Kids love to play outside in sandboxes! And… all sandboxes are not created equal—and yet they all have one thing in common… SAND! We want to keep our kids safe and healthy at all times, and that means having a clean and safe sandbox to play in… at all times!
If you have an outdoor home-made sandbox (wood frame), make sure you have covered the ground with plastic sheeting or landscape fabric – and drill a few small holes for drainage.
If you have a plastic manufactured self-contained sandbox with a ready-made top and was made as one piece – the bottom of the sandbox will not be touching any raw earth, so no extra protection is needed.
Make sure that the sand and sandbox container will have no germs or bacteria, leaves or twigs, dirt, insects, slugs, bugs, larva or cat urine, or any animal droppings—you get the picture.
- Remove all the sand: Start by completely removing the old sand and disposing it properly. Check with your waste company to see it they will take it… or dispose of it directly to a landfill yourself. If you have a large property, you can bury it somewhere far away from the yard.
- Clean and disinfect the sandbox: Hose off all dirt and debris from the sand box, then clean all sides, and bottom – inside and outside with a small amount of disinfectant (bleach) added to soap and water. Make sure to wear gloves while doing this and scrub it well!
- Kill all bugs and larvae: Spray the entire box with a regular insecticide. After letting it sit for a few days, clean it out with warm soapy water.
- Bottom liner: If you have a homemade wooden sandbox, add a new bottom liner of heavy plastic or landscape fabric. You do not want any bugs, slugs, spiders, or any dirt coming up from the bottom of a nice clean sandbox!
- New sand: Now you can add the new sand – making sure you purchase clean sandbox sand and it is specifically labelled as “Play Sand,” or “Sand for Sandbox.” Never reuse old sand, or sand you brought back from the beach. Only disinfected and clean ready-to-go sand will be sure to create a safe play environment. Add one small jar of cinnamon to the sand – mixing and raking it in thoroughly. Insects and creepy crawlies do not like cinnamon so this is a great way to ensure clean sand for your sandbox!
- Safe bug spray: Spray a commercial non-toxic child- and pet-safe bug spray around the whole of the clean sandbox.
- No food: Keep all food, drinks, and lollies away from the sandbox. Crumbs and spills will attract all kinds of insects and critters.
- Preventative bug spray: Spray the non-toxic child and pet safe bug spray once per week. Also sprinkle more cinnamon into the sand as well. Smells good too!
- New sand: Change the sand on a regular basis.
- Disinfect sandbox: Create a 50-50 white vinegar/water solution in a spray bottle to cover the top layer of sand. Rake and shovel it through all of the sand.
- Keep it covered: Cover the sandbox with a tight lid when not in use.
- Rake and sift the sand: Have a special rake just for the sandbox and keep it raked on a regular basis to remove larger debris. Use a sand sifter to remove any unwanted small debris daily.
We hope you enjoyed our tips on keeping the kids safe and healthy with a clean sandbox. Don’t forget to check out our other cleaning tips such as best ways to clean your toilet, car cleaning made easy, and how to steam clean tiles.
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