The most important thing at the sling library is the safety of all the families who visit us. We follow multiple health and hygiene policies to ensure that carriers on hire from us perform well and safely, with regular cleaning, and checking. We balance the need for cleanliness with the need to maintain the safety of the structure of the carrier – we don’t want to overload the carriers with chemicals or subject them to incessant machine washing (not advisable for some brands) so we have several strategies.
The vast majority of our soft carriers and wraps can be machine washed. To keep them clean and ready to hire we aim to machine wash when a carrier has become soiled or obviously dirty, and in between hire periods as needed. Carriers are washed at 30 degrees with non-biological washing liquid, as well as a measure of Dettol antibacterial laundry cleanser.
Occasionally there is a situation where a family wants a specific carrier, where the only item available has not yet been returned to Sling Library HQ to undergo its check and wash. We will let you know if that is the case, do the check on the spot, and give you a choice between a different brand which has been laundered, or to take the carrier requested. You are of course welcome to launder hired carriers at home, according to the manufacturers recommendations for the item in question.
Sometimes we spot-clean carriers with a combination of diluted antibacterial washing solution and water at a higher temperature than a machine wash. To remove germs from high-traffic areas such as carrier straps we use steam via a pressure handheld steam cleaner. This has the advantage of pushing the steam into the padding of a carrier and sanitising an item without using chemicals. Spot cleaning, wiping and steaming are also the methods used for us to wash carriers which cannot be machine washed (eg, framed backpack carrier).
Allergies and Sensitivities
If you or your baby have an allergy or sensitivity, we can offer a special launder for you before you collect your hired item. This can involve using different washing methods and liquids, or higher temperatures , as well as sealing the carrier straight away after drying to reduce the risk of it coming into contact with any common allergen, eg. pet hair, pollen. There is no extra charge for special laundering, it is done on request. Please contact us with your requirements.
PLEASE NOTE: we have two cats at Sling Library HQ. The carriers are kept in boxes away from the animals. If you have any sensitivity, let us know.
Communicable Viruses and Illnesses
We are extremely cautious when it comes to any possibility of transferring illness via carriers. We know and understand that most viruses and bacteria cannot live for long outside a human body, and so do not survive well on soft surfaces such as baby carriers. For most infectious illnesses, indirect infection via soft surfaces is either very rare or completely unknown. Despite this, we have a strict quarantine period for any carriers which have come into contact with infectious illness. We have a separate quarantine and laundering policy for each of the most common infectious illnesses based on NHS advice (chicken pox, norovirus, impetigo, ringworm, hand, foot and mouth).
The carrier is sealed inside a plastic bag for a minimum of 24 hours before being machine washed and line dried as normal.
If you have an infectious illness in your home and a carrier on hire, please contact us.
Stitching and Structure
Occasionally a carrier suffers damage whilst on hire. We check our carriers regularly for signs of wear and tear. Older carriers are retired from the hire collection to keep the service fresh. An important part of our safety check is the function test, which simply involves putting the carrier on mindfully and checking each join and buckle as we go. This is often done in front of you as carriers are returned into our collection, or before you try them on yourself by way of a demonstration. Carriers often receive new parts, eg. buckles, from the manufacturer if there is an issue, but any carrier which needs to be physically repaired is retired from our collection and found a new home.
Our priority is always to provide a safe and reliable service.