How to clean a baby car seat is all about technique and routine. Just like cleaning anything. Whether it be a window or a work surface, the simple answer is always to do it at the right time and the right way. This blog will guide you on when and how to clean your car seat.

There are many thrills to becoming a parent. The wonderful moment when your baby grips your finger for the first time. The first eye contact. The first laugh. Then comes the other thing—new chores. Most of all, as any parent will tell you, is the incredible amount of cleaning. Some new cleaning is evident, for example, more laundry. Others not so much. Like cleaning up the trail of mess left by your baby. 

Everything and anything your baby uses daily will become subject to regular and frequent cleaning sessions. But, there is a good reason for this aside from cleanliness. Good cleaning measures ensure hygiene standards that are vital to your child's development. Your baby's car seat is something that will need proper maintenance and thorough cleaning. Whilst you may have used to have a no-food-in-the-car rule, this cannot be applied to a baby. As a result, baby car seats can get very messy very quickly.

Here's how to clean baby car seats for easy maintenance and safe, long-term use.

Abide by a Weekly Maintenance Routine

A lot can happen in a week. Especially in the life of a parent! From crumb feasts to muddied baby-boots competitions to diaper explosions and projectile situations – you just never quite know what to prepare for when you’re travelling with an infant on a day to day basis. 

Car seats are one thing that is guaranteed to become messy. Even from one use, a car seat can become filthy. By sticking to a weekly maintenance routine, you can ensure that the weekly dirt and grime are dealt with. 

The best way to do this is by vacuuming the baby car seat at least once a week and always keeping cleaning wipes on hand for a quick wipe down whenever you see it’s needed. This will make the deep-cleaning sessions for your car seat more manageable and more efficient. A perfect option for parents to choose.

Choose Your Moment Wisely

Suppose the thought of what has accumulated in the cracks and folds of your baby’s car seat is keeping you up at night. In that case, you’d probably be happy to get up at the crack of dawn to get started on giving it the deep-clean it so desperately needs.

Don’t get down to business unless you’re certain you won’t be needing the car seat for the next 24-48 hours. If you have a backup car seat, that’s fine. Otherwise, you’ll want to allow for enough time for the seat cover to dry and air out properly before assembling everything again.

Choose your moment for a thorough clean wisely. Otherwise, it could cause extra stress: you wouldn’t want to subject your child to a ride in a damp car seat because of poor timing.

Clean the Cover & Base

The best baby advice anyone can give you is investing in a car seat with a removable cover. It makes the car seat cleaning process so much easier for you parents. For the best cleaning session, start by removing the cover and the straps.

Shake out or vacuum all the unwanted bits in the fabric's folds – crumbs, dirt, fluff, etc. If you find any particularly sticky spots, scrub at them with a damp sponge or wet wipes. Then stick the cover in the washing machine.

With the fabric cover removed, you'll now get to see the impressive amount of grime that can build up on the car seat's base. Use a sponge and a mild detergent to give it a good scrub. Be to get into all corners and openings. There is nothing more frustrating than finding out you missed a bit afterwards.

Rinse properly afterwards and dry it thoroughly to avoid water from accumulating in certain areas and causing damage over time. Spray it down with disinfectant for good measure once the base is appropriately cleaned. There is a big chunk of your car seat cleaning adventures completed.

Gently Wash the Straps & Buckles

The most important feature on your baby’s car seat is the straps and buckles that keep them safely strapped in. Therefore, you must wash them with great care to ensure continuing safety. During this process, you can thoroughly check the straps and buckles. They are only effective if in good condition. This could save a life. 

Give the buckle a good shake, and run a vacuum cleaner over it to eliminate any small crumbs or dirt particles that have lodged inside.

Do not wash the straps and buckles in the washing machine and avoid harsh detergents. The best way to clean them properly is by using lukewarm water and gentle soap. Anything stronger risks damaging the straps and buckle on your car seat.

While you won’t be able to deep clean belts and harnesses, you can get rid of any superficial dirt and odour with this technique. Should the straps be extremely soiled replace them immediately.  If you spot any damage, do not use the car seat until this has been fixed.

Sun Dry All Components Thoroughly

The best way to dry all the components of the car seat properly is in the sun. This will give the fabric a proper chance to air out and eliminate any lingering odours. This option also does not add extra wear and tear to your car seat. 

Once the seat cover has sun-dried thoroughly, you can spray it down with a pleasant odour-eliminator for an extra sense of freshness. Do not use any spray product on the straps or buckles.

Reassemble & Safety-Check

Ensure everything has dried evenly and reassemble the car seat cover, straps and buckles according to the instructions. Yes, follow the instructions again to ensure the car seat is still safe.

When everything is back in its place, test the buckles by inserting the buckle tongues and waiting for the click. Eject the tongues and repeat them to ensure they are in proper working order. Next, give the belts a good tug to check for tension.

If your safety-checks come back with an all-clear, your baby’s good to go on their next, fresh and clean ride.At Hello Baby we sell all the most safe and comfortable car seat brands.

February 28, 2022 — Daniel Berko