Indoor playgrounds avoid the rain, wind and dust that outdoor playgrounds may have to contend with. But even if your play area is inside, you need a plan for keeping your indoor playground clean. Tiny hands are capable of some big messes, so plan ahead to keep your playground sanitary and inviting all year long. Keeping a clean playground involves preventing messes, doing regular cleaning and addressing unexpected messes as they occur.
Tips to Prevent Messes
One way you can keep your playground clean is by taking steps to prevent messes in the first place. This doesn’t mean you’ll be able to avoid all messes or skip cleaning your equipment, but it can help your equipment stay cleaner in between daily cleanings or occasional wipe downs.
Preventative cleaning tips include:
- Provide litter receptacles. It’s much easier to keep your play area clean if there are trash receptacles people can use. Be sure to post a sign reminding families to use the trash bins and to tidy up. If you make it easier to keep things tidy, you will have less to clean yourself.
- Keep snack areas separate. When kids are allowed to enjoy their snacks and drinks on or around the play equipment, you can expect a lot more messes — including sticky spills and hard-to-clean crumbs. By creating a separate area for snacking, you can maintain a food-free play area and keep your equipment cleaner.
- Provide a hand sanitizer station. It’s a good idea to have restrooms and hand sanitizing stations positioned near the playground, so kids can clean their hands before joining in the fun. This can also help prevent kids from spreading viruses or other germs.
How to Keep the Playground Clean
Maintaining indoor play equipment is a daily process. To keep your playground hygienic and tidy, you should give all the equipment a simple cleaning at the beginning or end of each day. Here are a few steps to keep in mind as you work to keep your playground clean:
1. Check the Owner’s Manual
The owner’s manuals and instructions that come with your play equipment have the best information on how to clean the structures, including which detergents and cleaning methods to avoid. For instance, the recommended methods for how to clean foam and how to clean plastic playground equipment may differ, so it’s smart to pay attention to any special requirements your equipment has. Manuals will also give you more details about heavy cleanup jobs.
2. Clean Surfaces
Start by using soap and water to remove dirt and anything sticky. For most coated metal and plastic-feeling material, wiping down with a damp cloth and mild detergent is fine. You can use soft brushes to get rid of dirt on plastics, to get into crevices and to clean ropes. Don’t use paper towels on any surfaces that may scratch, such as domes and windows, and avoid using any abrasive scrubbers unless the instructions for your play equipment specifically say these methods of cleaning are safe.
3. Sanitize or Disinfect
Next, use non-toxic cleaning products listed as safe for your playground equipment to sanitize or disinfect. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sanitizing lowers the number of germs to a safe level, while disinfecting aims to kill germs completely. Make sure you use a non-toxic sanitizing product or disinfectant to remove germs that could transmit viruses, fungi and bacteria.
4. Spot Clean
In addition to cleaning and sanitizing or disinfecting once daily, you’ll want to keep an eye on your equipment throughout the day for any smudges or dirt that needs to be wiped off. Smudges may be most obvious on windows, which you can use an ammonia-free cleaner to wipe down. Spot cleaning your indoor playground a few times a day, especially if your playground sees heavy use, can go a long way toward keeping your playground clean.
How to Address Messes
In addition to scheduled cleanings and simple spot cleans, there may be messes that need to be cleaned up right away. For example, if a kid has a potty accident or gets sick while on the playground, you’ll need to take quick action to address the situation.
If there are any bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, feces or vomit, on play equipment, close the affected equipment and clean and disinfect the entire area to prevent any risk of contagions. It’s smart to keep a sign handy that reads “Temporarily closed for cleaning” that you can display while you’re cleaning the mess.
Easy-To-Clean Commercial Playground Equipment From Soft Play®
At Soft Play, our equipment is designed for easy maintenance and cleaning. With commercial playground equipment from Soft Play, you can provide a fun experience for families to bring them back to your restaurant, entertainment center, shopping mall or another area. Contact Soft Play today for a free design consultation for an indoor play equipment.