18 answers

Disinfecting Ball Pits

What is the best way to clean balls from a ball pit? My mother gifted our 21 month old daughter with a ball pit and I have no idea how I should go about cleaning all those balls. She purchased a set from Target (about 150 balls) which feel very fragile. They are small and dent easily. She also purchased a set from a consignment store (about 100 balls) which are more like the kind you would find at McDonalds. They are large and sturdy. I thought about cleaning them in our dishwasher, but it is notorious for melting plastic---even when you secure it on the top shelf! Any ideas?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for your extremely helpful tips and suggestions. The balls do have a tiny hole in them so I ended up not soaking them fully. I worried about the eventual mold and I want these balls to last as long as possible. So to clean them I put them in a mesh bag (I cannot believe I fit them all in!) and liberally sprayed it with a vinegar/water solution since we were out of bleach. I hung them up in our basement, over a towel, to drip dry. I did not wet them or wipe them down after they dried, I figured a little vinegar isn't going to hurt. In fact it may even help keep the balls from getting slobbered on. : ) Thanks again!

Featured Answers

washing machine with bleach! (10% bleach is the world's best known sanitizer... aside from heat like an autoclave). If you don't want the hassle of picking the balls out you could use a couple of mesh laundry sacks.

2 moms found this helpful

The only idea that comes to mind is soaking them in the tub with water and bleach(or any other disinfectant).
We too have a ball pit and I wipe that down with Lysol wipes.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I wouldn't recommend soaking them in water as many have suggested. Most of the balls have a tiny hole in them, and some even have cracks. The holes are just big enough for water to get in, but not big enough for the insides to dry. They will end up getting moldy inside.

What I did was spread them all out on a blanket in the living room and spray them liberally with Clorox Anywhere or similar product. Once they are dry, mix them up some and spray again to make sure you got all surfaces.

2 moms found this helpful

washing machine with bleach! (10% bleach is the world's best known sanitizer... aside from heat like an autoclave). If you don't want the hassle of picking the balls out you could use a couple of mesh laundry sacks.

2 moms found this helpful

How about a bathtub filled with bleach water or even just dish soap?

1 mom found this helpful

I would try using the bathtub. You could put them in with a mild bleach solution. As a bonus, while you are soaking them, you would get your tub clean.

1 mom found this helpful

Hmmm...I have found that by if I put all my kids toys (all the plastic ones anyway) in the bathtub, I can spray them all at once with a 10% bleach solution. Then I just let the mist air dry. We haven't had a problem with anyone getting sick in awhile. Another idea would be to buy some of the anti-virus, antibacterial spray instead of the bleach. Good luck!

K.

1 mom found this helpful

The only idea that comes to mind is soaking them in the tub with water and bleach(or any other disinfectant).
We too have a ball pit and I wipe that down with Lysol wipes.

1 mom found this helpful

Two options:

1. if you have a kiddie pool, put some soapy water in there and then just stir it around

2. put them in the washing machine on a cold wash cycle with vinegar instead of soap

That was my idea too! Bleach solution in a bath tub. I would probably avoid using soap, as that would tend to leave a residue on plastic unless you're planning to painstakingly wash every ball by hand....Good luck!

I love the gifts our children receive from people that will never have to clean them. lol

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