Ultimate Guide to Cleaning and Properly Storing Ball Pit Balls

Ever wondered how to keep those vibrant, fun-filled ball pit balls clean and germ-free? You’re not alone. It’s a common concern, especially for parents, caregivers, or anyone running a play area. After all, cleanliness is vital, particularly in a post-pandemic world.

Cleaning ball pit balls may seem like a daunting task, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. With the right approach and some handy tips, you’ll have those balls sparkling clean in no time. So, let’s dive right in and explore the most effective ways to clean ball pit balls.

Key Takeaways

  • Before cleaning, sort the ball pit balls into three categories: visibly dirty balls, seemingly clean balls, and damaged or deflated balls. Damaged balls pose a choking hazard and cannot be cleaned effectively.
  • Use a gentle soap and water mixture for cleaning. Avoid harsh detergents or chemicals that can degrade the plastic of the balls. Also, ensure you clean each category of balls separately to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Rinsing is a vital part of the cleaning process. Use room temperature water and repeat the process until the rinse water remains clear. This effectively eliminates residual soap and dislodged dirt.
  • Drying the balls completely before storage is essential to prevent molding or odors. Spread the balls evenly on a dry towel for air drying and avoid piling them atop each other.
  • Store the balls in a climate-controlled environment to prevent condensation, mildew, or mold. Use hard-shelled plastic bins for storage rather than cloth or paper containers that can absorb moisture and harbor bacteria.
  • Keep up with regular inspections of stored balls. Watch for signs of contamination like mold or musty odors, which indicates it’s time for the next cleaning cycle.

Cleaning and storing ball pit balls correctly is essential to maintain hygiene and extend their usability. eHow’s guide on cleaning plastic balls outlines methods for washing and disinfecting these play items effectively, using solutions that are safe for children but effective against germs. For organizational tips, WikiHow offers a step-by-step guide on sorting, cleaning, and storing ball pit balls, which helps prevent loss and damage. Additionally, the Toy Safety Organization provides guidelines on regular maintenance schedules for ball pits, ensuring they remain a safe environment for play.

Sort the Balls

Before you dive into the cleaning process, sorting the ball pit balls helps to make the process organized and efficient. This is a fundamental step in maintaining the cleanliness of your ball pit balls and making sure they’re safe for use.

Start by creating two groups: one group for balls that are visibly dirty, and another for balls that seem to be clean. Your naked eye can easily spot visible dirt, obvious smudges or discoloration. By separating these balls, you ensure that clean balls don’t get contaminated by their dirtier counterparts during the cleaning process.

While sorting, it’s also important to check for any damaged or deflated balls. Put these in a separate pile. Inflatable balls that are damaged or deflated pose a choking hazard, especially for young kids. Also, damaged balls can’t be cleaned effectively. Noticing any deflated or damaged balls during sorting will save you the unnecessary effort of trying to clean them.

Now you’ve got your balls sorted into three categories: visibly dirty balls, seemingly clean balls, and damaged or deflated balls. This sorting process will help streamline the cleaning process and contribute to a more effective and efficient system of cleaning ball pit balls.

Use Gentle Soap and Water

Having sorted your ball pit balls effectively, the next step in ensuring cleanliness is washing them with gentle soap and water. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential to select a soap that won’t potentially harm the plastic material of the balls.

Choosing the right type of soap is crucial. Avoid using harsh detergents or strong chemicals that can degrade the plastic overtime. A mild dish soap is optimal for this cleaning method as it smoothly removes dirt and prevents the risks of causing any damage. Remember to dilute the soap in an adequate volume of water to not leave any overpowering smell or soap scum on the balls.

Once you have the soap-water mix ready, it’s time to clean the balls. Divide the mixture among three separate buckets corresponding to the three categories of balls – visibly dirty, seemingly clean and damaged or deflated. This segregation ensures no cross-contamination.

  • Dunk each visibly dirty ball one by one in the bucket. Rub them gently with a soft cloth or sponge to loosen any stuck-on dirt. Once clean, transfer them to a separate bucket of clean water for a rinse.
  • For the seemingly clean balls, swish them around in the soapy water to get rid of any hidden grime. Rinse them in clean water just like the visibly dirty ones.
  • Deal with the damaged or deflated balls by cleaning them and setting them aside for repair or disposal, whichever deemed appropriate.

After the rinsing process, make sure you dry the balls before storing them to prevent molding and odors. Use a towel to pat dry them immediately or leave them to air dry on a clean, flat surface. You’ve got to ensure no moisture remains as it can lead to potential safety hazards like mold growth.

With this method, you can easily clean your ball pit balls, ensuring they are absolutely free of dirt and safe for use. Implementing a regular cleaning schedule can help you maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your ball pit.

Rinse Thoroughly

Proper rinsing is a vital step in the cleaning process, and it’s not to be overlooked. Remember that it helps eliminate residual soap that could harm the ball pit balls material in the long run. This is the point where your sinks or buckets come in handy.

When you’ve given the balls a satisfactory scrub, plunge them in clean, room temperature water. The temperature can influence the durability of the balls. Hot water can make the balls lose their shape and reduce their lifespan. Clearly, that’s a scenario you’d rather avoid.

Ensure you agitate the balls in the rinsing water gently. This process helps remove residual soap, dislodged dirt, and any bacteria that may still be sticking around. For optimum results, you may have to repeat the rinsing procedure. Get the balls out of the water and rinse the bucket. Refill it with fresh, room temperature water and plunge them again. Repeat this as many times as necessary until the rinse water stays clear.

