Tummy time mats are sat on, laid upon, or generally used by your baby for significant amounts of time. Your baby may enjoy playing with it so much that they’ll happily spend hours on it. This, of course, brings up questions about how to clean the mat so that it’s safe for the baby.
You can clean a tummy time mat by hand with warm water or household cleaners, such as baking soda and white vinegar, which help remove stains and bacteria. However, you should investigate the materials the mat is made from because these will determine which cleaning solution is most suitable.
I’ll take you through some simple tips and tricks so that you can clean a tummy time mat and ensure it’s clean and safe to use for your baby. We’ll also look at some practical cleaning tips, tricks, and methods to get the best clean possible.
Can You Clean a Tummy Time Mat?
Tummy time mats are made out of various materials, and depending on the features, you can clean them by putting them straight into the washing machine. There may be some fragile or delicate components that cannot be machine washed, so check the manual for warnings.
You can clean a tummy time mat, but the ideal method of cleaning will be determined by the mat’s materials. To remove minor stains from a fabric mat, you can spot clean using soap and warm water. Rubber and foam mats can be cleaned using natural cleaners, such as baking soda and white vinegar.
Some tummy time mats come with accessories like netting, balls, pillows, or other features, which should be removed before putting the mat into the washing machine or cleaning by hand.
Babies will be producing a lot of dirt or bodily fluids that end up on the mat. Also, as the mat is on the floor, it tends to get stepped on, bringing more dirt onto it. Mats are designed with these users in mind, and so by following the proper steps, you can clean any mat.
Making sure the mat is clean for your baby can help with the overall health of your baby by not exposing it to too dirty an environment. Such mats will be in constant contact with the baby’s skin and irritate if unclean.
How To Clean a Tummy Time Mat?
To clean a tummy time mat will be simple once you know the suitable methods. However, the correct way does depend on knowing what material your mat is made out of. If you bought it online, check the listing to see if it recommends any cleaning methods.
You can clean a tummy time mat by gently hand washing it to remove any stains or bacteria. For light messes, using a damp cloth with warm water is usually enough to keep it clean. For heavy build-up, you can also use non-toxic surface cleaners, baking soda, or white vinegar.
Otherwise, you will want to look for an ingredients list or similar to find out what the primary materials of the tummy time mat are. Some of the more common materials are foam, plastic, rubber, and fabric.
Spot Clean a Fabric Mat With a Clean, Damp Washcloth
Spot cleaning means focusing on the dirty area and cleaning that specifically. This can be a great time saver as well as a way to keep stains under control. While it can be a hassle to wash and dry things constantly, a spot clean allows your mat to stay in an excellent overall condition.
Over time, stains will tend to seep in and become impossible to remove, so it’s good to do a quick spot clean when you notice a spill or stain.
Spot cleaning is also helpful for bulky or hard-to-clean objects. A tummy time mat won’t be giant, but it may not fit easily into a washing machine because of its dimensions. A quick spot clean with a damp cloth can remove the need to go through the whole process.
Spot cleaning can also help you target the stained area, which the washing machine may miss in a general wash cycle.
You should try and use an Exel Microfibre Cleaning Cloth on Amazon.co.uk or cloth to lightly dab at stains. Try not to rub the stains; otherwise, they may spread and cause further issues.
You can try mixing up a laundry booster or laundry soaker mixture and let the fabric parts soak overnight for any other stains. Amazon.co.uk has a great laundry soaker, the Napisan Stain Remover, that can be mixed in a bucket with some hot water to help remove ingrained stains.
Apply a Baking Soda Paste To Lift Tough Stains
Another stain removal option, safe for fabric, is a paste consisting of baking soda and water. Use a few teaspoons of baking soda mixed with water in a shallow dish, and then apply the paste using an old toothbrush or rag.
Spread the paste with circular motions and then wipe it off with water. Particularly stubborn stains can benefit from leaving the paste on for 30 minutes before wiping off, but make sure you test the concoction in a discreet place first to ensure there are no adverse reactions on the fabric.
Use White Vinegar and Water To Clean Foam and Rubber Mats
You can clean foam mats with a simple home remedy that has excellent cleaning abilities all over the house. Much the same technique can be applied to rubber mats.
Rubber mats tend to be quite durable and not very porous and so resist most spills. Any spill or stain that remains can easily be removed with some light wiping with a damp cloth.
Create a mixture of white vinegar, water, and dish detergent into a spray bottle. Use approximately 1/4 cup white vinegar with a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Add two cups of water to dilute, then shake the bottle vigorously to mix.
Spray the mixture onto the mat and leave it to sit on the stain or smell for a few minutes. Wipe off using a microfibre cloth.
Foam is a broad term, but most baby products will contain ethylene vinyl acetate or EVA foam. All foams have to meet minimum government safety standards, and the water and white vinegar solution won’t damage any foam, even with prolonged exposure.
Use a Non-Toxic Surface Cleaner To Clean Plastic Components
You can wipe down plastics with a damp cloth.
Plastic surfaces can allow bacteria to grow over hours or days. You can use a household surface cleaner to help kill bacteria and clean plastic surfaces. On Amazon.co.uk, you can buy a highly rated surface cleaner, the Method Multi Surface Cleaner for all purposes, including plastic.
Method pledge that their cleaner is naturally derived and is non-toxic.
What Should I Know Before Cleaning a Tummy Time Mat?
The materials of the tummy time mat, for example, fabric, can get stained and become very hard to clean if the stain is not cleared up immediately.
You should be aware of the materials that your tummy time mat is made from before cleaning. Understanding the textiles and fabrics will enable you to respond to messes as they happen, and safely wash the material without damaging it.
By paying attention to the condition of the mat and doing spot cleaning when you see a stain can prevent the small stain from becoming a big problem later on.
To effectively put this strategy into action, make it a habit to check the mat for any markings every time you use it. If you notice something, have a cloth nearby that you can use to quickly fix any issues when you have the baby in another place, like a nearby cot or cushion.
You should try and avoid using any harsh chemicals, like bleach. In the end, your baby is going to be lying on the mat, touching it, and likely licking or trying to eat parts of it.
Ensuring you keep a regular cleaning schedule will mean that the above-listed home remedies will do more than enough to keep the tummy time mat clean and safe.