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How to Clean the Potty

How do I clean my child's potty? Mostly, I don't.

Recently a friend sent me this email:
Hey, I've been interested in your early potty training adventures, so I ordered [my 7-month-old] a potty chair. Today I put her on it for the first time. She sat there happily, although her feet don't touch the ground so she's a bit unstable. The next time I put her on there, she peed! She did it again about an hour later! I was amazed. We shall see where this leads...

Hooray for immediate success! That's the way we like it. I'll be interested to see where it leads too. Remember that the goal is not to get the baby to pee every time in the potty, just to do her business some of the time somewhere besides the diaper.

Later my friend emailed me:
Oh yeah, how do you usually clean it [the potty] ? I'm not really looking forward to that part of the process...
So now I'll tell you how I clean the potty, for you first-time parents who've never potty trained anybody. Before reading any further, you should know that, as a general rule, I like to keep cleaning standards nice and low.

How I Clean the Potty

  • I dump out pee in the toilet, and never even rinse it because I'm lazy like that. I think my husband rinses it out with water in the bathtub afterwards usually.
  • Sometimes if I've got my hands full and am running out the door, I don't even dump the pee! It just sits there until the next time she uses the potty. However, I do really try to dump the pee before the next time she uses the potty (even if it's only seconds before) because then it's easier for me to tell if she actually peed.
  • For poop, I dump the poop out in the toilet and then rinse the potty in the bathtub. If some of the poop sticks on the bottom or sides, I let it soak in the tub until the next time she needs to go, then dump out the water (in the tub if it's not too bad, in the toilet if it's pretty poopy) and put her right on the potty. Although it's not that fun to clean a pasty poop off the potty, it is more fun than wiping it off your child's bottom, in my opinion.
  • I used to always dry off the potty with a cloth wipe if it was a little damp before sitting her on it, now I don't bother.
  • Once every week or two, we clean the potty more thoroughly with vinegar or some other non-toxic cleaner

And that's it!

By the way, my friend is using the Baby Bjorn potty chair for her 7-month-old. The perfectly sized little potty has been discontinued for reasons that cannot be fathomed (What's up with that, Baby Bjorn???). The Baby Bjorn potty chair or smart potty (or maybe IKEA's potty) are probably your next best options, and preferable to using a potty seat on the toilet.

For more tips, tricks, and tales from early potty training, visit my Early Potty Training page.

How do you clean your child's potty?
What type of potty chair are you using?

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