How to clean and sanitise your baby equipment
With COVID-19 and other viruses floating around, it's important to regularly clean and disinfect your home and pretty much everything in it - especially anything related to your baby. But how should you clean and sanitise your baby equipment?
Two separate processes
Firstly, it's important to recognise that cleaning and sanitising are two separate processes. Cleaning uses soap and water to physically remove dirt from items, while sanitising is an additional step to kill even more germs on already cleaned items. Sanitising your baby equipment provides more protection against all infections.
To properly get rid of and kill germs, you will need to do both cleaning and sanitising.
(Photo courtesy of @thefariastribe)
How to begin cleaning and sanitising
Make sure you have some under-the-sink or utility room essentials like washing-up liquid, Milton's sterilising fluid, anti-bacterial laundry cleanser, washing detergent, some bottle brushes and a stack of clean cloths and tea towels.
Cleaning toys and books first to remove dirt is essential to the sanitising process. Start by using good old soap and water to get rid of dirt and grime, which can carry germs and viruses. If you can actually see dirt and grime on the surface, use the soap and water method first. The next step is to use a disinfectant to actually kill the germs.
The most effective disinfecting formulas include diluted bleach and alcohol-based solutions that have a minimum of 70% alcohol. You can read this 'Which' article on keeping your home sanitised and protected against Covid-19.
Cleaning teething toys
You will most likely be doing this already, but it is important to be regularly cleaning teething toys especially at this time. Teething toys are in and out of mouths and on and off floors - a perfect scenario for picking up germs.
The best advice is to wash them using warm water and washing up liquid and rinse with cold, running water. Then soak the toys for about 15 minutes in a solution of Milton Sterilising Fluid.
Doctors say you should regularly clean anything that comes into contact with your baby's saliva or nasal secretions. This definitely includes your baby's dummy. Wash with warm, soapy water a few times a day or every time it drops on the ground. You can also sterilise your baby's dummy in boiling water or a steriliser once a week.
Cleaning soft toys
If you can prize that teddy away from the grip of little fingers, here's how to ensure it gets cleaned properly. Firstly, check if it is machine washable (the label should tell you), place inside a pillowcase for protection and wash on a delicates cycle at the lowest temperature. Add some Dettol anti-bacterial laundry cleanser for that added disinfecting agent.
If it is not machine-washable, hand wash the teddy in warm water with a dash of washing detergent. Rinse and then soak for 15 minutes in some Milton Sterilising Fluid.
Once washed, squeeze excess water from the teddy, then leave to dry out completely - either sat in an airing cupboard or pegged up on a washing line.
Cleaning and sterilising feeding equipment
Before sterilising your baby's feeding equipment, wash the bottles, teats and other items in hot, soapy water or run them through the dishwasher. If you use the dishwasher (which can only be used for cleaning and NOT sterilising), make sure you separate all the parts, and face the bottles, lids and teats downwards. Rinse in cold, running water as a last measure before you begin to sterilise.
The NHS recommends three options for sterilising baby's feeding equipment:
Cold water sterilising solution
Follow the manufacturers instructions, but leave the equipment in the solution for at least 30 minutes, changing the sterilising solution every 24 hours. As you place the equipment into the solution, ensure there are no trapped air bubbles in the bottles. Make sure the bottles, lids and teats remain under the solution (your product should have some kind of plunger or floating lid to help with this).
There are many types sterilisers on the market, so ensure you follow the manufacturer's instructions. Just remember to face the bottles and teats downwards to ensure proper sterilising.
If your equipment is safe to boil, place all parts into a large pan of boiling water for 10 minutes, keeping everything under the surface. Boiling can sometimes cause damage to teats, so keep checking for cracks and tears.
Drying baby equipment
If you need to dry items after washing or sanitising, place items on a clean, unused tea towel or kitchen roll in an area protected from dirt and dust. Allow to air-dry thoroughly before storing. Do not use a tea towel to rub or pat items dry because doing so may transfer germs to the items.
(Photo courtesy of @_thevintageblonde)
How to clean your Sleepyhead
We created our pods so that each piece is washable. Check out the label on the bottom of your pod cover for more detailed instructions.
Outer Cover: Machine wash in warm water inside a garment bag and hang to air dry (to help avoid colour bleeding for covers with prints, be sure to immediately hang to dry after the machine cycle is finished and ensure there are no folds or overlapping when drying). Do not tumble dry. Do not bleach. Do not dry clean.
Pad: Hand wash in cold water and lay flat to dry. Do not tumble dry. Do not iron. Do not bleach. Do not dry clean.
Inner Sleeve: Machine wash in cold water and hang to air dry. Do not tumble dry. Do not bleach. Do not dry clean.
We do not recommend using bleach on any part of your pod - stain remover is preferred.
Inner Tube: The tube rarely needs washing - instead shaking and ventilating are usually enough. If washing the tube, machine wash in cold water inside a garment bag and then tumble dry on low heat only. You can shake or fluff to redistribute the filling as necessary. If still damp, lay flat to dry. Do not iron. Do not bleach. Do not dry clean.
Keep it fresh
We hope this helps you on your quest to keep your baby gear clean and sanitised, especially during this season. Look no further if you find yourself needing replacement parts for your Sleepyhead or some beautiful new prints. We're here to help.