How do you keep the floor clean underneath a High Chair?
Updated: Jan 16
You made the decision to buy a High Chair for your child and you are thrilled with the convenience it offers during feeding. However, if your child is anything like ours, the floor underneath the High Chair resembles more of an action painting than a kitchen floor.
Even though it’s good for their motor development and it looks kind of cute when they are playing with their food, that last thing you want to do is to spend tons of time cleaning up the floor for 3 times a day. We feel the same about this, so we looked for ways to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place:
The easiest way to keep the floor underneath a High Chair clean is to cover it up with an absorbing or waterproof barrier that is machine washable. This can either be a cloth or splat mat that you place underneath the High Chair or a feeding saucer that you place over the High Chair.
In our search for a good solution to our problem, we came across a number of options. Some of these are designated products that you just buy in a store while other (very low cost) ideas came from the DIY space. As curious as we are, we tested all of these methods to see what works best and wrote down our findings to share with you.
For those of you who don’t like the idea of a cover or splat mat on the kitchen floor, please read along and discover some great products that make cleaning up the floor underneath the High Chair a breeze.
Keeping the floor underneath a High Chair clean, all you need to know!
Keeping the floor underneath a High Chair clean is not just a about convenience, it’s also about keeping your floor in a good condition for as long as possible. This is especially true for rental places, that is, if you don’t want to run into troubles getting your deposit back.
For those of you with ceramic- or laminated floors, there is little else to worry about than the joints. (Although carrot stains can be though to remove!) However, if you have a wooden, marble, concrete or carpet floor, food stains prove to be much harder to remove and tend to stick around for ages. Sometimes this even means that you have to replace parts of your floor!
That said, it is better to be safe than sorry and take good precautions to make your job as a parent easier. First we’ll dive into some commercial solutions and look at their benefits and drawbacks, than we will look at some clever solutions for the DIY lovers among us.
1. Splat mats
A splat mat, also known as a splash mat, feeding mat or drop cloth is a waterproof fabric that you can place underneath a High Chair or use as a cover for children to play on. It serves the purpose of protecting the floor from fluids and stains. Most of them can be machine washed or wiped down with a damp cloth, making them very easy to clean.
Unlike some of the DIY solutions we will talk about later, splat mats have an anti-slip coating on the back to ensure the mat stays in place when walking over it.
You can find water resistant mats for as little as $10, however these mats lose their water repelling function after each washing cycle, so we do recommend to purchase a waterproof version that ensures no fluids will permanently damage your floor. These can be found in the price range of about $20.
Overall, most splat mats have the same functionality. The main differences can be found the size, the type of print and the shape of the mat.
We found that the standard 51x51inch or 130x130cm mats do a pretty good job of catching all the food our child was throwing down during feeding. Shape-wise we just picked something that fitted well in our kitchen setup, which in our case is a square one.
Since we are not washing daily we bought ourselves a set of cool splat mats from Amazon, if one of them is in the laundry we’d have a second one available at all times.
Waterproof protection for your floors during feeding and playing.
Reduces time needed for cleaning after meals.
Machine washable or wipe-able by hand.
Very affordable at $20
Expand your feeding area to other parts of the house without worries about your floor.
An extra piece of baby gear
2. Feeding saucer / All-in-one-bib
A feeding saucer or all-in-one-bib is a waterproof cover that you place in between your child and the High Chair. It has the purpose of preventing food from finding its way onto your child, the High Chair or the floor. They can be machine-washed or by hand in the sink.
If you are not a fan of having a splat mat or something similar lying on your floor, then this is the ideal alternative for you. A feeding saucer does consume a bit of extra space when placed over a High Chair but it does save you a lot of time and energy when it comes to cleaning after a meal.
The fact that your High Chair stays untouched by food is a big advantage, no more dirty nooks and crannies that are a nightmare to clean. Food will never find its way to the floor, so you don’t have to worry about picking up lost spaghetti or pieces of broccoli.
To clean you can just toss the all-in-one bib into the laundry and give the feeding saucer a quick wipe with a damp cloth and some mild detergent for perfect hygiene.
We have tried to use an all-in-one bib without a tray kit/saucer but we found that there would still be bits and pieces of food somewhere on the High Chair and on the floor would still look like a battle zone.
Feeding saucers can be found for as little as $25 and go up to about $45. Considering the time and energy you are saving, we find this to be a great investment for yourself and your floors.
If you think about purchasing a feeding saucer, please make sure that it is compatible with your High Chair and that it is a food safe variant.
We found this one on Amazon and it does a great job of keeping the floors clean!
Waterproof protection for your floors and High Chair during feeding sessions.
Also to be used for playing with paint.
Cleaning becomes a walk in the park.
Machine washable or wipe-able by hand.
Very affordable starting at $25
Feed your child in rooms with stain sensitive floor without having to worry.
Takes up a bit of space, so not ideal for cozy homes.
Additional piece of baby gear.
Compatibility is not as easy as with a splat mat.
What are the alternatives to splash mats and feeding saucers?
Now that you have a better understanding of the commercially available products, it is time to look at some alternatives and see if they can match the above solutions.
1. Old towel or sheets
However, they are not fully waterproof so they won’t help you that much in protecting carpet or wooden floors. Also, they tend to be extremely slippery on wooden floors, which is very dangerous for adults walking around the High Chair.
Easily available at home.
Easy to wash or shake out.
Very cheap, because you already bought them :-)
Perfect for catching crumbs of dry food
Not waterproof, so not suited for carpet or wooden floors.
Can be very slippery and dangerous!
