A potty chair represents a big step in the transition from toddler to big kid. It indicates a milestone is in the making in the life of both you and your child. Sometimes that milestone is accomplished quickly—within weeks even. Other times the goal takes a while longer to reach—meaning that potty stays in its designated spot within your home for longer. Sometimes it’s there for as much as a year.
Cleaning and disinfecting your child’s potty chair becomes part of your housecleaning routine during toilet training time. Keeping it clean and germ free is a must. Unlike your toilet, a potty chair doesn’t have a flush—and it isn’t filled with water, so you can’t simply flush away the germs. Where the toilet might be part of your weekly housecleaning chores, cleaning the potty will fast become a daily housecleaning chore.
Tools Needed to Clean a Potty Chair
The following items are needed for cleaning and disinfecting your child’s potty. These are safe and environmentally sound items that will further enhance your child’s safety.
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Paper towels
- Old toothbrush
- Plastic spray bottle
Steps to Ensure Cleanliness
Children are often like small adults. Potty training, however, isn’t one of those times. While toddlers want to do everything just like Mom or Dad, they physically are unable to carry out certain tasks with the kind of dexterity adults possess. This means proper hygiene isn’t always exercised during training time, and cleaning the entire chair becomes necessary at least once a day.
The actual “potty” part of the potty chair must be cleaned after each use. Empty the contents into your toilet and flush it away. Rinse the pot with hot water and dump that water down the toilet as well. You may need to do this a few times until all waste is flushed away.
Fill a bucket or basin with a gallon of water mixed with a half cup of white vinegar. Submerge the potty into the mixture and allow it to remain there for a few minutes.
While the pot is soaking, you can clean the rest of the chair. Fill your plastic spray bottle with one-part white vinegar to two parts water. Spray the entire chair with the mixture, making sure to spray into any indentations or areas where straps are secured to it. Allow the vinegar mixture to remain on the chair for a couple of minutes. Scrub the entire chair with a paper towel or two, using an old toothbrush to get inside of the aforementioned areas where dirt and germs might be hiding. There is no need to rinse away the vinegar and water mixture unless you have an aversion to the odor. The vinegar smell will dissipate rather quickly, and since it is an excellent natural disinfectant, it helps to leave it on longer.
If stubborn stains remain on the potty chair, make a paste of baking soda and water, and put it on the stains with your fingers. Scrub the affected areas with a small scrub brush. Wet a paper towel and rinse away the baking soda. It will leave a film if not rinsed away, unlike the vinegar mixture.
Dry Your Potty Chair
As everyone knows, things that never fully dry are at risk for developing mold and mildew. Add to that the frequent germ-laden state of a potty chair and you could have a real issue on your hands.
Always thoroughly dry the potty chair with paper towels every time you use it. This can’t guarantee that those hidden cracks and crevices will become thoroughly dry.
Some people like to aim an electric fan at the potty after cleaning it, to make sure it dries thoroughly. This isn’t always feasible, however. Your best bet is to leave it in a well-ventilated area with lots of sunlight so it will air dry on its own after your towel drying.
Potty training has a lot of work involved in it. Cleaning and disinfecting the potty chair is not difficult. A good rule of thumb is to clean the potty every time your toddler uses it. Cleaning the chair thoroughly once per day should do the trick, unless obvious accidents mandate doing so more frequently.
Now that you know how to thoroughly clean and disinfect your child’s potty chair, you know you’re doing everything possible to provide a clean and safe environment for your child—and the rest of your family.