To remove excess water, shake off the balls before placing them on a clean, dry towel to air dry. Be careful to not pile them atop each other. Instead, spread them out evenly. This gives every ball ample room to dry and prevents any possibility of mold growth.

It’s essential to remember that, when it comes to maintaining a clean and safe play area for kids, no step is wasteful or superfluous. Rinsing is as crucial as cleaning the balls, and skipping it could mean you’ll end up carrying out the whole process all over again sooner than you’d like.

Dry Completely

The key to a swift drying process is thoroughness. Drying your kid’s ball pit balls is just as important as rinsing them. Neglecting this step may lead to mold and mildew buildup, turning your kid’s play area into a health hazard. Therefore, let’s not cut corners and ensure that the balls are bone-dry before they are returned to the ball pit.

After rinsing and shaking off extra water, spread the balls out evenly on a large, dry towel. Take care not to pile the balls on top of each other. This way, air can circulate around each ball, speeding up the drying process.

Ventilation is a vital part of the drying process. If possible, consider airing the balls out in an open space or a well-ventilated room. By positioning a fan near the balls, you’ll expedite the process. Remember, don’t choose a moist environment or area prone to dampness, as it can inhibit the drying process and promote the growth of mold.

You also have the option of using a hairdryer on the cool setting to give the balls a speedy dry. Another strategy is rotating the balls around on the towel after the first side is dry. Rotating exposes all sides to air, facilitating even drying and expediting the task.

Now bear this in mind: heat can warp these plastic balls and reduce their lifespan, so avoid using a heated drying method. Keep it natural, be it air drying or utilizing a hairdryer on the cool setting. Patience pays off here. Don’t rush the drying process – slow and steady wins the race.

As a measure to ensure the balls are thoroughly dry, perform a touch-test. This simply involves picking up a ball, holding it in your palm, and feeling for any dampness. If it’s still damp, continue the drying process. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Store Properly

After ensuring that your ball pit balls are completely dry, you’ll want to properly store them until they’re ready for use again. Here are a few pointers on how to do so, reducing the chances for any hidden moisture that might cause mold and bacteria growth.

First, make sure to store the balls in a dry and clean area. A damp basement or a dusty attic is not a good storage spot. Ideally, you should store these toys in a climate-controlled environment. This will help prevent extreme temperature changes, which can lead to condensation and subsequently, mold or mildew.

Next, consider the container you’ll be using. Hard-shelled plastic bins are ideal. Why? These bins can provide a good barrier against dust and moisture. Plus, they’re easier to clean prior to storage. Avoid paper boxes or cloth bags as they can absorb moisture and potentially harbor bacteria. They’re also less durable.

Let’s break down these key pointers in a table:





Storage area


Dry, clean, climate-controlled environment.


Hard-shelled plastic bins preferable.
To avoid


Damp or dirty areas, paper boxes, cloth bags.

When storing the balls, you might want to avoid excessively stacking them to facilitate better air circulation. Though they’re dry now, air circulation prevents any potential build-up of moisture in the future. Use multiple bins if necessary. You’ve already shown patience in the drying phase. Here too, a proactive approach can save you a lot of hassle later on.

Periodically, possibly every three months, make sure to check the balls for any signs of contamination like mold. Is there a musty odor when you open the storage bin? Are there any visible signs of dirt or grime? Regular inspections will help reassure you that the balls are still safe for play.

Also, knowing when the balls are due for their next cleaning can extend their life span and maintains their quality. More importantly, it can provide a safe, hygienic play environment for the kids. This goes hand-in-hand with ensuring the balls are dry before storage and checking for signs of dirt or dampness from time to time.

Understanding and applying these storage principles can be your best bet to maintain the cleanliness, safety, and durability of ball pit balls. Proper storage is indeed vital after you’ve exerted effort in cleaning and drying the balls.


So there you have it! You’re now equipped with the knowledge to keep your ball pit balls in top-notch condition. Remember, it’s not just about cleaning them, but also about how you store them. By keeping them in a dry, clean, and climate-controlled space, you’re significantly reducing the risk of mold and bacteria growth. Don’t forget the importance of regular check-ups every three months to ensure they remain safe for use. By following these tips, you’re guaranteeing the longevity and safety of your ball pit balls. Now, go ahead and enjoy the fun without worrying about cleanliness and safety!

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store dry ball pit balls to prevent mold growth?

Store the balls in a dry, clean, and climate-controlled environment. Using hard-shelled plastic bins is advised to prevent moisture absorption. Try not to stack balls excessively for better air circulation, reducing future moisture build-up.

What type of container is preferred for storing ball pit balls?

Hard-shelled plastic bins are recommended for storing ball pit balls. These bins do not absorb moisture which helps in preventing mold and bacteria growth.

How can I enhance air circulation during storage?

Avoid stacking the balls excessively during storage. More space allowance triggers better air circulation, thus lowering the risk of moisture build-up.

How often should I inspect the ball pit balls in storage?

Regular inspections of stored ball pit balls should be carried out every three months. This routine helps to promptly detect and address any signs of contamination.

Why is the proper storage of dry ball pit balls significant?

Understanding and applying proper storage techniques is crucial for maintaining dry ball pit balls’ cleanliness, safety, and durability after cleaning and drying. It prevents contamination that could affect children’s health.