Difficult to keep them lying flat on the floor making them easy to trip over!
2. Shower curtains
Shower curtains are semi-waterproof, incredibly cheap and they come in a variety of colors. At first glance, they look like the ideal replacement for a splat mat. However, they miss an anti slip surface which makes them super slippery. They are also really thin which makes it almost impossible to have them lying flat on the floor.
For these reasons, we think it could be a great solution to use it as a High Chair cover, but not to be used on the floor where people are walking.
Nice colors and illustrations available.
Too thin to lay them flat on the floor, tripping danger!
3. Garbage bags
This idea is something we found on a forum and we have to say it sounded very appealing at first. So, we just put it to the test to see how well it would work.
Firstly, it is quite a bit of work since you have to slice open the bag to get some surface coverage and prevent the layers from slipping over each other. Although it helped a bit in bringing down the slippery effect, it still was nowhere near the result we felt safe with.
Secondly, cleaning a plastic bag is impossible and since we are trying to reduce our waste we felt that tossing away a garbage bag 2 to 3 times a day isn’t a good move for the environment or the future of our child.
No washing needed, just toss away.
Too thin to lay them flat on the floor, tripping danger!
Bad for the environment and thus the future of your child.
4. Oil dripping pan
We have to admit that this is the most inventive one we came across during our search. Oil dripping pans are 100% waterproof and even have a little collar so they can serve as a fluid container during the stormiest of weathers.
A watermelon, berries or other juicy fruits are not much a problem for a dripping pan. Once the storm has passed, you can just place the high chair (a plastic one only) and the tray in the shower to rinse it down and let it dry there until the next session of action painting starts.
However, for other foods like pasta or bread, we feel the dripping pan is lacking size. Food will find its way next to the pan and you’d still be using a vacuum cleaner and a mop several times a day. Also, the upstanding edge/collar is the perfect initiator for tripping.
Easy to rinse off in the shower.
Water reservoir due to the collar, ideal for juicy fruits.
Too small for each type of meal
Collar can be painful when standing on it with bare feet!
5. Plastic tablecloth
Plastic tablecloths are our favorite alternative and the only one we feel secure enough about using. We have a wooden table and use them all the time to protect the tabletop.
Some of them come with an anti slip layer on the bottom and even though it is not as good as the one on a splat mat, you notice it is safer to walk on than any of the previous alternatives we talked about.
In case you don’t have a plastic tablecloth already, they are cheap, easy to find online and can be cut into any format that best fits your needs. We have used this many times as floor protection when other kids where coming over for birthday parties and they where playing with paint or clay.
Easy to wipe clean.
Anti slip layer.
Many colors and illustrations available
Easy to cut into the format that suits you best.
Cannot be machine-washed.
Cleaning underneath a High Chair, simplified.
Whether you own a splat mat or not, having to clean underneath a High Chair more often than you have to clean the rest of the floors is unavoidable. There will always be some food particles that find their way to the kitchen or dining room floor.
Since not everybody has the luxury to own a dog that does the instant cleaning underneath and around the High Chair, we will look at some great alternatives that don’t need to be walked or lose hair.
1. Handheld vacuum
A handheld vacuum is one of these products that I never quite understood until I became a parent myself. Normally when dirt and dust starts to build up gradually around the house, you take a vacuum cleaner and you tackle the whole house at once.
With our child, things went on a little bit different. During the first meal, right after a thorough cleanup of the house, there would be a mountain of crumbles in and around the High Chair. Now I understood where this small size, portable vacuum cleaner comes in handy. No more taking out the vacuum cleaner 2-times a day!
They can be easily stored in the cupboard under the sink. If your little one is done creating a mess, just take out the handheld vacuum real quick to vacuum the High Chair and its surroundings and you are done!
For those of you parents who love to give their child a biscuit in the car, handheld vacuums are a dream come true as you can just store and charge them in the car as well!
We found this MOOSOO Handheld Vacuum 12KPa Cordless 1.1LB Ultra Lightweight for the kitchen and the car on Amazon and they are too cheap to not have one: check price here.
2. 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner
For those of you who have a little extra space nearby the kitchen, there is also the option to work with a 2-in-1 vacuum cleaner where you have a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum in one device. Even though they are bigger in size than just a handheld vacuum, it’s still a better option than taking out a sled-vacuum each time you need to do a quick clean.
We found this Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum, 2033 on Amazon and to our surprise, they are really not that expensive as we thought! Check the price here on Amazon.
3. Spray mop floor cleaner
If you are looking for a hygienic solution to quickly sanitize your hard floors without the need to take out a bucket of water, than a spray mop floor cleaner might be the thing you need.
With a built in detergent reservoir and a spray system you can just moisturize the food stains, give it a quick wipe and you are done. Some models have washable pads, others work with single-use pads, either way, rinsing out a mop is now a thing of the past!
We found this model on Amazon and for this price you’d be crazy to stick to your regular mop and bucket.
4. All in one wet and dry solution.
For those of you parents who are looking for an all-in-one wet and dry solution, there is the Bissel-CrossWave-Cleaner-Wet/Dry. We have to admit that this is a bit of an investment but it is just perfect for parents, as you don’t have to worry about the type of food that has been spilled. Cereal, spaghetti or bread, just one passing with this device and your floor is clean and sanitized at the same time!
So there you have it, now you are armed with all the information you need to keep the floors underneath your High Chair clean and sanitized. Now you can let your child explore the wonderful world of foods, without having to worry about how to keep the floor in a pristine condition.
If you found this article to be helpful and you loved learning with us, please share this and help other parents to make their lives easier. Thanks for reading!