How to clean a baby crib mattress is a question many parents ask. It can be awkward to clean a baby crib mattress, and it may seem like it gets dirty the moment you’ve cleaned it.
Do baby crib mattresses need to be cleaned every day? And how can you keep a crib mattress clean for longer? Let’s look at the best way to clean a baby crib mattress.
How Often Should You Clean a Baby Crib Mattress?
It’s important for babies to always have a clean and dry place to sleep.
Because of leaky diapers, the occasional spit up or dribbling while sleeping, or small food and bottle spills that can happen in a crib, bedding can get wet and dirty very quickly.
But it’s also important to deep clean the mattress regularly, even when it doesn’t look dirty and you’ve changed the cover.
Over time, dust mites and allergens can accumulate in a mattress, and there can be messes and spills that aren’t visible. Here’s a great schedule for cleaning a baby crib mattress:
Change the top sheet and/or cover if it has spills and messes, or if it has gotten wet or damp
Once or Twice a Week
- Remove and launder crib bedding.
- Vacuum the top and edges of the crib mattress to remove dust and debris.
- Wipe down the crib mattress with a damp cloth.
- Dry the crib mattress with a dry cloth, and ensure it is completely dry before replacing bedding.
Once or Twice a Month
Deep clean the baby crib mattress (as described below)
Having a regular cleaning schedule, as well as responding to messes when they arise, not only helps ensure that a baby’s mattress is as healthy as possible, but it also extends the life of your crib mattress and helps you get the most value for your money.
How do You Clean a Baby Crib Mattress?
While it may be tempting to clean a dirty crib mattress with bleach, to ensure you’ve killed all the germs, you should never use bleach on a baby mattress.
No matter how well your rinse and dry it, bleach residue may remain, and irritate your baby’s delicate skin.
Read the instructions that come with your baby’s mattress to find out if it should be cleaned with water only, or if the manufacturer recommends cleaning with a laundry detergent solution.
- Remove all the bedding, then remove the mattress from the crib.
- Shake or sweep the mattress to remove any superficial debris.
- Vacuum the mattress, ideally with a brush attachment, to clean it and remove dust.
- Be sure to vacuum both sides, and around the sides and edges.
- Check any seams, depressions, or closures, making sure you’ve removed any dirt or crumbs that have collected there.
- If you can use laundry detergent on your mattress, make a solution of five cups of warm water and one tablespoon of (gentle, unscented) laundry detergent. Otherwise, just use warm water.
- Using a clean cloth or sponge, wipe down the mattress with the water or detergent solution.
- Gently scrub at any visible stains, but don’t saturate the mattress with water.
- For hard-to-remove stains, moisten a sponge with lemon juice, and then gently rub the juice into the stain.
- Lay down some towels, flip the mattress over, and wipe down the other side of the mattress.
- As above, gently scrub or use lemon juice on stains.
- Allow the mattress to dry completely.
- If possible, lay it in outdoors to dry in the sun, where UV rays will both kill germs, and help boost the stain-fighting power of the lemon juice.
- If the mattress needs to be dried indoors, use clean towels to blot and absorb as much water as possible. Use an electric fan to speed the drying process.
- Make sure the mattress is completely dry before replacing bedding and returning it to the crib.
- If possible, flip the mattress over, so that both sides get slept on equally.
How Do You Keep a Baby’s Crib Mattress Clean for Longer?
The biggest problem with keeping a baby’s crib mattress clean is moisture and wetness. If a mattress gets wet to the core, it can be difficult for it to dry completely.
Dampness can affect the “fluff” of a mattress, making it lumpy and less comfortable.
And dampness inside a mattress can also allow mold and mildew to grow inside the mattress, potentially causing allergens.
While many baby mattresses claim to be waterproof or water-resistant, many of them lose water resistance over time.
It’s always a good idea to use a waterproof liner over the mattress and beneath the bedding. This prevents moisture from getting into the mattress, making it easier to clean and more hygienic over time.
When choosing a baby crib mattress cover, it’s always a good idea to look for covers that are machine washable and won’t shrink in the dryer.
Having a waterproof pad or liner, and a washable cover makes cleaning your baby crib mattress a snap and helps to keep it clean for longer.