Deep cleaning a baby car seat
Car seats are a nightmare to keep clean – they have bits of food and all kinds of unimaginable things hiding in crevices. Here’s how to clean them up and keep your little one hygienic.
In a 2014 Mail Online article the headline was; “Children’s car seats are dirtier than TOILETS: Scientists find 100 different strains of dangerous bacteria including E. coli and salmonella bugs”.
The article shares statistics from a study at the University of Birmingham where swab tests revealed that car seats had twice as many dangerous germs as the average toilet seat.
This sounds alarming but are you really surprised? If you’re a parent or in contact with children often, you’ll know that cleanliness and hygiene aren’t always first priority, and, quite frankly, you don’t know everything that goes on in the car seat while you are behind the wheel.
I’m sure that – like me – you’ve found biscuit crumbs, melted chocolate, bits of apple, and fruit juice stains on your child’s car seat at some stage. I’m sure you can also remember that one time then your little one vomited all over themselves or when the bathroom was just out of reach during potty training. It’s all part of life: completely normal and it happens to everyone – well that’s what I keep telling myself anyway. 😊
Teaching kids about hygiene:
Teaching children the importance of good hygiene is not JUST teaching them how to wash their hands properly, it’s equipping them with the knowledge to actually save a life. Take a look at this previous blog post to see the younger generation showing us just how much they know about hygiene.
How often should you clean your car seat?
When an unforeseen accident happens (like vomiting) it’s important to clean up as much as you can straight away. You can then deep clean the seat when you get home.
For a guide on more regular cleaning, it does depend on the age of your child. As a general rule I would suggest vacuuming the seat and sanitising the armrests at least once a week, and then doing a proper deep clean once a month.
How does one deep clean a car seat?
- Vacuum the car seat while still in it’s secure position in the car to ensure crumbs don’t end up on the floor when removing the seat.
- Remove the seat from the car and brush away any remaining crumbs. Use a brush or a cloth to remove any other spills stuck to the chair (like chocolate or sweets).
- Remove the seat covers and safety straps as per the instruction guide for your car seat.
- Treat stains with stain remover and let it sit for the required amount of time.
- Disinfect the plastic base with a disinfectant wipe or spray.
- Read the instructions of the chair cover as to whether the fabric can be washed in the machine or if it needs to be washed by hand and follow the instructions.
- Remove the buckle and clips from the straps and wipe down with a disinfectant. Be sure to dry these items properly.
- Wash the straps as per manufacturer guidelines (usually by hand).
- Ensure all covers and straps are completely dry before reassembling the car seat.
- Follow manufacturer guidelines to ensure you assemble the seat correctly. Once assembled ensure the clips work properly and that straps don’t come loose when tugged on.
- Place the seat back in the car and follow manufacturer instructions to ensure the seat is fitted and secured properly.