This Is How You Keep Your Outdoor Playground Clean

The playground is a favorite place of children. However, it is difficult to keep clean. When the weather changes suddenly, the surface will become dirty very easily. For example, it can be swept by sand or covered by mud. But now, this can be avoided. Here we want to share with you the methods to make your own playground cleaner!

Outdoor playgrounds are everywhere.  You will notice them at schools, fast food restaurants, public parks, daycare centers, and in private homes. In fact, there is a high probability that you have converted your backyard space into an outdoor playground.

It is true that many kids love playgrounds since it is a source of fun, enjoyment, and an excellent place to learn many things about life. For parents/guardians, having an outdoor playground is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to occupy your little ones.

However, keeping an outdoor playground clean isn’t an easy job. The high-traffic areas on outdoor playgrounds such as baby swings, rock walls, and swing sets serve as breeding sites for millions of bacteria and germs. Without proper cleaning, these surfaces pose a significant health risk to your little ones.

Typically, when setting up an outdoor playground, it is always good to allocate some funds for cleaning and waste management. That way, you can always be sure your kids are safe.

In this post, we discuss some of the things you can do to keep your outdoor playground clean. Keep reading to learn more.

Why Do You Need to Keep Your Outdoor Playground Clean?

As mentioned above, high-traffic areas are a breeding site for millions of bacteria and germs. The statistics are pretty easy to find.  A simple online search will reveal a lot of information about the millions of germs and bacteria you will most likely find on a playground.

This information alone will make you start thinking about some of the things you can do to keep your little ones safe.

Outdoor playgrounds, especially in daycare centers and public parks, are often referred to as “Petri dish” due to their ability to spread many different types of bacteria. Part of the problem is that children are not so good at doing the little things that may help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Kids having fun.
Cleaning playground equipment is essential for protecting the kids and avoiding serious health risks.

While adults are more likely to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching certain surfaces, children won’t do it. They are less concerned about their safety because they know someone is always watching over them.

It means that playground owners must do everything possible to keep the play spaces as clean as possible. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the common germs you will most likely find on high-touch surfaces at a playground include Klebsiella Pneumonia, E. coli, Streptococcus, and Staphylococcus aureus for the skin.

Without proper cleaning, these microorganisms can multiply pretty quickly and pose a significant health risk to your loved ones.  And these pathogens are not just found on large play structures such as slides and swing sets. Many of the smaller toys can also harbor bacteria and germs.

Ideally, all outdoor playgrounds must be cleaned frequently and high-touch areas sanitized to eliminate the microorganisms.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Keeping Your Outdoor Playground Clean

So, what can you do to ensure your outdoor playground is always clean and safe for play?  Here are some quick tips to help you get started.

1. Provide Litter Boxes

One of the easiest ways of keeping your playground clean is to provide litter boxes at strategic points. It is much easier to keep the entire site clean if there are plenty of litter boxes that people can use to dispose of dirt.

Once you have installed trash bins at strategic points, post a sign reminding people to use the litter boxes and tidy up. If you make it easier to keep things tidy, you will not have a lot of work to do when it comes to cleaning.

A 4 different colors of garbage cans.
To keep the playground area clean, provide garbage bins at a couple of different spots.

You should also have a designated snack area where children are allowed to enjoy their snacks and drinks. Don’t allow them to eat or drink while on the play equipment because it will only lead to messes. Some food spills are sticky and hard to clean.

By creating a separate snack area, you can easily maintain a food-free play area, maintain your equipment, and keep your playground clean most of the time.

2. Clean High-Touch Surfaces Regularly

An outdoor playground may have several high-touch surfaces that require regular cleaning. You can always schedule to clean such areas two or three times a day.

Start by using regular soap and water to get rid of dirt and anything sticky.  For plastic-feeling and coated metal materials, carefully wipe down the dirt with a slightly damp piece of cloth and mild detergent.  This process shouldn’t consume much of your time.

A soap used to disinfect.
For the kids’ safety, it is essential to regularly clean high-touch surfaces of the playground equipment.

From there, you can use relatively soft brushes to eliminate the tough stains or dirt on plastic parts. Make sure you get into the crevices and clean everything to the best of your ability. Avoid using paper towels on any surface that may scratch, such as windows and domes.

You should also avoid using any abrasive scrubbers unless the manufacturer’s instructions say that the cleaning method is safe. You don’t want to be left counting losses after a simple cleaning exercise.

3. Learn How to Manage Pet Waste

One of the biggest problems that playground owners face is how to manage pet waste.  Typically, kids and their parents/caregivers will tag along with their pets when visiting a playground.

Although this isn’t a bad idea, things can be quite tricky when you have pet waste buildup on the playground.

Pet waste is not only unsightly, but it can also present a significant threat to water quality if it isn’t disposed of in the right way.  With adequate pet management measures in place, everyone can enjoy play time without worrying about water pollution.

Effective pet waste management is also one of the things pet owners can do to safeguard the environment and ensure that the play area remains clean all the time.

When setting up an outdoor playground, you should budget for proper signage that encourages pet owners to collect their pet waste into pet waste bags and dispose it appropriately.

4. Consider Recycling  Some Waste

Did you know that it takes approximately 450 years for plastic water bottles to biodegrade? What is even more worrying is that some types of plastic may take over 1,000 years to dissipate.

