Is your school-age child on holiday break from school? Use this opportunity to attack germs and clean up some of their school gear, which can help their items last until the end of the school year. Here are my mommy tips for school gear clean-up.
I am going to target the big 3 — the backpack, the lunchbox, and coats/outerwear.
When your child comes home from school on their holiday break, that is a great time to clean out, and clean up their backpack. Backpacks get dirty and gross, and accumulate all sorts of yucky stuff. Glitter is the biggest culprit in my son’s backpack. Curse any teacher for using glitter! Curse glitter!! It’s the worst to clean up, and it gets on everything! We emptied out my son’s backpack completely. I turned it inside out, and shook out any general yucky stuff lurking in the backpack. Then, I threw it in the washing machine. That’s right! You can easily throw a backpack in the washing machine to get it clean and smelling fresh. I also throw our travel backpack in the washing machine after travelling, and it works great.
Tip: Enlist the help of your kids. Get them to help you clean out their backpack.
You can throw the backpack in your washing machine in cold water on the gentle cycle, and it should be fine. If you’re nervous about doing that, you can place the backpack in a large garment bag to protect it. You can let it air dry.
If your child has a flimsier backpack, or a backpack made with a lot of vinyl or other shiny, poly material, just do a spot clean. Hit the areas that get the dirtiest and germiest, like the bottom of the backpack and the zippers and handles.
Spot clean your child’s lunchbox weekly to help keep it looking clean and germ free. The holiday break is a good time to deep clean the lunchbox. I just place my son’s lunchbox in the sink, and use a little brush to clean the inside and outside with hot soap and water. I rinse all of the soap out, and let it air dry. Easy!
Coats/Outerwear (gloves, hats, etc.)
My son’s coat grosses me out in general when he brings it home from school every day. I usually throw it in the washing machine once a week to keep it clean and germ free. Again, the holiday break is a great time to throw all of your kids’ coats, gloves, hats, etc. into the washing machine to clean them all up. I throw everything in the machine in cold water on a gentle cycle, and that’s it. I dry some items in the dryer, and let some items air dry.
Misc. Items (daily folder, etc.)
Does your child have a daily folder, or other school items that get a lot of use? My son has a vinyl folder that he brings home every day. The folder changes a lot of hands at school, and it gets kind of yucky. And yes, glitter gets in his daily folder too! Did I mention that I hate glitter?
You can give these kinds of items a quick wipe down using little alcohol wipes, alcohol spray, alcohol on a cotton ball, etc. I wiped my son’s folder all over with little alcohol wipes. I get mine in the supermarket near the first aid supplies. They are a great little disinfecting tool to keep handy for wiping small items down.
Use these tips to keep your kids’ school gear looking neat and clean when they go back to school after holiday break.
What else do you do over the school holiday break, to help your kids’ school gear last until the end of the school year?