Whether you’re expecting and nesting or simply making your way through parental to-dos, giving your wee one’s room a solid scrub is a big task with bigger benefits. It feels good to know surfaces are safe for crawling, chewing and exploring, but a truly clean nursery requires more than a Saturday spruce. Read on for ways to take your tidying up a few notches.
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 and bacteria—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 around outside, whether it’s animal waste or from using a public restroom. According to the 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 C. diff (Clostridioides difficile), a nasty bacterium that causes colitis, an inflammation of the colon. A study from the University of Houston found that 26.4 percent of shoes carry the bacterial strain, and symptoms can range from severe diarrhea to fatal infection.
While healthy adults may have minimal risk for coming in contact with harmful bacteria on the floor, non-walkers with oral fixations 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 crazy. Dust appears overnight and seems to quickly recover surface areas once removed. Bedrooms specifically 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 contribute as well.) If a room also has carpet, then bedding fibers, dust mites and skin cells can increase 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.
Vacuuming regularly is a given, but a clean filter is needed to prevent dust and debris from simply spreading to other places. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filter every 3-6 months. (Some vacuums use more than one filter at a time, depending on power settings and efficiency.) Check to ensure nothing is blocking the suction of your vacuum, too.
Other common 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 for overnight stretches of time will result in more dust if left clogged from dander, dirt and air pollutants. The new dust simply has nowhere to go but onto the floor, the changing table, the crib, etc.
Your ceiling fan is less discrete at hiding the evidence and collects along the blade edges overtime, 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
You babe’s nursery should be cleaned without the use of harsh chemicals; bonus points if you can avoid phosphates, phthalates and preservatives, too. When used correctly, these gentle agents should be suitable for 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, for use as a 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, this bottle offers a ton of solution out of every purchase. 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 percent natural ingredients. Their formulas are approved for a variety of surfaces and cut through the grime without the extra elbow grease. Made with pure essential oils, it leaves a subtle scent despite being vinegar-based.
Disinfecting: CleanWell Botanical Disinfecting Wipes
These are a safer choice for wiping down toys and other surfaces prone to ending up in baby’s mouth. Just make sure to let the antibacterial cleaning solution air-dry fully before the next use. (Tip: If the absence of bleach or alcohol makes you apprehensive, wash approved toys in the top rack of the dishwasher.)
Air-purification: Nuby Aura Air
In addition to keeping air filters clean, adding a purification system to your darling’s room will help improve air quality by capturing airborne viruses, bacteria, VOCS and allergens. We love that this design mounts on the wall away from the reach of grabby toddlers.