Even the best bounce houses won’t clean themselves, which is why it’s so important to learn how to care for a bounce house to prevent it from turning into a breeding ground for bacteria. We have consulted with cleaning experts, bounce house operators, and parents to find out which cleaning methods work the best and which should be avoided.
Establish some basic rules to minimize cleaning
If you allow your children to bring drinks and food onto the bounce house, there’s no wonder that you have to clean it all the time. To save time and protect your sanity, you should establish some basic rules to minimize the need to clean the bounce house.
- Forbid your children from brings food and drinks onto the bounce house. Eating and drinking don’t mix with bouncing. Unless you find scrubbing various sticky stains fun, you should never allow any of your children to eat or drink onto the bounce house.
- No jumping for sick children. Small children are powerful snot and mucus machines even when healthy, but their ability to leave bodily fluids on every surface they come in touch with skyrockets when sick. If your child is sick with cold or similar seasonal illness, it’s best to move him or her from the bounce house to the bed.
- No shoes when jumping. Just like you wouldn’t allow your children to wear shoes while walking on your expensive carpet, you shouldn’t allow them to wear shoes when bouncing onto the bounce house.
- Never let your children bring any sharp or fragile objects onto the bounce house. Glasses may break, hair clips and pins may puncture the bounce house walls, and even metal rings are often sharp enough to cause a tear.
Steps to clean a bounce house
Always clean your bounce house inflated. Once inflated, walk onto the bounce house and remove any loose debris. Don’t use any tools that could damage the bounce house—your bare hands are usually perfectly fine for the job. To take this initial cleaning process a step further, you may vacuum the entire surface of the bounce house using the couch attachment.
After cleaning your bounce house from debris and dirt, it’s time to begin the sanitizing process. This is where various sprays and cleaning products come in handy and make the job much more effective and faster than if you’d relied only on water and scrubbing. Cleaning products suitable for bounce houses are available in many different forms, including organic. The good news is that even some of the most affordable cleaning products on the market are just as effective as some of the more expensive products, which are usually gentler on the material the bounce house is made of.
When you’re done with cleaning, you must let your bounce house properly dry before you deflate it and pack it for storage. Even the smallest amount of moisture could allow mold to grow, and you would then have to purchase much more expensive products to get rid of it. That said, it’s actually a great idea to purchase an anti-mold product anyway and use it for prevention.
Best bounce house cleaning products
We have asked parents what are their favorite bounce house cleaning products, and these were the most recommended products:
Lysol is a popular multi-purpose cleaner that kills nearly 100 percent of germs upon contact. It’s available in several scents, and it can be used for cleaning floors, kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, and even bounce houses made of both vinyl and nylon.
The scent left by Lysol lasts a long time, and the product comes in a safety bottle that makes it impossible for small children to open it but allows for easy pouring. You don’t have to go online to buy Lysol, but online retailers such as Amazon sometimes sell it for much cheaper than brick and mortar stores.
Just like Lysol, Clorox is another universal cleaning product capable of killing nearly 100 percent of all household bacteria in only 30 seconds. Clorox also kills viruses that cause colds and flu, which is great during the flu season.
Clorox usually comes in a trigger spray bottle with a safety nozzle, allowing for easy application on any surface. Just spray Clorox on your bounce house, let it work for half a minute, and then wipe it clean using a cloth towel. Besides germs, Clorox also effectively removes tough stains, dirt, grease, and grime.
If you’ve ever worked in a hospital, you may have come across OdoBan. This popular cleaning product removes unpleasant odors on washable surfaces such as upholstery, carpets, bedding, showers, walls, and floors while leaving a fresh scent.
According to the manufacturer, OdoBan may be used in hospitals, medical and dental offices, nursing homes, day care centers, nurseries, restaurants and bars, cafeterias, institutional facilities, public restrooms, institutions, schools, athletic facilities, campgrounds, playgrounds, public facilities, transportation terminals, hotels and motels, factories, business and office buildings, buses, ambulances, trains, and taxis. You may mix OdoBan with a sanitizer such as Lysol or Clorox for the best cleaning effect.
Matt-Kleen is favored by operators of commercial bounce houses. It’s available in large one-gallon jugs as a concentrate that can be diluted to make around 60 gallons of cleaning solution.
The resulting formula may be sprayed on most surfaces, including vinyl and nylon bounce houses. Matt-Kleen is extremely effective when it comes to removing difficult stains and sanitizing even the dirtiest surfaces.
Finally, we include a cleaning product that’s perfect for removing stains as they appear or giving children a safe cleaning product they may use to clean after themselves when they make a mess.
Sani-Cloth is effective against 30 microorganisms in 2 minutes including the following MDROs, bloodborne pathogens and viruses: MRSA, VRE, HIV, HBV, HCV. It contains 55 percent isopropyl alcohol, and a single canister of Sani-Cloth contains 160 sanitary wipes.