Three Steps to a Cleaner Nursery
Whether you’re expecting and nesting or simply making your way through parental to-dos, giving your little one’s room a solid scrub is a big task with more significant benefits.
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There must be something about the longer days and the fresh spring air that inspires people to take stock, organize, and clean their spaces. And when you welcome baby into your home, you want to ensure that surfaces are safe for crawling, chewing, and exploring. Thankfully, you can take a few steps to tidy the nursery to make it a safer space.
Make the Nursery a Shoe-Free Zone
It may appear as a no-brainer for keeping your cutie’s floor clean, but not wearing shoes is about much more than dirt. The soles of sneakers pick up all kinds of gross stuff, including mold spores, germs, bacteria, and parasites. A study from the University of Arizona discovered that more than 421,000 different bacteria were found on the bottoms of shoes—some of which can make your family sick.
At the top of the list is poop from birds, dogs, humans, you name it. Picking up fecal matter is almost an absolute when walking outside, whether it’s animal waste or using a public restroom. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), E. coli, a bacteria found in feces, has certain strains that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illnesses, pneumonia, and other illnesses.
Another danger lurking underneath your feet is Clostridioides difficile (C. diff), a nasty bacterium that causes colitis, an inflammation of the colon, with symptoms ranging from severe diarrhea to fatal infection for higher-risk individuals, such as those with weakened immune systems and people age 65 and older. A study from the University of Houston found that 26% of shoes carry the bacterial strain, and 17% of homes surveyed were positive for contamination.
While healthy adults may have minimal risk of coming in contact with harmful bacteria on the floor, non-walkers with oral fixations and less mature immune systems are far more susceptible to the risk of illness. The easiest solution? Check your shoes at the nursery—or, better yet, the front door.
Minimize Dust Accumulation
You’re not imagining things. Dust appears overnight and seems to re-cover surface areas once removed quickly. Bedrooms can generate more dust due to high-collection fabrics and furniture, such as comforters, blankets, and rugs. (All those adorable stuffed animal friends on the shelf also contribute.) If a room also has carpet, the particles like bedding fibers, dust mites, and skin cells can accumulate even more. We know your ick-radar is going off, but before you break out the cleaning supplies, ensure your appliances aren’t contributing to the problem in the first place.
Regularly vacuuming is a given, but a clean filter is needed to prevent dust and debris from spreading from room to room. Most vacuum manufacturers recommend replacing the filter every three to six months. Check to ensure nothing is blocking the suction of your vacuum, too. (Pro tip: Some vacuums use more than one filter at a time, depending on power settings and efficiency, so check before you purchase replacements.)
Other common dust offenders include your air conditioning filter and ceiling fan. Keeping your little one’s room cool is essential for quality sleep, but running these appliances overnight will result in more dust if left clogged by dander, dirt, and air pollutants. The new dust simply has nowhere to go but onto the floor, the changing table, or the crib.
Your ceiling fan is less discrete at hiding the evidence and collects along the blade edges over time, whether you use it or not. An extendable duster is helpful for routine maintenance without sending as much dust into the air, or you can opt for a damp cloth (microfiber is best) if cleaning by hand.
Choose Nontoxic Cleaning Products
Ideally, you should clean your babe’s nursery without harsh chemicals; bonus points if you can avoid phosphates, phthalates, preservatives, and fragrances. When used correctly, these gentle agents should suit tummy time sessions and curious crawlers. Here are a few of our go-to essentials:
Everyday Cleaning: Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
This unscented all-purpose cleaner is a great multitasking miracle worker for all-things-baby and beyond. Perfect for bathtime bubbles, cleaning countertops, soaking fruit and veggies, laundry detergent, stain remover, dish soap, hand soap, and more, it’s your one-stop shop for many household duties. Thanks to a concentrated formula, you’ll get plenty of use from each bottle. Dilute a small amount with water to cleanse everything from top to bottom.
Carpets and floors: Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner + Carpet Refresher bundle
Safely mop floors and spot-treat carpets and rugs using 100% natural ingredients. These cleaning formulas are approved for various surfaces and cut through the grime with minimal elbow grease. Made with pure essential oils, each agent leaves a subtle scent despite being vinegar-based.
Disinfecting: CleanWell Botanical Disinfecting Wipes
These wipes are safer for wiping down toys and other surfaces prone to ending up in your baby’s mouth. Just make sure to let the antibacterial cleaning solution air-dry thoroughly before the subsequent use. (Tip: If the absence of bleach or alcohol makes you apprehensive, wash approved toys in the top rack of the dishwasher.)
Air-purification: Pure Enrichment PureBaby Bear Air Purifier
In addition to keeping air filters clean, adding a purification system with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to your darling’s room will help improve air quality by capturing particles like dust, pollen, pet dander, and even some viruses. This kid-friendly air purifier catches 99.97% of particles in 30 minutes and includes a night-light feature.
Spray cleaner: Attitude All-Purpose Cleaner
If you prefer the ease and convenience of a spray bottle for everyday cleaning, this new formula by Attitude is a great buy. It’s EWG Verified, meaning its formula is produced according to the strictest standards and is free from dangerous chemicals. It also touts a streak-free shine without leaving behind residue on hard surfaces.