We love, love, love our sandbox. When the weather is ok (as in, not freezing or pouring rain), we are playing in our sandbox. So we have come up with some tips to share on how to keep your sandbox clean! Because playing in a sandbox with stuff growing –or living! — in it is no fun!
How To Keep Your Sandbox Clean
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- Cover – Use a tight cover! If your sandbox comes with a cover, use it whenever you’re not in the sandbox. Even if you think you’re going to come back in 2 minutes. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way. The covers are light. So while taking the cover on and off might be a pain, leaving the cover off and then having it storm (or worse, an animal get in!) is So. Much. Worse.
You can buy sandboxes with covers. We have this Crabbie Sandbox. There’s also a cute Turtle Sandbox, and this Playful Sandbox, all of which have covers.
If your sandbox doesn’t have a cover, try a tarp. Covers or tarps aren’t completely sealed, so it isn’t perfect. You’ll likely have to replace the sand every year to keep it clean. But using a tarp makes it so, so much cleaner than leaving it open to the weather, debris, and animals.
- Keep It Dry. Water inside a covered sandbox is going to get moldy and all sorts of yucky. It’s fun to make sand castles with wet sand — but it’ll make your sandbox gross. If we do get the sandbox wet, we let the sand dry in the hot sun (violating our first rule, but it’s better than growing mold in the sandbox!).
- No food or drinks. None. I let the kids eat near the sandbox. Before the sandbox, after the sandbox. I have even let them eat on top of the sandbox cover (which I cleaned after). But I don’t ever let them eat in the sandbox. Drinks drip or spill, food has crumbs, ice pops melt. And you don’t want any of that stuff attracting critters or growing mold.
- Try Cinnamon. I spread a container of cinnamon and stir it into the sandbox. Note – putting cinnamon in the sandbox is obviously not a good idea for anyone with an allergy to cinnamon.
- Watch Those Diapers! My kids loved the sandbox when they were toddlers. So just make sure the diapers are on properly and changed. Because sitting in a dirty diaper in a sandbox is not going to make your sandbox any cleaner.