When you discover that you are having a new baby, your parental urges to protect your little one rise to the surface and the war on germs begins! Time for a Spring clean! Suddenly the house can seem like a cesspool, but how do you spring clean your Graco products? Before you start scrubbing every visible surface on all your Graco products, consider that obsessive cleaning can have its own drawbacks. Parents need to be aware that some simple changes to your spring clean can lead to spring cleaning that is child-safe.
Spring Clean time:
The first three to four months’ feeding your baby isn’t really a messy process, but once you start feeding them porridge or solid foods that is an entirely different story! Gooey, sticky hands; crushed up cereal and spilled purée get all over your Graco products. Babies can really make a big mess and not everything ends up in their mouths, leaving traces over their high chair, camp cot and travel system. It’s time for a spring clean to make sure that your baby’s swing, stroller, crib and toys are germ free!
• Dishwasher duty:
Most of the Graco products have removable parts such as the cup, or bottle holder on the stroller and the best way to sanitize these items is to use a dishwasher if you have one. Dishwashers are designed to sanitize items by using very hot water which kills all germs. Check your instruction manuals to find out which parts are dishwasher safe. Otherwise you can use a NON-TOXIC cleaner with a microfiber cloth for a simple spring clean or wipe down. You can use a mixture of vinegar, diluted with water to keep items germ free.
• Read the labels:
Take care to read all labels of any Graco products, many of them, although environmentally friendly are harmful to baby. If you are pregnant, avoid aerosols as they can be easily inhaled and always keep the room well ventilated. Many moms become incredibly sensitive to smells, so products containing ammonia and chlorine may be too strong so you may want to switch to the vinegar solution mentioned above. Baking soda is another wonder that is safe (and cheap) for mom and baby. Adding lemon juice will also ensure that everything smells fresh and spring cleaned. Choose household cleaners carefully as harsh cleaners can lead to eczema, airway irritation, eye irritation and other allergic reactions.
• Machine safe:
The removable upholstery on your products can be washed in the washing machine on a cold water cycle, make sure that you follow the washing directions on the label or in the manual. This is the easiest way to do a spring clean. The fabric parts of Graco products are the parts that are in contact with baby’s skin the most, so of course you want this to remain soft and clean. Soft toys can also go in the washing machine to be disinfected. Baby will love being in a soft, clean space.
• Buckle down:
For convenience of a spring clean, the buckles of your Graco car seat can be removed. Simply turn the restraint over and push the retainer through the slot for the harness strap. Place the buckle in a cup of warm water and gently shake. To make sure there is no dirt in the buckle, press the red button a few times to loosen anything that may be stuck like old food particles and dried milk. Try not to submerge the harness webbing, wipe this with a damp cloth. Do not use any soaps or lubricants, use only clean water to rinse the buckle and hang up to dry. Once the harness is dry reattach, and make sure it is according to the manual.
• Nooks and cranny’s:
When cleaning a High Chair you can use the same vinegar solution. To reach into the cracks and small places, use ear buds or an old toothbrush, which you keep just for this purpose. Loose crumbs can be wiped with a microfiber cloth, ensuring that the surface remains free of stickiness. This is the place your baby will spill the most so it should to be given a light cleaning or wipe down after every use.
• Dust off:
When using the baby stroller make sure it is clean before you use it, if you haven’t used it in a while chances are it could benefit from a light dusting. Try to clean all spill after each use, substances like milk will harden in hot temperatures. Always keep a microfiber cloth and a little spray bottle with the vinegar solution in your baby bag for any accident that may happen. Never store the stroller in a damp place, unfortunately the frame may rust and the fabric may get mouldy. Never wash the material covers in hot water or bleach, use only cold water and allow parts to dry naturally.
• Mattress Care:
You can invest in a good mattress cover for the baby crib, prevention is better than cure. Flipping the mattress over on a regular basis will prevent indentation as your baby grows up.
Above all, remember that happy, healthy babies are the most important. In the words of Ruth Hulburt Hamilton:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
For babies grow up, I've learned, to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.