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By Katrina Oliver
Bounce houses are a big crowd pleaser!
They’re great for entertaining a big group of kids at a summer birthday party or just for giving your kids plenty of physical exercise.
While renting is an option, buying your own to hold onto and use year after year is often easier and more affordable.
If you’ve been playing with a bounce house for a big event or just to spend some fun summer playtime in the backyard with your family, it’s going to get pretty messy!
It’s a natural part of playing, but making sure that your bounce house stays clean when stored is an important part of maintenance.
So how can one best clean and care for their bounce house to keep it fun year after year?
Step One: Sweep & Vacuum
Firstly, while the bounce house is still inflated get off as much dirt as you can with a broom.
If you’ve been making sure that bouncers have been taking their shoes off before coming inside, this should hopefully be a minimal amount.
Walk through the interior of the bounce house and sweep as much dirt out as you can.
Then walk around the perimeter and sweep off any visible debris or dirt that’s accumulated.
Then comes the time to deflate your bounce house.
When it’s completely deflated, brush it over with a broom one more time to make sure that any debris is completely cleared away.
If you have a strong enough vacuum, run it over the bounce house as well to deeply clean out any remaining dirt.
Step Two: Scrubbing and Cleaning
Next, wash your bounce house with a gentle cleaner.
A simple multipurpose cleaner should work just fine, or very lightly soapy water made with dish soap will also work well.
It might clean off the germs, but it can also cause damage to the integrity of the material and make it prone to tears or breaks in the future.
Wipe down the bounce house with the cleaner, focusing especially on high traffic and high touch areas.
After the entire bounce house has been cleaned, carefully rinse off the cleaner.
The last thing you want is soap residue sticking onto your bounce house while it’s in storage!
If your bounce house is made to be used with water, like a model that features a pool or sprinkler, then you can be quite vigorous with cleaning without much worry.
If your bounce house is only for dry use, it’s important to be extra careful when cleaning.
Never spray down your bounce house directly!
Instead just use wet towels, rags, or brushes for cleaning and rinsing.
Step Three: Rinse
Rinse your bounce house thoroughly with a damp cloth to remove all of the soap residues.
Make sure that each nook and cranny is wiped clear, regularly rinsing out your cloth to make sure that you can clear out the residue completely with each wipe.
After rinsing, wipe down the bounce house with a towel.
Once it’s completely dry, you may want to disinfect or sanitize your bounce house.
This can be done by using some simple disinfectant wipes or a sanitizing solution in a spray bottle.
Step Four: Drying
To make sure that your bounce house is completely dry before storing it, it may be a good idea to go above and beyond a towel dry.
Try something like a leaf blower or hair dryer to make sure that every last bit of moisture is dried.
If the weather allows…
…lay your bounce house in the sun for a few hours to ensure every last drop has dried away.
Moisture that gets trapped in the bounce house while it’s stored can lead to mold and mildew problems, potentially damaging your bounce house and making it much less than fun to play in.
Step Five: Storage
Once your bounce house is completely clean and dry, you can finish folding it up for storage.
Keep it safe in a durable and weather-proof storage bag or bin and it will stay clean and ready to play for years to come!
It may feel like quite the project to get it fully deep cleaned, but preserving such a fun piece of play equipment will pay off when you have unlimited family fun year after year.