Ever heard of buyer's remorse? It happens when you buy your child a new placemat and they bite a chunk out of it at the first sitting :-) Or they pour a drink over the placemat, and the ink starts running!
We like to think our learning placemats are one of the best buys you can make for your kids mealtimes. They are strong, waterproof, hardwearing and withstand a lot of use (and abuse!) from little people.
We've been through many types of kids placemats - silicone, cloth, rubber, cork - but none have been as practical, educational and long-lived as our own educational placemats made from polypropylene, which have survived all three of our children.
That said, there are some extra steps you can take to increase the lifespan of our educational placemats - and maybe even pass them down the line.
1. Don't use harsh soaps / chemicals when cleaning your kids placemats
Our learning placemats are made with kids in mind. They are printed with child-safe UV inks that dry instantly, are waterproof and form a strong bond with the material. Harsh cleaning chemicals and soaps can disrupt that bond and decrease the longevity of the print on your kids learning placemats. In most cases, warm water is adequate to clean up most spills; otherwise, in the case of tougher stains, a small amount of liquid detergent will suffice.
2. Wipe your learning placemats with a soft cloth / sponge
Each of our kids educational placemats have a matt varnish that covers the printed surface. This keeps the placemats looking fresh and feeling silky. The best way to clean food and stains is to simply wipe them off with a damp sponge or soft cloth. No scourers please!! They will scratch the surface of the placemat and remove thin lines of ink.
3. Clean your kids educational placemats as often as you can
Thankfully, our kids placemats don't need to be cleaned immediately after each meal - we know there are times when the table doesn't get wiped down straight after a meal, let alone the placemats washed, dried and put away! However, it is advisable to clean our learning placemats regularly. Furthermore, if they've been decorated with beets, strawberries or bolognese sauce (you get the idea!) then it might be a good idea to give them a quick wash down before moving on with your day.
4. Beware of children with pens and markers!!
Yup. That's not coming off our educational placemats. The odd doodle in pencil might be removed with a good rubbing, but ballpoint pens and markers (particularly those permanent ones!) are bad news for our learning placemats. So, store your placemats in the cupboard, keep the dining table a "drawing-free zone" or offer your child a non-permanent, erasable marker with which to annotate their placemat.
5. It's best when kids learning placemats rotate, mate!
We pack our educational placemats in sets of four, which means you can mix up your child's learning from day to day. This not only creates variety for your child, expands their general knowledge and maintains their interest, but also decreases the wear-and-tear on any one placemat.
So, there you have five easy ways to keep your kids learning placemats in great shape for the long term. It is our hope that, when your child is ready to move on, your placemats will still be in a fit condition to be passed onto a younger sibling, friend or neighbor; a gift of education that keeps on giving.