Has the time come for you to clean that travel cot that has been sitting in the attic for so long that it has gathered up multiple layers of dust? Or is a friend or a relative visiting with her child and that old travel cot is your only option yet it’s in bad shape? Well, the good news is that you can clean your dirty travel cot and make it useful again.
Here are 4 ways to clean a travel cot:
- Hand wash the travel cot.
- Spray the travel cot using a disinfectant.
- Machine wash some components of the travel cot.
- Vacuum clean the travel cot.
In this article, I’ll explain how you can clean a travel cot and answer some of the frequently asked questions on cleaning travel cots.
Can You Clean a Travel Cot?
You can clean a travel cot in such a way that it won’t get damaged during cleaning. Moreover, if you use a particular travel cot frequently, then it’s advisable to clean it regularly as well, say weekly. In addition, you need to change the beddings regularly.
Cleaning a travel cot is not just about minding its appearance. It’s also about minding the health of a baby.
Dirty travel cots can host harmful bacteria, which might lead to infections. That’s one reason why you should clean the travel cot frequently. You also need to be careful if you’ll use any chemical to clean the cot because some chemicals can cause allergic reactions in kids when not rinsed off properly.
Others that contain ammonia or bleach can damage some of the materials used to make the cot and should be avoided. Therefore, always read the ingredients used to make these cleaning products before purchasing and ensure they’re baby-friendly.
What Parts of a Travel Cot Can Be Cleaned?
All parts of a travel cot can be cleaned. These include the mesh sides, the diaper changer, any dangling toys, the wheels or feet, and, most importantly, the mattress.
The mesh sides surround the whole travel cot’s frame and so are likely to accumulate quite a bit of dirt from the surrounding. You, therefore, need to regularly wipe the mesh and once in a while do a deep cleaning using soapy water and rinse with clean water, then put it out under the sun to dry for a few hours.
The diaper changer may need more frequent cleaning because you’ll likely make use of it frequently to place the baby during diaper changes. However, whenever there’s a mess when changing a diaper, you should spot clean the area immediately.
As for the toys and cot wheels or feet, you can wipe them whenever they get dusty. However, if the travel cot has soft toys, you can wash them together with the baby’s laundry whenever they get dirty.
When it comes to the mattress, how frequently you clean it also depends on how often you use the cot and whether it has a cover. A mattress cover takes all the dirt and spills, protecting the mattress from easily getting dirty. The mattress cover protects the mattress from collecting dirt and is easier to clean.
There are waterproof covers that offer more protection to the mattress by preventing liquids from getting into it. The Comfier Sleep Cot Mattress Protector (available on Amazon.co.uk) is one of them. It’s made of bamboo and is 100% waterproof.
If you deep clean the mattress, you’ll have to be patient since it takes longer to dry. However, if you frequently use the travel cot, you can have more than one mattress to avoid any inconveniences.
You can also vacuum and air the mattress from time to time to keep it clean for a longer period without the need for deep cleaning.
4 Ways To Clean a Travel Cot
Below are four ways to clean a travel cot.
1. Hand Wash the Travel Cot
Handwashing is one of the easiest ways of cleaning a travel cot. You only need a tub, water, soap, and scouring sponges, or a brush. However, if you don’t have a tub, you can hand wash the travel cot outside.
You can hand wash any part of a travel cot. Here are the steps to follow:
- Fill the tub with water. You can use hot or cold water.
- Remove the mattress from the travel cot and put it aside.
- Use a scouring sponge (or brush) and detergent to scrub the cot. Pay closer attention to stained areas.
- Hand wash the mattress cover as well.
- Rinse everything properly using clean water and leave them to drip dry.
- Take the cot outside to dry completely in the sun for a few hours. It can take more than one day to dry completely, so be patient.
Cleaning by hand is the cheapest way to clean a baby cot.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the detergent used should be baby-friendly. We’ll look into a few examples of baby-friendly detergents later on in this article.
You can also hand wash the cot mattress and the beddings, including the baby blanket and sheets.
2. Spray the Travel Cot Using a Disinfectant
Spraying a travel cot using an antibacterial spray prevents the spread of infections and gets rid of stains. This is particularly useful for daycare owners since you cannot wash a cot using water and detergent every time a baby has slept on it.
However, be very careful when buying antibacterial sprays for cleaning babies’ cots since babies’ skin is very sensitive. Others might develop allergic reactions, so be observant and discontinue using a product if you notice any reaction on the baby.
One of the best disinfectant sprays you can buy is the CleanSmart Nursery and High Chair Cleaner (available on Amazon.co.uk). While this disinfectant has a mild bleach odor, it’s safe for use around kids as it doesn’t contain harmful residues. It’s made of very simple ingredients: hypochlorous acid and salty water.
You can use it to spray a baby’s travel cot and other surfaces like their crib, changing station, and play area. After spraying it, you don’t need to wipe it. Just let it air dry.
You can also use these sprays at home, from time to time when you don’t want to deep clean the travel cot.
This cleaning method is suitable when a cot isn’t very dirty, and you only need to keep it germ-free.
3. Machine Wash Some Components of the Travel Cot
You can machine wash parts of a travel cot, such as the mattress cover, sheets, and blanket. However, read the manufacturer’s instructions to determine whether you can machine wash these items. Use a gentle and bleach-free detergent depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Don’t wash the cot mattress using the washing machine as it’ll get damaged.
4.Vacuum Clean the Travel Cot
Vacuum cleaning is one of the ways you can clean the travel cot mattress. Here are the steps to follow:
- Remove the mattress cover from the mattress.
- Thoroughly vacuum one side of the mattress.
- Turn the mattress over and vacuum the opposite side.
- Pay close attention to the mattress seams and the stitch-overs.
- Cover the mattress with a clean mattress cover and place it back on the travel cot.
Baby-Friendly Detergents for Cleaning a Travel Cot
Below are some baby-friendly detergents you can use to clean different parts of a travel cot and other baby laundry (all available on Amazon.co.uk).
- Dreft Stage 2 Active Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent. This comes in a two-pack, which means you’ll forget about buying detergent for a good number of days. This detergent is unscented and hypoallergenic; therefore, it’s ideal for sensitive baby skin.
- All Liquid Laundry Detergent. The All liquid laundry detergent is hypoallergenic and unscented. It’s suitable for use in any washing machine and leaves the baby’s clothes feeling soft and smelling fresh. It comes as a single pack and is enough for 100 loads.
- Purex Liquid Baby Laundry Detergent. This Purex laundry detergent comes in a two-pack and is lightly scented. It’s suitable for use in any washing machine, is hypoallergenic, and dye-free. Purex Liquid Baby Laundry Detergent is dermatologically tested and good for sensitive skin.