Tips & Tricks to Properly Clean Your Child’s Car Seat From a Cleaning Expert

Last December as we were heading out of town for a holiday celebration with some friends, my little one got car sick. We found ourselves in middle of a crowded freeway, no exit in sight, and throw up all over my son, his car seat, and I think even Sheriff Woody got some of it. By the time we were able to get out of the car it was a lost cause. Truth be told, I wanted to get rid of the car seat and the car and start fresh haha.

Luckily, my husband didn’t let me throw either one away. I did, however, learn a lot about safely cleaning a car seat. Today I share with you a guest post by Harry Carr. He’s been in the cleaning business for several years and is a parent himself. Harry shares with us some tips and tricks to cleaning those car seats and keeping them smelling fresh and clean. If you have any tips or tricks, let me know in the comments below.

Cleaning the child’s car seat isn’t easy especially if you haven’t protected it from spillages and stains. There are ways to keep the seat clean by putting covers over it and reduce the spreading of dirt later. Here you will learn some useful cleaning hacks for car seats.

First thing you should do is buy a protector for the child’s car seat. This you should put under the seat which will keep it in place and at the same time will protect the upholstery from getting dirty and stained. Another option which you have is using a slip cover on the car seats. These items look good, are very easy to be removed and help keep the seat rid of stains. 

Other items which help protect the child’s car seats from getting messy and stained are piddle pads. These are very strongly absorbing terry cloth pads which are excellent for keeping the child’s seat from accidents as well as keeping the difficult to be cleaned latching system from getting messy. 

Even after you protect your baby’s car seat from accidents and dirt, you may need to clean it after the trip. This is how it should be done. First, remove the child’s car seat taking it out of the vehicle. Then, carefully shake the seat to remove crumbs and dirt hidden in the folds, leather and upholstery of the seat. Now start cleaning using a vacuum machine or a slightly dampened cloth to eliminate stains and debris from the seat. Pay more attention to the areas behind and under the car seat. 

Next you can remove the linear of the car seat to wash it. Use mild detergents to wash the car seat linear as harsh ones will damage its material which is flame retardant. Don’t forget that harness and straps shouldn’t be washed in the machine, but cleaned with a slightly moistened cloth. Clean harnesses and straps with a solution of any baby-friendly preparation dissolved in cool water by using a rug or a soft brush for the purpose. Start from the top of the harness rubbing it in circles moving to its lower parts. Don’t soak harness and straps, only dampen them enough to remove dirt and stains and then let them air dry completely. 

Buckles also need to be kept clean as becoming sticky and getting crumbs will prevent them from closing and functioning properly. Before cleaning, these cleaners from Main Cleaners Tooting advise you to check the manual of the child’s car seat. If the manual allows put the buckles in a cup full of warm water. Make sure to keep connected straps and harness out of the water. Shake the cup carefully to eliminate food particles, crumbs and dirt. Remove the buckles right after that and leave them to air dry. 

To remove odours left after washing the car seat just place it under the sun for a few hours. You can speed up the deodorisation process by spraying with a self-made spray which you can make of 10 drops of essential oil from lavender, the same quantity tea tree oil and 16 ounces of water.

This post contains affiliate links from which I earn a small percentage of sales. This in no way changes the cost to you.



xoxo – L

tips & tricks to properly clean car seat From a Cleaning Expert


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  • Reply Stephanie Malcolm, author

    I have seven children and the oldest is thirteen. We had our share of car seats over the years. Cleaning them is always a nightmare. Thanks for the tips.It will give me something new to try.

    April 10, 2017 at 5:32 pm
    • Reply

      Oh bless you and the patience you must have. Thanks for stopping by.

      April 13, 2017 at 10:06 am
  • Reply Amber

    Oh the car seat…It’s on my spring cleaning to do list as I haven’t gotten to it all winter. I have shaken it out a couple times as we have transferred it from car to car but it needs a thorough cleaning. These were great tips. During the summer I like to take a vinegar and dawn dish soap mixture and scrub everything down and hose it off then let it dry in the sun. Maybe I will try these tips this spring.

    April 10, 2017 at 8:45 pm
    • Reply

      Unfortunately for me it got wrecked during rain season so I couldn’t let it dry out but I think I’m going to do this now. Just to keep it clean and smelling fresh. I’ve heard wonders about this mixture.

      April 13, 2017 at 10:06 am
  • Reply akyn30

    Very informative article. THANKS for sharing. ???

    April 11, 2017 at 3:12 am
  • Reply Jasmine - LoveLifeLaughMotherhood

    these are great tips – I regularly scrub my sons car seat

    April 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm
    • Reply

      I had to throw it in the wash about two times lmao.

      April 13, 2017 at 10:04 am
  • Reply Anne

    Oh my word! That is like my trifecta of things I cannot handle! Puke, puke in the car, and kiddos being sick while we are out! The cleaning tips are great! It’s so overwhelming to know where to start when cleaning those things; it’s good to know what to do now.

    April 12, 2017 at 6:55 am
    • Reply

      I was not at all prepared for my first clean up lol. I think it’s something we don’t talk about because it’s horrible haha.

      April 13, 2017 at 10:03 am
  • Reply Elise Cohen Ho

    I remember this being so difficult to do. Even when you took the cover off and threw it in the wash it always seemed to shrink more.These are great tips that you have provided.

    April 25, 2017 at 10:58 am
  • Reply Unum

    OMG you are so right. Cleaning car seats is a nightmare.

    April 25, 2017 at 3:01 pm
    • Reply

      Lol it is.

      April 27, 2017 at 9:56 am
  • Reply Belle

    These are such great tips! You are right; it really is a struggle to clean car seats! And they get SO dirty all the time!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    May 5, 2017 at 6:46 am
  • Reply Simply Mom Bailey

    Definitely check with your car seat manual. Many manufacturers recommend different tips and discourage the use of mats and piddle pads inside the seat. This can reduce overall safety.

    I would advise ensuring your familiar with car seat safety and keeping your chest clip at the chest.

    May 10, 2017 at 11:49 am
    • Reply

      Definitely always consult with your car seat manual. Good thinking!!

      May 19, 2017 at 7:55 pm

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