm water and add lots of bubble bath or washing up liquid. Add all the balls to the bath and swirl them around in the water. Pull out the plug and leave them to dry overnight. This method will clean the balls, but might not disinfect them as thoroughly as using bleach or another disinfectant.
Alternatively, you could clean your ball pit balls by spraying them with a disinfecting spray. If you have a lot of balls, however, this might not be the most time-efficient method! This is a good way to disinfect a few balls if the dog has nabbed them or they’ve rolled under a dusty cupboard.
Cleaning The Ball Pit
It will depend on the type of ball pit you have as to exactly how to wash it. You should always read and follow the manufacturer's advice to ensure you clean it properly without damaging it.
You will need to wash the whole ball pit less often than you clean the balls, but you should still try and do this every 3-6 months, or sooner if you notice that it looks dirty.
Foam Ball Pits
If you have a foam ball pit, like those at Tweepsy, start by unzipping the ball pit cover and removing it. Some covers can be put into the washing machine, although this isn’t always the case and can cause damage. It’s usually best to soak them in warm water with a mild detergent. If there are any stains, try rubbing these areas in the water or using a stain remover.
You can hang the cover on the washing line to dry.
The foam part of the ball pit can also be washed. It’s not recommended to use a washing machine for this. Instead, you should use warm water and, again, a mild detergent.
It’s often a good idea to do this on a sunny day and leave the ball pit in the sun to dry. If it’s warm, it shouldn’t take too long for the foam to dry out and the ball pit to be ready for play again!
Other Ball Pits
Other kinds of ball pits, aside from foam, will need cleaning in different ways. Look at the manufacturer’s guidelines to know the best way to clean yours. If it’s a hard-surface ball pit, you can spray it with antibacterial spray, for example.
When it comes to cleaning ball pits, never go against the manufacturer's guidelines as this could damage your ball pit.
If you’re looking for a durable, easy-to-clean ball pit for your baby or toddler explore the collection at Tweepsy. We have a huge range of different shaped foam ball pits and in loads of different colours. There’s one that’s perfect for every home!