Your baby is of the age where they can do more than look at or reach for the crib mobile. A few times, they’ve grasped at it and then put their hands in their mouth. You’re beginning to get concerned about the cleanliness of the mobile. How do you clean it?
Cleaning a crib mobile depends on the material of the mobile objects or toys. Here’s what you do:
- For plastic or rubber toys, soak in mild dish soap and water
- For plush toys, wash in a pillowcase
- For wooden toys, mix water and white vinegar in a spray bottle
If this will be your first time cleaning a crib mobile, then you’ll certainly want to keep reading. Ahead, we’ll talk in more detail about how to clean various crib mobile materials. We’ll also discuss how often you’ll have to wipe down the mobile.
Let’s get started!
How to Clean a Crib Mobile
As we detailed in the intro, your cleaning methods for your baby’s crib mobile will vary according to the material of the hanging objects or toys. Here’s how to clean plastic, rubber, plush, and wooden toys.
Cleaning Plastic or Rubber Crib Mobile Toys
The entirety of the crib mobile might be made of or coated in plastic, so it’s good to know how to clean it. You need only water and liquid dish soap to disinfect rubber and plastic of the germs that could make your baby sick.
If your baby only had their hands on the crib mobile toys, then combine water and dish soap in a spray bottle and lightly mist the toys. You should use mild dish soap for these purposes.
After you clean all the crevices of the crib mobile toys, wipe them down with a wet soft cloth or rinse them to remove any soap residue.
You can hand-dry plastic or rubber or let it air-dry, whichever you have more time for.
If your baby is of the age where they’re curiously putting objects in their mouths, then they might have tried snacking on the rubber or plastic toys hanging from their crib mobile. In that case, you need to clean more thoroughly.
Combine water and mild dish soap again, but this time in a shallow basin or Tupperware. Let the plastic or rubber toys soak in the mixture for five or 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and reattach the crib mobile.
We do want to mention that if your baby’s crib mobile has electronic components such as batteries, you should not soak the plastic or rubber toys in water.
Cleaning Plush Crib Mobile Toys
Many crib mobiles include cute, plush toys because what kid doesn’t love stuffed animals and characters? As a parent, you might not be sure where to even start with cleaning plush toys.
The best cleaning method is laundering the toys in your washing machine. Yet how do you do that when they’re still attached to your baby’s crib mobile? It’s best if the mobile comes with detachable toys.
Not only are these plush toys easier to clean, but you can always give them to your child to play with once they get too old for a crib mobile.
Don’t just toss plush toys in a washing machine. That goes for the toys attached to a crib mobile as well as the many plush toys that will become your child’s favorite over the years. Instead, put the toys in a zippered garment bag, ensuring the zipper is secure.
Do you not have a garment bag? No problem. You can also toss the toys in a pillowcase and tie a knot around the opening of the pillowcase. Make sure the knot is secure.
Use hot water and low tumble-drying settings when you run the washer. The toys should come out cleaner, softer, and brighter!
Cleaning Wooden Crib Mobile Toys
You must be careful with wooden toys. If they get too wet, the wood will absorb all that water and become a hotbed for mold. Never submerge a wooden crib mobile toy then. You shouldn’t soak them either, even for short periods.
Here’s what you can do instead. Combine equal parts water and white vinegar, then transfer the mixture to a spray bottle.
Mist the toys and dry them with an absorbent, gentle cloth. You can also dip a cloth in water and white vinegar and clean the wooden toys that way, as this method keeps them from getting too wet.
Can I Use Lysol Wipes on Baby Toys?
As you squirted the last of your dish soap into a container to soak your baby’s plastic crib mobile toys, you had a thought. Can’t you just use Lysol or Clorox wipes on the toys instead?
Lysol wipes contain dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and alkyl C12, C14, and C16. According to Lysol, their product is supposed to kill up to 99.99 percent of bacteria and viruses, including streptococcus pyogenes, influenza H7N9, staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli.
It sounds like the perfect product for cleaning crib mobile toys, but will it irritate baby?
It shouldn’t because you’re not leaving the Lysol or Clorox wipe residue on the toy. Instead, you should wipe all surfaces of the toy and then go over the entire toy again with a wet paper towel. We again caution you not to use Lysol or Clorox wipes on crib mobile toys with electronics, as you could short them out.
When Do You Need to Clean a Crib Mobile?
Thanks to the cleaning methods above, you got your baby’s crib mobile and its dangling toys nice and clean again. How often should you clean the mobile going forward?
That depends on how your baby uses their crib mobile. If they’re touching the toys frequently, putting their hands in their mouths, and then touching the toys again, that’s how germs and bacteria develop on the toys.
You shouldn’t go more than a week without cleaning rubber, plastic, or wooden crib mobile toys. The good news is that these toys are less likely to be germy compared to bath toys or teething toys.
According to a study by insurance resource InsuranceQuotes.com, the average baby bath toy has more than 4.3 million germs known as colony-forming units for each square inch of the toy. That’s germier than even public diaper changing stations if you can believe that!
Knowing this, if your baby is chewing on their crib mobile toys or the toys are otherwise getting close to their mouth, you should clean them every day.
For plush crib mobile toys, you don’t have to wash them quite as often. When the toys look noticeably dingy or crusty, then it’s time for a trip in the washer. If you don’t want to wait until it gets to that point, then launder the toys every week.
Tips for Maintaining the Cleanliness of a Crib Mobile
To wrap up, here are some tips that will help you abbreviate your cleaning of baby’s crib mobile.
Get into a Cleaning Schedule
You’re a busy parent, and sometimes you forget to do things. You don’t want to wait until your baby gets sick because they were sucking on a germy crib mobile toy to make cleaning the toys a part of your regular routine.
When cleaning the crib mobile becomes a habit, it will be ingrained in you so it’ll always be a part of your schedule no matter how busy you get!
Don’t Just Clean the Crib Mobile, but the Cot Mattress as Well
A clean crib mobile is great, but it’s only one part of the crib. You should also clean the cot mattress.
According to this 2019 article from UK news and lifestyle site Which, in a survey of 1,008 parents, 28 percent cleaned the cot mattress weekly, 19 percent did it more than every two weeks, 18 percent did it up to three times per week, 17 percent did it once every two weeks, and 12 percent did it daily.
How do you clean the cot mattress? Take it out of the crib and go over it with a soft, wet cloth. You might be able to use a mild dish detergent but read the mattress instructions before you start cleaning.
Then allow the mattress to air-dry before you put it back in your baby’s crib. This will prevent mold and mildew.
Buy a Crib Mobile with Rubber or Plastic Toys
Although you’ll clean rubber or plastic crib mobile toys more frequently than plush ones, they’re a lot easier to clean. The same is true compared to wooden toys, which you can’t oversaturate with water.
You won’t mind cleaning rubber or plastic crib mobile toys a few times a week if all you have to do is give them a quick wipe down!
The methods you use to clean a crib mobile include washing with soap and water or laundering in your washing machine. We hope this article provided the information you need to keep your baby’s crib mobile safer from germs and bacteria!