A Guide To Cleaning Your Outdoor Playset
Outdoor playsets offer a great opportunity for children to have fun and exercise, but they're also hotbeds for germs and bacteria. In fact, high-traffic, high-touch playground equipment (like monkey bars, baby swings, and seesaws) contain over 52,000 times more than a typical home toilet seat, a report commissioned by HomeAdvisor> found. So, once you've bought your outdoor playset, it only makes sense to protect your children's health with regular cleaning.
Before you start cleaning...
Check your playset for any harmful bugs which may be hiding in small nooks and crannies. Keep an eye out for black widows and Orchard spiders, which can be dangerous. If you discover any insects, webs, or eggs, rinse them away with the garden hose. You may, however, prefer to move harmless spiders to other areas of the garden without killing them. Make sure to protect yourself by wearing gloves during your inspection. If you end up finding nests, you may have an infestation that requires professional removal by an exterminator.
Cleaning your playset
Surface dirt can be removed from your playset with a simple mixture of soap and warm water. Stick to using a natural, plant-based, biodegradable liquid soap - essential oils and botanical ingredients are safer for your children and pets than synthetic chemicals. However, you may want to check the ingredients are safe and not dangerous for your nearby garden plants. Simply fill a bucket with warm water (it's easier to use a garden hose than the kitchen tap) and add one or two squirts of soap. Don a pair of rubber gloves and swish the water with your hands until it froths up. Next, get a cloth and wipe the solution over the playset. You'll need to squeeze out the cloth and dunk it back into the bucket as needed. Finish off by rinsing the playset clean with the hose.
Removing stubborn mold
Removing mold from your playset is essential for maintaining a safe environment for your children. If inhaled or ingested, mold can cause serious respiratory problems and allergies - and children are particularly susceptible. To get rid of any mold, you'll need to create a stronger cleaning solution comprised of two tablespoons of bleach mixed with a gallon of water. Then, take a soft-bristled brush and immerse the head in the cleaning solution. Scrub the areas of your playset infected with mold or mildew - apply firm pressure and move the brush in circular motions. Rinse your brush regularly and re-dip in the cleaning solution as needed. Once the mold is gone and the playset is clean, rinse it off with the hose.
You should make a habit of cleaning the playset at least once a week or month depending on how often it's used. At the bare minimum, give it a clean at the beginning of each new season. Doing so will ensure your children enjoy their playset for many years to come.
This article was written by Jane Robertson who is a freelance writer. We thank her for her work. The top photograph was by Annie Spratt on Unsplash. Again, we are grateful.
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