How to Clean a Nursery

8 Clever Tips for a Germ-Free, Baby-Safe Nursery

Cleaning materials in metal bucket surrounded by nursery toys and bed

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Every new mother wants her nursery to be beautiful and clean, but keeping it that way can be harder than you imagine. Little babies are experts when it comes to making big messes, and keeping up with dirty diapers and soiled laundry can be difficult with a newborn in tow.

If you’re going to keep a clean nursery, you’re going to need a plan. Wondering where to start? Banish germs and stay on top of nursery grime by following these seven simple steps.

Create a Sanitation Station

Keep nursery germs in check by storing sanitation supplies at an arm’s reach. Set up a tray near your changing table with antibacterial gel and paper towels. Cleaning your hands before you ever leave the changing table will protect your baby from germs and prevent you from contaminating other surfaces.

White decorative basket filled with paper towel and antibacterial gel for nursery

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Plan for Soiled Diapers and Laundry

A good diaper disposal system is a nursery must-have, sealing in odors and waste and ensuring your nursery remains germ-free. You’ll also need a separate hamper for heavily soiled laundry. Very dirty items, such as soiled sheets or clothing, should be washed separately in hot water to prevent bacteria from contaminating the rest of your laundry. Using cloth diapers? You might want to invest in an eco-friendly diaper storage system to store dirty diapers between loads.

Circular hamper filled with soiled reusable diapers in nursery

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Clean Germ-Harboring "Hot Spots" Daily

Don’t have time to deep clean the nursery? Take a targeted approach. Stop nursery germs in their tracks with a daily once-over of their favorite haunts.

Frequently touched surfaces, like door handles and crib rails, and areas that see more than their fair share of yuck (such as changing tables and laundry hampers) provide an excellent breeding ground for germs and bacteria. A quick wipe-down with a disinfectant wipe delivers a knockout punch, eliminating germy messes before they have a chance to spread around your home. Just be sure to keep all cleaning supplies out of your little one's reach, and clearly mark disinfectant wipes, so they are never mistaken for baby wipes.

Nursery crib disinfected with mint green microfiber cloth

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Change Crib Bedding Weekly

Chances are, you're already changing your little one's sheets more often than you'd like. (Gotta love those 3 a.m. diaper blowouts, right?) Still, you'll want to make sure your baby’s bedding gets changed at least once a week, even if it seems clean. Drool and minor diaper leaks can cause unseen bacteria to grow in your baby's crib. Dust and dirt particles can also settle on bedding, leading to skin irritation and allergies. It may seem like an unnecessary chore, but a weekly wash will go a long way toward keeping your baby safe and healthy. 

Nursery crib bedsheet being changed for cleaning

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Sanitize Toys Regularly

Since babies explore their world with their mouths, it's important to sanitize your little one's favorite toys once a week. Wipe each toy down with disinfectant, and then rinse them with water or a wet cloth. 

Disinfectant wipe cleaning pink block sliding toy

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Use an Eco-Friendly Cleaner

Eco-friendly cleaners are not only better for the environment; they're better for your baby. Cleaning products are full of dangerous chemicals called VOCs. These common chemical compounds evaporate under normal atmospheric conditions, compromising indoor air quality. They can even make you and your family sick.

Why exchange one health risk for another, especially when there are so many better options? Parents can find a number of eco-friendly, safety-approved cleaning products in stores everywhere. Looking for a budget-friendly option? Try making your own baby-safe cleaning products using good, old-fashioned cleaning ingredients found in your own pantry. 

Eco-friendly cleaner in plastic spray bottle next to mint green microfiber cloth

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Keep Floors Clean

Babies spend much of their time on the floor, which means regular cleaning is vital. This is especially true of carpet, which can quickly become a reservoir for dust mites and mold. If your nursery is carpeted, vacuum twice a week using a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. These specially designed filters trap dust particles, pet dander, and other allergens, preventing them from being redistributed into the air.

Vacuum cleaning brown and white rug on wooden floor

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Eliminate Clutter

Less clutter makes for quicker cleaning. Need help containing the mess? You’ll find tons of tips for storing and organizing your baby’s toys and clothes right here.

Baby toys organized against wall and in decorative bag in nursery

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Article Sources
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  1. Tran, Vinh Van et al. Indoor Air Pollution, Related Human Diseases, and Recent Trends in the Control and Improvement of Indoor Air QualityInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17,8 2927, 2020, doi:10.3390/ijerph17082927