Although not as prone to germs and dust as a fabricated bassinet, a wooden baby bed needs timely cleaning to ensure your bub is completely safe. This ultimate guide will help you understand when and how to clean a wooden crib perfectly.

Cleaning a Wooden Crib: How To Do It Properly?

Every day, we, as parents, spend a considerable amount of time cleaning up messes made by our babies and wiping down floors to provide our bubs with adequate protection against common environmental germs. However, a wooden crib is something you don’t thoroughly clean and disinfect each day. Moreover, cleaning a wooden cot is not as easy as cleaning toys, fitted crib sheets, and clothing.

What makes cleaning a wooden baby bed even more challenging is a couple of tight spaces that act as dirt magnets but aren’t the easiest to reach. So, how can you go about getting your wooden baby bed to a hygienic state? Well, all it takes is a little know-how to clean a wooden cot for baby effectively with almost no hassles.

When & How Frequently Should You Clean Your Wooden Baby Bed?

A wooden nursery crib is one of the most reliable pieces of furniture that you own for your little bundle of joy. From your bub’s safety while sleeping to their day-time independent play and more, a crib is something babies spend most of their time in. This means cleaning a wooden crib timely is highly important even if it doesn’t appear dirty.

After all, with all the time your tiny tot spends inside, their crib is more prone to spit-ups, drooling, germy hands, and more. While the crib rails might look more concentrated for disinfecting, especially when your baby is teething, the nooks and corners deserve equal attention.

According to most pediatricians, it is ideal for parents to change the crib sheets every two days in the first three months of their baby’s life and later reduce it to two sheets a week. However, the crib mattress and the wooden crib must be properly cleaned every month to ensure there is no excessive build-up of germs, dirt and dust. Moreover, regular cleaning of your wooden baby cot can also help you prevent icky build-ups that are even messier and more difficult to clean.

Things To Keep In Mind While Cleaning a Wooden Cot

If you are planning to clean your baby’s crib effectively, here are some important things to keep in mind before you get started:

1. Never Keep Your Baby Around While Deep Cleaning

It is highly crucial to move your baby to a separate room with a supervising adult while you are deep cleaning the crib. Putting your baby away before you proceed with the cleaning process ensures they are not exposed to any sorts of germs, dirt, dust, or chemicals.

Moreover, babies are the quickest creatures to reach the most unexpected corners if you lose your attention on them even for a few seconds. If you don’t have another adult watching over them, you can put them down in a swing or playard.

2. Do The Required Safety Checks

Deep cleaning the crib is also the right time to inspect its fittings and fixtures at regular intervals. Even if you don’t intend to disassemble the entire frame, you must certainly tighten all the hardware before you place the mattress and bedding back.

3. Only Use Baby-Safe & Furniture-Safe Products

Another crucial thing to keep in mind while gathering your cleaning supplies is that you must only use baby safe cleaners and disinfectants. The detergent should, in no way, pose any harm to your baby’s health or your furniture’s overall quality.

4. Always Read The Manufacturer’s Instructions

Each baby crib might have different furniture cleaning instructions as specified by the manufacturer. Hence, you must first read the safety and cleaning guidelines before you get started with the cleaning.

What Do You Need To Clean A Wooden Crib?

Nobody wants to find out mid-job that they are missing on some necessary items for doing their work effectively. Moreover, cleaning a wooden baby bed becomes easier if you have the right tools and know the best techniques. Hence, here are the important supplies you need to gather before disassembling your crib and start the cleaning process:

1. Vacuum Cleaner

You need to keep the vacuum cleaner handy before you start cleaning the crib as it pulls off dirt most effectively and quickly as compared to manual work. You might use a basic handheld vacuum or a full-sized vacuum cleaner to get the job done.

2. Baby Safe Cleaning Soap

It is better to use child-safe cleaning soap to avoid your baby’s exposure to harsh chemicals at all times. Baby-safe cleaning detergent is also free from artificial and strong fragrances that might trigger respiratory allergies in kids.

