How To Clean Your Outdoor Play Equipment

Wooden play equipment looks great and performs well. However it is vital to keep the items clean in order to ensure optimum performance and safety. Cleaning should be done regularly to ensure the equipment never gets overly dirty.

Soap and Water

The best cleaning items for cleaning play equipment are soap and water – and elbow grease! If you have treated the play equipment with waterproof coatings it will rarely need anything else to keep it in sparkling condition. Dirt is easily removed from a treated surface using water and soap. The use of strong detergents is actually not recommended as it can harm the surface of the wood and even cause it to rot. Plastic items can also be faded and suffer cracks if harsh cleaning agents are used.

Step By Step

The way to clean wood play equipment, such as wood climbing frames, is to take a hose and wet everything down with a consistent spray. Then take a cloth or brush and a bucket of warm soapy water to clean with. Do not use a harsh scrubbing brush or metallic fibres as you could damage the wood and even cause splinters.

To clean the items, you should apply the soapy water, leave for a few seconds and rub in a circular motion until each area of the equipment is clean. The wood play equipment from retailers such as needs to looked after if it is to perform at its best. Repetitive motion rather than strong pressure is the key to dirt removal. Start at the top of play equipment and move down in order to stop dirty water falling onto previously cleaned areas.


Always thoroughly clean play equipment before applying any waterproof treatment. Waterproofing is a great idea for wood equipment rather than painting with paint, as it has been discovered that some paint in play equipment can have a high level of toxicity. The items should always be totally dry before applying any treatment and before any children play on them.

Sterilising Fluid

Another good idea for cleaning items in addition to soap and water is to use sterilising fluid on the play equipment. This is to ensure it is kept free from bacteria and fungus. This can be simply a spray cleaner to coat the items with sterilising solution.