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How to Wash a Pack and Play: Step-by-Step Thorough Cleaning Guide

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If you wonder how to wash a pack and play, the answer is easy, you only need to soak it for a bit, then scrub, and finally air-dry. And that last thing means that you need to plan this deep cleaning strategically because drying a playpen indoors and in non-ideal conditions will be a hassle. Also, the mattress might not dry properly, which leads to the risk of mold.

how to clean a pack and play

how to clean a pack and play

So, the most important thing for cleaning your pack n play thoroughly is timing. Study weather reports and choose the hottest and sunniest day available. If possible, plan for two days as some playards might need a bit more time to dry. But that mostly depends on the air temperature.

After you pick the day, the actual washing should take about two hours max.

How to Wash a Pack and Play Thoroughly

  • Fill your bathtub with the hottest water you can get. NOTE: Study the pack n play cleaning instructions first. If it has the maximum temperature washing instructions, be sure to comply. Some modern materials require the use of cold water. In this case, you might need to repeat this deep cleaning a couple of times.
  • Add a special cleaning solution to the water. Using your regular baby-safe detergent won’t work, but you’ll need that one as well. The recipe for a deep-cleaning solution for a playpen is ½ cup of the detergent you use with baby things, q/4 cup Oxiclean (optional and use only if it’s allowed for the material), ½ cup vinegar, and ¼ cup of baking soda. Once you pour all the ingredients into the tub of hot water, use a spatula to stir the water to make sure all of them mix and dissolve. Mind your hands so you don’t get burned by the water!
  • Soak the pack and play in the tub.

how to wash a pack and play how to wash a pack and play

  • Leave the playpen to soak for an hour. If it can’t be submerged fully, turn it over after half an hour.
  • Drain the water and get scrubbing. Don’t be shocked as the water is sure to be disgustingly filthy after this kind of thorough cleaning. Drain it and use a brush to scrub any stains that might be left.
  • Rinse with cold water. Rinse the playpen off using a detachable showerhead. You can also take it outdoors and use a hose to do it.
  • Air-dry for a day. Set up your newly cleaned pack n play outdoors and let it dry in the sun. The mattress should be air-dried as well, but set it up in a way that will allow for easy air circulation. For example, you can put it atop two little stools. Turn it over after a couple of hours and keep doing it until it’s completely dry.


Take out the mattress, fold the playpen, and put it in. The mattress should go first so you can weight it down with the folded frame. Be sure to remove any removable parts, including the mattress cover. If any of them can be machine-washed, do it while the rest of the playard soaks.

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