We lately received a (lightly) used Pack 'N Play from friends of ours, in preparation for our first baby, due 6 months from now. Pack-'N-Play-type playpen units consist mostly of fabric stretched across a collapsible metal frame. Most of the fabric isn't removable, so won't go through the washing machine. Also, this particular Pack 'N Play has been in a house with a bunch of cats & ex-smokers. So, we've got two problems:

  • How do we get out the smoke and cat smells before the new addition?
  • What kind of regular, periodic disinfection regime should we put the non-removable fabric parts go through once the little one gets here?

You could try a quite natural method – air it in the sun for several hours.

I'd be worried, though, about really getting rid of the ingrained smoke residue (and whatever other harmful chemicals came along with it). If it's in the mattress, you'll never get it rid of it. I wouldn't even consider using the Pack-'N-Play after it has been in a house of smokers.

For part 2, soap and water and a sponge is probably enough.

  • 1
    A steam cleaner might also help before airing if you have access to one. Nov 12 '13 at 11:03

You could TRY scrubbing the non-removable fabric pieces with a mixture of 1 part bleach/4 parts water, and then letting it dry in the sun as @Dave Clarke suggested. However, that's iffy. There are so many toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke that I'm not sure ANYTHING short of an autoclave could get them out. I vote for thank the friends and toss it and get one that hasn't been saturated in noxious chemicals.

And if you want to keep it anyway, at least please toss the mattress and replace.

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