Lee asked: How do I clean a little bit of mold from my son’s pack and play mat? It is three, thin boards wrapped in cushioning. It is covered with a stain resistant material, and the whole piece folds into thirds. We took it out to clean it and must not have gotten the underside dried thoroughly enough. How do we get it out?
Pack and Plays or playpens are designed to be spot cleaned only. Some covers are removable and can be laundered, but most are permanently attached to the board bases. If the cover can be laundered, normal cleaning should remove the mildew and mold spots. If it can’t be removed, follow these steps to spot clean and remove the mold from the fabric.
You Will Need:
- Soft cloths
- White vinegar
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Simple Green
Steps to Remove the Mold:
- If you can take the playpen outside without disturbing the mold (by taking apart the playpen), then do so. Cleaning the mold off outside will help to prevent the spread of mold spores in the house.
- Mix an equal amount of water and white vinegar.
- Moisten a soft cloth with the mixture and rub it over the mold stain.
- A mixture of equal amounts isopropyl alcohol and water can be used instead, but test it on a small hidden area first as the alcohol can have a bleaching effect on some fabrics.
- If the mold remains, spray the area with Simple Green and wipe gently with a damp cloth.
- Once the mold is removed, rinse the area completely to remove any residue from the cleaning products.
- After rinsing, press a dry cloth or towel onto the area to absorb the extra water.
- Allow the piece to air dry completely.
- If possible, set the piece in the sun to dry. The sun is a natural mold killer and will help to prevent the mold and mildew from returning.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Mold spores can be difficult to remove, even though the stain is gone. Check the area frequently for returning mold or mildew. If it does return, the spores have not been removed or killed.
- Placing the item in direct sunlight for several hours will help to kill any remaining spores.
- Do not use any harsh cleaners in areas where the child will be playing. Ensure all cleaning products are thoroughly removed.
- Mold requires moisture to grow. Consider using a dehumidifier in the room where the playpen is kept.
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Green Cleaning by Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli
- Cleaning Plain & Simple by Donna Smallin