3. Stain-Fighter

With babies, stains become an integral part of your life. Be it their clothes, bedding, or the floor, you’ll find spills and messes (and hence, stains) every now and then. A stain fighter might come in really handy while deep cleaning a wooden crib and other furniture pieces in your home but it is always recommended to invest in a baby-safe stain fighter to avoid all the toxicity your baby might be exposed to.

4. Two Cleaning Cloths

Since you need cloths to wipe away the dirt, clean everything and pat the crib dry, it is always a great idea to keep two cloth pieces handy. Microfiber cloths work even better with wood finished, leaving no lint behind.

5. Spray Bottle Filled With Warm Water

While cleaning, spray bottles are a must as they make the job much easier and quicker. Most importantly, they can control the amount of water you spritz without wetting the surface too much. In case you don’t have a spray bottle lying around, you can also use a spare plastic bowl.

6. Soft-Bristled Tiny Brush

To clean cribs made using natural wood, it is never a good idea to use hard-bristled grout brushes as they may scratch the surface. We recommend either using a soft-bristled small toothbrush or paintbrush to reach the tight spaces while cleaning.

7. Disinfecting Spray

Although not essential, a disinfecting spray will top off your cleaning with an extra layer of protection. In case you cannot buy one, air-drying the crib in the sun can also do an effective job.

How To Clean A Wooden Baby Bed: Step by Step Guide

Whether you want to clean a hand-me-down nursery crib before reusing it or are a clean-freak parent who wants to keep their baby safe against potential risks of getting sick, the process for effectively cleaning a wooden cot remains the same. Cleaning your little angel’s wooden crib can be easy if you follow these basic steps.

1. Remove The Bedding

  • First and foremost, make sure to remove the fitted crib sheets, blankets or lovies and other bedding you may have from the crib.
  • Run them through the washing machine or hand clean them as per their manufacturer’s instructions for washing.

Lowering the Crib Mattress

2. Clean The Crib Mattress

  • Vacuum the crib mattress from the top, sides and bottom to get rid of most dust or dirt.
  • Read the cleaning instructions first and proceed however way your crib manufacturer suggests.
  • Generally, most crib mattresses can be gently scrubbed all over with warm water and a mild detergent.
  • Once you think you’ve cleaned it enough, thoroughly wipe away the detergent from the mattress and ensure no residue is left.
  • If you have a disinfecting spray, spritz it all over the mattress to ensure no microorganisms get a chance to latch onto the damp mattress.
  • Now, pat the mattress dry with a separate dry cloth to grasp most moisture and let the crib mattress fully air dry outside in the sun.
  • Never place the damp mattress back without letting it dry completely or else it will become a breeding ground of bacteria, moulds, and fungi.

Clean The Crib Mattress

3. Time To Focus On The Wooden Frame

  • Now that the crib is free from bedding and the mattress, begin by using a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove all visible dirt, dust and debris from the corners of the crib.
  • To avoid exposing your baby to harmful chemicals, always use a gentle, baby-safe soap for the cleaning process.
  • Mix the recommended quantity of the cleaning soap with warm water to make your cleaning solution.
  • Dampen a soft cloth with the soapy water solution you just made and gently start wiping down the crib frame. You can also use a sponge, microfibre cloth or any other type of cloth recommended by your crib manufacturer.
  • Make sure to only use a damp cloth and not a dripping wet cloth while cleaning as natural wood baby cribs can quickly soak in a lot of moisture, making it more difficult to fully air dry and stay away from microorganisms.

Time To Focus On The Wooden Frame

4. Disassemble Carefully

  • If you follow the one-month regular cleaning routine as outlined above, you don’t need to disassemble the crib every time.
  • If you are deep cleaning the crib for the first time, you can disassemble and clean it thoroughly. But once you start following a consistent cleaning routine, you can follow all other cleaning steps mentioned in this article except for the disassembling routine.
  • You can disassemble the entire wooden frame every four to six months depending upon your preference, visible dirt, grime and stains, and parental instincts.
  • Once you have disassembled the frame, gently clean and wipe everything down as specified above.