Even when they finally biodegrade, the Polyethylene Terephthalate lefty behind is so toxic and harmful to water and soil resources. The chemical compound never leaves the environment.

"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle".
To protect the environment, consider recycling some of the waste.

There are two main things that anyone can do to safeguard the environment and keep outdoor playgrounds clean. The first and most obvious is to use less plastic containers and go for the environmental-friendly and reusable personal water containers.

The other thing is to make sure every plastic container used is recycled to avoid littering the playground and cause harm to the environment. Consider designing a playground that is recycle-friendly by installing recycle bins in strategic areas of high traffic, such as in snack areas and besides play equipment.

Encourage kids and their parents to dispose of all plastic, and aluminum cans in the recycle bins so you can take care of the recycling process. This will play a critical role in ensuring the playground isn’t littered with plastics.

5. Sanitize and Disinfect Surfaces Regularly

You should also consider using non-toxic products listed as safe for use on playground equipment to regularly sanitize and disinfect high-touch areas.

Research shows that sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces regularly reduces the numbers of germs and harmful bacteria to a safe level.

The primary purpose of disinfecting surfaces is to kill germs. Ensure you use a powerful but harmless disinfectant to get rid of germs that could easily transmit viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

6. Know How to Deal with Messes

In addition to scheduled cleaning and regular spot cleaning, there may be messes that need to be cleaned up immediately.

For instance, if a child has a potty accident or falls sick while on the playground, you need to take quick action to manage the situation before it gets out of hand.

If there are any body fluids such as blood, vomit, or urine on the play equipment, the best thing to do is close the affected equipment and clean up the mess immediately. You should also disinfect the entire area to prevent the risk of contagions.

When such a thing happens, find a way of informing playground users that the equipment is temporarily out of access for cleaning.  You can use simple signage for this.

7. Get Kids Involved in Cleaning

Typically, parents, guardians, teachers, and caregivers will do everything possible to keep kids safe, but it is always safe when they are involved in the process.

Kids helping cleaning.
Most of them will love it, making it easier to keep your outdoor playground clean.

All you have to do is find ways of making the cleaning experience less scary and more enjoyable by implementing a rewarding system.

You can treat those kids who conduct a thorough cleaning and take care of the playground equipment with some favors to motivate them. Most of them will love it, making it easier to keep your outdoor playground clean.

`

read this next

Playground surfacing has come a long way over the years. You will find a variety of materials available designed to make your playground more fun and safer for children. The surfacing you choose depends on the type of playground you have and how you intend to use it. We share some essential tips to help you find the perfect surfacing material for your kids’ playground.
Playground equipment has a long life and can last for decades – if properly maintained and used. The durability and lifetime of playground equipment largely depends on the construction and type of materials used in manufacturing and installation. Here is everything you need to know about the lifespan of different playground equipment materials.
A good playground is a place of discovery that offers your child new experiences every time he/she is there. It encourages your little ones to express themselves and showcase their creative and imaginative skills.
A Natural Playground is designed to be as natural and free from human influence as possible. It is created in a way that provides opportunities for play and exploration that are found in nature, rather than being restricted to the more traditional playground equipment seen in many public parks.
Natural playgrounds bring out the best in anyone. The sounds of children laughing, playing and learning can be heard everywhere we look. Adding nature to your surroundings helps activate sensory pathways in the brain that improve memory, mood, creativity and productivity. Your mind is molded by what you see, hear and smell. They are all connected. Natural play environments help your child remain calm, focused and self-regulated.
Playgrounds are the place where kids learn, run, play and grow. Yet, they are also a potential safety hazard. Playgrounds can become a lifesaving place for all kids if you take the right actions as you plan and design it. Here are some great tips how to avoid injuries.
If you have decided to buy a swing set for your kids, you should consider a few factors to make the right choice. Some of the most important ones include the consideration of free area in your backyard, selection of swing set materials, safety features, durability, and the ease of installation.
We’ve all been there be it when we were kids or when we have gone out to play at a playground. There is one constant question that everyone seems to ask about the washable, rubber mats in playgrounds: do they get hot in the summer?
Climbing is a natural part of toddler development. It helps them to become more independent, stronger and smarter. Climbing promotes physical & cognitive development, as well as social skills. Also, climbing is great for promoting coordination, agility and balance which are important components in most sports
Toddler playground equipment is designed specifically with little ones in mind, crafted to deliver real developmental benefits. From traditional swings, slides and jungle gyms, to slides, climbing nets and more, here are 5 pieces of playground equipment every toddler should try.
Sand appears simple but there is a lot to learn about how to choose it and care for it. Once the perfect sand is chosen for the sandbox, upkeep is very important. We all wants the sand to last and to be a safe place for children to play
Natural Play is a way for kids to explore their surroundings in a safe and fun way. Natural play can be as simple as getting your child to go outside, or as complex as designing a whole backyard garden area complete with climbing structures and areas for exploration. Natural play can be done anywhere!
If you are looking for an affordable playhouse for your kids, building your own one is the best option. Free playhouse plans will allow you to DIY an exciting and safe playhouse that your kids will be fond of.

Receive the latest news

Get Our Playground Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest promos, tips, advices, and much more!

Your privacy is important to us.