You planned everything. You folded all the clothes, you rearranged the closet, you painted and decorated, and it’s perfect. After long, endless months, you’re finally holding your precious little one on your Boppy. Your heart is content, and then you look down. Your Boppy is covered in poop!
No matter how careful you are, messes are going to happen. But, don’t panic! You can wash your Boppy and its cover in several ways, depending on the severity of the accident. Your baby will be cuddling and happy again in no time.
If you’re here to learn about how to wash a boppy pillow the right way, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve laid out everything you need to know below.
Determine What Kind Of Mess You Have
First, clean up your baby and possibly yourself. Then, take stock of your situation before jumping in. Are you dealing with urine? Poop? Vomit? Spit-up? Breastmilk or formula? A combo, or maybe all of the above?
Carefully unzip and remove the cover if you are using one. Look at your pillow to determine how soiled it is. If the pillow is dirty or wet, you should treat it first and then clean your cover. Spot cleaning may be good enough for some messes.
When the pillow isn’t too dirty, use a damp (not wet) washcloth. You don’t want to scrub in a stain, but you may be able to wipe the mess clean, especially if you act quickly.
If the pillow is slightly discolored from baby poop, try using baking soda and water paste. Dab the paste on your pillow and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe off with a slightly damp cloth. A tiny drop of Dawn dish soap on a towel can sometimes do the trick, also.
For a pillow that smells like vomit or urine, spray it with a mix of half white vinegar, half hot water. Don’t spray too much of the solution on the stinky areas, just enough to barely feel it with your fingers. Let the pillow sit for five or ten minutes. Blot with a clean towel. Apple cider vinegar can be used instead of plain white vinegar.
If you were successfully able to spot clean your pillow, turn your attention to the cover afterwards. If the accident was very mild, you could try cleaning the cover using the same methods on the pillow. If none of these suggestions work, you can either hand wash it or use a washing machine.
Cleaning The Boppy Cover By Hand
Check the tag on your cover, especially if it’s a handmade or specialty item. Some materials, like silk or wool, have special instructions for washing and drying. If your cover is made by Boppy, it is almost certainly machine-washable.
Or, maybe the mess isn’t too bad, and a quick hand-washing should take care of it. Whatever the case, check the tag first and then proceed.
Use a gentle detergent, such as Seventh Generation or Dreft. Avoid scents and harsh cleaners. Remember, you aren’t washing a full load in your sink, so a small amount of detergent is all you need.
Fill your sink with cold water and use a small amount of detergent. Swish your hands around to gently agitate the material for two or three minutes. Rinse until you don’t see any bubbles or suds.
Lay the cloth on a clean towel and then roll the towel up to gently squeeze excess water out of your cover. Repeat with another towel and then hang your cover outside in the sun or on a drying rack.
Fill your sink with room temperature water and add a detergent made for wool. Swish the cover gently for a minute or so, and then let it soak for another five to ten minutes. Rinse with cool water, carefully squishing the fabric against your sink.
Be careful not to wring the material because wool will stretch. To dry, roll it up in a towel to absorb the extra water and then lay it flat to dry on a drying rack. Carefully pull the material if the cover lost its shape.
Cleaning Anything With Embroidery Or Other Decorations
Depending on what is on your pillow cover, you may not even want to risk hand washing. If the stain is bad enough to warrant a cleaning, turn the cover inside out to protect tassels or delicate needlework.
Use cooler water with a tiny amount of detergent and very gently swish for a minute or so. Try rolling the cover up in a towel to blot the excess water without smashing the cover. Lay it flat to dry.
Machine Washing And Drying Your Boppy Cover
Most of the products that Boppy makes are meant to be tossed in the washing machine, including their covers.
Be sure to zip it shut before washing, so the zipper doesn’t catch as it rotates or spins in the machine.
Use the delicate or hand-wash cycle with mild, scent-free detergent.
Dry your cover on low by itself. You can iron it if you have the time, on a cool setting.
You might also want to invest in two covers if your baby is particularly prone to messes! Then, you have one to use and one to wash.
OK, My Cover Is Clean But What If The Boppy Is Still Soiled?
If spot cleaning didn’t take care of the boppy pillow, put it in the washer while keeping a few things in mind.
- Always take the cover off and wash each piece separately.
- Front loaders clean best, but you can use virtually any washing machine to clean your Boppy.
- Be sure to use a gentle detergent without scents or softeners.
Top load machines: You want to wash the pillow at around 85°F (or 30°), which is typically the cold setting. You also want to use the delicate cycle, and you will likely need to balance the load with another pillow. It doesn’t have to be another Boppy, but you want something with a similar weight.
Front load machines: You still want cold water, but choose the hand-wash cycle if your washer has it. If not, delicate will be OK. You shouldn’t need another pillow for balance in a front load washer.
Drying Your Boppy After Machine Washing
The Boppy has a unique shape that helps you support your baby. Don’t be alarmed if that “C” shape seems distorted after the wash cycle!
The dryer can help you pound it back into shape—literally! Your pillow may feel quite damp when you toss it in the dryer. To help keep the stuffing evenly distributed, add two or three tennis balls.
If your tennis balls are a little dingy and soiled from playing tennis (or from chasing them in the dirt), toss them into a zip-up pillowcase first. If you don’t have one that zips, tie a knot at the end or use a hair elastic to hold the bag shut. You don’t want to transfer grime and mud to your clean pillow.
If you don’t have any tennis balls, use a sneaker instead, also zipped or tied into a pillowcase.
Dry the Boppy and the tennis balls (or sneaker) on a low heat setting. You can always run it a second time if the pillow is still damp.
Set the Boppy in the sun to naturally freshen and brighten once it is dry or nearly dry. Remember hanging clothes up outside to dry? Now imagine that warm, fresh smell on your Boppy!
Things To Avoid – Unless You Really Want To Buy A New Boppy or Washing Machine
Harsh detergents or bleach are a no-no for young babies. It can irritate their skin and cause a rash.
Always take the Boppy out of the cover before washing. Neither piece will wash properly, and you don’t want to allow mold to grow between the cover and the pillow!
Also, keep in mind the amount of detergent used. You don’t need as much as a huge blanket or load of towels would require.
Pretreat soiled areas using the spot-clean methods before washing.
Don’t wash or dry:
- A pillow covered in pet hair. Use a roller brush to get the hair off first. Hair will gum up the inner workings of your machine.
- Any kind of flammable stain, like alcohol, paint thinner, or gas. The washer probably can’t get the stain out, and it could be downright dangerous in the dryer.
- Your pillow and dryer sheets. Dryer sheets should be used cautiously with infants, anyway, but be aware that they can leave a residue on clothing, and even your Boppy. This residue can make the item harder to clean.
Prevention Is Best, But Accidents Happen
The best way to care for your Boppy is to protect it from messes. But, life happens, along with poop, pee, and puke.
Your pillow is made to be machine washed and dried, so don’t sweat the messes! The biggest worry you should have is how to feed the baby while the Boppy is in the wash.
Your cover can likely go into the machine, especially if it is a Boppy product.
Spot cleaning is effective for both the cover and the pillow, but you can machine wash the Boppy as often as you need to.
But that Hermès scarf you were wearing when your darling baby vomited on your shoulder? You might have to drop it off at the dry cleaners!