The Bounce House Rental industry is glamorous to the “outside” world, we pull up, set it up, collect money, and that’s it. Well, that’s not quite all and I’m not here to lay out all the details in this post, just one in particular; cleaning bounce houses. There are several different ways and I have tried almost all of them and have perfected a few after thousands of cleanings. There are a few steps that are mandatory and several ways to do each step. I will cover each of the mandatory steps and provide you with a few different ways to get the job done.
Pre Dry Cleaning: I pray you never have to do this but it is inevitable that you will get an inflatable rental back that you cannot tell what the color is supposed to be. In this case a power washer is needed. Do not let the spray head get too close to the bounce house or you tear the material. This is a long tedious process and every square inch of the bounce house will need to be sprayed and resprayed. Make sure and start at the top and work your way down.
Drying: After it rains on your bounce house or you rent a water slide, this is a mandatory step in maintaining your unit. There is no easy way of doing this. The bounce house will need to be set up to air and sun dry for 4 to 6 hours. When letting it air dry, make sure and remove any standing water and partially open the zipper holes. This allows the moist are to escape. Just because the bounce house looks dry does not mean it is dry. Look under the sliding pad, in the seams, and inside the zippers. Grab a towel and a sharp knife and climb in the zipper hole. The towel will help you dry the standing water and the knife will help you escape in case of a power failure. This part of the cleaning process can double or even triple the life of your bounce houses.
Cleaning: There are two parts to the cleaning bounce houses process, the first is vacuuming and the second is wiping it down with a cleaning agent. When vacuuming, make sure and clean in all the creases and corners. Small rocks and sand hide there and break down your stitching. i use a wet/vac with an extended tube, but any high powered vacuum will work fine. if the inflatable bounce house is really dirty, a degreaser can be used to remove most spots soap and water cannot clean. If the degreaser does not work, try a magic eraser, they are amazing!!! If your units are regularly maintained Fabuloso or Pinesol and water works great.
Sanitizing: This is an important part of the job. The steps above do not treat for blood, throw-up, urine, and things of that nature. In order to sanitize , use Lysol, Clorox, Zep, and more products. Remember this is an important step in removing bacteria we cannot see but is there. I usually sanitize the bouncing area and walls, the areas kids are able to reach.
Inspecting: Although this is not exactly cleaning but we should train ourselves to do this step every time bounce houses are opened up. When inspecting, look over all the stitching and make sure it is not oddly shaped or coming apart. Really look at stitching in the stress areas such as the entrances and exits. When the unit is deflated, check the top and as you fold and roll it, check the bottom too. This will help you find and fix issues before your customers get hurt.
Cleaning is a very important part of the bounce house rental industry, the more units you have the harder and more expensive this process is. There are some companies with over 300 inflatables, think about the process of cleaning that many units every week whether it’s 105 degrees outside or 40 degrees, the bounce houses have to be cleaned for the next customer.