Children’s ball pits are a lot of fun, especially for those with autism spectrum disorders, dyspraxia and ADHD. The sounds and textures from moving around in the ball pool can positively change how a child’s brain reacts to touch, sight and movement. Ball pits are common in children’s play centres, hospitals, in homes and sensory rooms. Yet the cleanliness of a ball pit is often a concern for many parents and carers. So whether you have a children’s ball pit in a health or education facility or have a small ball pit at home it’s crucial to have a good cleaning process in place for the health and safety of the children in your play area. How to clean a ball pit depends on the frequency of use of the ball pit as well as your budget for cleaning it.
How Often Should You Clean a Ball Pit?
If you’re running a large ball pit it is recommended that you thoroughly clean and sanitise the ball pit every 3-6 months and clean the ball pit balls daily. If you have a small ball pit at home you can clean the ball pit balls after 2 or 3 uses and then thoroughly clean the entire ball pit every 3 to 6 months.
How to Wash Ball Pit Balls
Manual Cleaning Process:
- Start by removing all the ball pit balls and place on an old sheet.
- Spray all the balls thoroughly with disinfectant solution (1 part bleach: 9 parts water) or any other disinfectant solution.
- Wait for the balls to dry and shuffle them on the blanket.
- Spray the balls for a second time to ensure thorough cleaning. Leave the balls to dry in a wash net for complete drying.
- Whilst the balls are drying, clean the interior of the ball pit by spraying the surfaces of the ball pit and wiping them down thoroughly with a cloth.
- Ensure the ball pit is completely dry before returning all balls into the pit.
Alternatively, you can hire a commercial company to come and clean your ball pit for you or you can buy a commercial ball washer so you don’t need to wash the ball pit balls manually.
Top Tip: Avoid the temptation to put all the balls in a pool of water or disinfectant. Plastic balls usually have small holes or cracks so if the balls are immersed in liquid this can get into the ball and cause mould growth over time.
How to Keep the Ball Pit Clean Between Scheduled Cleans
Ball pits tend to get dirty fairly quickly from food residue, young children’s ‘accidents’ and general dirt from small faces, hands and feet. So it’s a good idea to have someone watching the ball pit at all times armed with a small cloth and disinfectant spray just in case there are any noticeable dirty balls or a child has an ‘accident’. This will help maintain the ball pit’s cleanliness throughout its use so you can rest assured that your child is playing in a safe environment.
For more information about the benefits of ball pits in sensory rooms, or sensory rooms in general, visit Experia UK or if you have any questions do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly team!