Disassemble Carefully

5. Reach The Tight Spaces

  • Focus on all the corners, edges, and sides to remove all traces of dirt and dust you may see.
  • If the vacuum doesn’t seem to pull off everything, use a soft-bristled brush to clean everything.
  • At this point, check all the fittings and look for any missing hardware if you are not completely disassembling the crib.
  • If you are stressed by some unpleasant odours, pour some baby-safe talcum powder to get away with the lingering smell.

Reach The Tight Spaces

6. Cleaning Hard Stains

  • Sometimes the crib surface may have hard to clean stains. Use a baby-safe stain fighter to get rid of difficult stains on the wooden surface.
  • In case you don’t have a stain fighter around or don’t prefer using any more chemicals, you can switch to some home remedies.
  • To make your own scrubbing solution, mix water with lemon juice or vinegar in equal quantities.
  • Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and spritz lightly on the stains.
  • If the stains seem rigid, pour some liquid soap over the damp surface and gently scrub again to get the cleaning done.
  • Usually, wood is easy to clean and these steps shall get the job done.
  • However, never consider using baking soda on wooden surfaces even if you read some quora answers claiming that.
  • Baking soda is a great cleaner for tiles, sofa, etc. but it might destroy the wood by staining it further. All credits to the chemical reactions of wood containing a molecule called tannins and the natural alkaline properties of baking soda.

Cleaning Hard Stains

7. Add The Final Touches

  • If the crib is new, you won’t need to follow this step but if you are reusing an old crib that has not been recalled at the official website of JPMA and CPSC, you might want to give the crib a makeover.
  • You can use a baby safe stain for crib to give it a new yet safe coating instead of painting it.
  • Sometimes, you might also need to use a crib stain if you scrubbed the crib surface too hard to get rid of some hard stains.
  • Remember to always use baby safe wood stain or lead-free paint to ensure the crib is completely safe for your bub without any risks of lead poisoning when they start chewing the crib rails.
  • A baby safe stain for crib is made from natural ingredients and minerals and is free of harmful toxins and VOCs.
  • Using a baby safe wood stain while refinishing the crib will ensure your baby is not exposed to allergic reactions.

Add The Final Touches

8. Air Dry & Re-assemble Carefully

  • Once everything is perfectly clean, leave the crib to air dry completely before you put everything back in it.
  • After the crib frame and mattress are dried for at least five to six hours and you are sure no moisture seems to be locked in, assemble all the hardware properly.
  • Always top off the mattress with a waterproof mattress cover and use tight-fitting crib sheets to ensure your bub’s safety at all times.
  • Air dry the wooden frame in the sun only when you fully disassemble the crib which usually should be about two to three times a year. This avoids sun damage to the crib’s paint, overall finish and polish.

Air Dry & Re-assemble Carefully

Weekly Cleaning Tips To Upkeep The Cleanliness

Even if you deep clean the crib from time to time, it is important to maintain a regular cleaning routine every week as well. This will ensure you don’t have to work extra hard when you deep clean the next time.

  • Regularly vacuum the crib mattress along the sides to remove dust from piling up and cut back on the number of hours you spend deep cleaning the crib timely.
  • Wipe off the visible dirt or any crumbs instantly before it leaves any hard stains on the surface.
  • Avoid giving your tot any food items inside their crib to keep it cleaner.

Some Effective Cleaning Tips To Follow While Disinfecting Your Baby’s Wooden Cot

While the thought of thoroughly cleaning a crib might seem a bit intimidating, knowing the right instructions, having the right products and techniques handy and knowing some extra cleaning tips will help you realize that the job is actually no big deal. Here are some additional crib cleaning tips we’ve got for you:

  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s guide for detailed disassembly and cleaning instructions.
  • Never use harsh chemicals and detergents to clean the crib even if they seem to offer better cleanliness. They smell strong and are not usually hypoallergenic.
  • Instead of instantly starting to wipe the wooden crib surface with a damp cloth, begin with brushing off the visible dust.
  • Instead of spraying the wood’s surface with soapy water and then wiping it off, dampen the cloth with the soapy water first and then start the cleaning. This will make a world of a difference in your overall cleaning experience.
  • Instead of using tap water, it is always better to use warm water while cleaning.
  • Always work your way around the crib by taking small sections at once.
  • Make sure to use enough yet gentle pressure to clean the surface effectively but don’t scrub too hard.
  • Keep a spare toothbrush or paintbrush handy to reach any tight spaces.
  • For mild stains, it is better to switch to some home remedies for cleaning.
  • Once you are done cleaning, always use a separate dry cloth to wipe away as much moisture as possible, especially the joints or corners.
  • Let all the surfaces and tight spaces fully air dry before you put all the pieces back together.
  • Even if you think the surfaces are dry enough, it is always better to let the crib dry outside in the fresh air under the sun. After all, mild sunshine has natural disinfecting powers but make sure the sunlight isn’t too harsh to fade the paint of the crib.
  • Always thoroughly clean the crib on a day when you have enough time so that you can assemble, disassemble, and clean properly without any rush.
  • Moreover, start as early as possible so that you can give everything enough sun time to air dry.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning A Wooden Baby Cot

Have some questions related to cleaning a wooden cot for baby popping up on your mind? Well, here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about disinfecting a wooden baby bed with minimum time and effort.

How do you clean a crib?

Here are a few steps you should take while cleaning a crib:

  • Get rid of all the bedding and put them for a good wash as per the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Thoroughly vacuum and clean the crib mattress with one of the best baby safe cleaners mixed with warm water
  • Let the mattress air dry in mild sun
  • Vacuum the crib frame to get rid of crumbs, dirt and dust
  • Brush off the dust stuck in corners and other tight spaces
  • Wipe the entire crib frame thoroughly with a mild, child-safe detergent
  • Top off with a disinfectant spray and baby safe crib stain if required
  • Let the wooden crib air dry for at least 5 to 6 hours
  • Assemble everything back and you’re done!

How do you deep clean a crib mattress?

To deep clean a crib mattress, you must follow the steps given below:

  • Vacuum the crib mattress thoroughly and make sure to focus on the sides as well as the bottom rather than just focusing on the top
  • Gently scrub the mattress all over with warm water and a baby-safe cleaning soap
  • Once properly cleaned, thoroughly wipe away the soap from the mattress and pat everything dry
  • Ensure no soap residue is left once you are done
  • If possible, use a disinfecting spray to make the mattress safer
  • Pat the mattress dry with another piece of cloth and leave it to fully air dry outside in the sun

How do you clean wooden surfaces?

To clean wooden surfaces, here are a few effective steps you can take:

  • Brush away the visible dust and dirt from the wooden surface
  • Dip a soft microfiber cloth in a mixture of water and mild detergent
  • Wipe the entire surface thoroughly and gently scrub wherever you find extra grime or hard stains
  • Use the soapy water solution to clean the surface at least twice
  • Pat everything dry at last once you are fully done with the cleaning
  • Let the wooden surface air dry completely before you start using it again
  • Always ensure you never use baking soda on wooden surfaces or it might cause further stains or ruin the polish

How do you disinfect baby furniture?

If you don’t mind purchasing a baby-safe disinfecting spray, sterilize your baby furniture with it every week. But in case you want to stick to natural home remedies for any reason, mix one part of vinegar with five parts of lukewarm water to wipe down the baby furniture thoroughly.

The Key Takeaway

As soon as we hear the word “crib”, there’s so much elegance attached to it. We instantly imagine a slumbering baby swaddled in a cute blanket. However, with milk, throw-ups, tears, sweat, some accidental spills or even pee, it’s super easy for your wooden cot to harbor more germs than you could realize.

However, always remember that even if it’s definitely important to keep your baby’s crib clean, it is also possible that obsessive disinfecting could lead to negative health consequences. This is because many studies suggest that early exposure to normal environmental organisms and most bacteria can actually help develop your bub’s immune system.

Hence, finding the proper balance between cleaning and healthy exposure to environmental organisms is the key to keeping your baby safe. However, this, in no way means that you can completely neglect cleaning your wooden baby bed. Just stay calm about it, don’t get overzealous but do timely cleaning too.

Have you ever deep-cleaned a wooden cot before? Did you use a similar cleaning technique shared above or do you have any other tips we didn’t know about? Share your thoughts and expertise with us and other parents reading this blog in the comments!