How to Clean Baby Car Seats

Child car seats can quickly turn into crumb city. Here's a guide on how to clean your child's car seat.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Where there are children, there are bound to be crumbs. One of the most notable crumb-catchers is
your child's car seat
. Car seats have multiple groves, buckle openings, and harness straps, so the crumbs plenty of places to hide.
The first step to maintaining a clean car seat is purchasing a fabric cover. That way, when your child makes a mess or if you unthinkingly give them one of those granola bars that are basically little crumb grenades, you can easily remove the cover and wash it with a mild detergent.
However, even with a good car seat cover, the rest of the car seat still needs to be regularly washed. Here are some helpful baby car-seat cleaning tips, compiled by
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Getting started cleaning infant car seats

There are some important factors you should keep in mind when cleaning a child or baby car seat. Some messes are easy to clean, while others can take a bit more effort.
Start your car-seat cleaning journey by checking the seat’s manual, which may have specific instructions for cleaning the seat. If you don’t have your car seat manual, you can usually find it on the manufacturer’s website.
Keep in mind, it’s always better to clean a car seat right after the mess happens.

How to clean a leather car seat

If you have a leather car seat, you need to be especially careful while cleaning so you don’t damage the leather. In addition to watching what you use on your leather seats, you also need to clean it more often than a fabric car seat. For cleaning a leather car seat, you’ll need the following materials.
Materials needed:
  • Solution (two parts white vinegar and one part water)
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Towel
Once you have all the materials, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Vacuum the seat to remove any small bits of debris and crumbs.
Step 2: Mix a solution made of two parts white vinegar and one part water. Test it on a small area to make sure it won’t damage the color of the leather.
Step 3: Apply the solution to the leather using either a damp cloth or water bottle, making sure to use it sparingly.
Step 4: Gently rub the solution into the leather material, using more force where needed to remove difficult stains.
Step 5: Dry any excess solution using a clean towel. Make sure you don't forget any hard-to-reach places.
Step 6: Allow the car seat to dry before use.

How to clean a fabric car seat

Fabric car seats are usually a little more forgiving when it comes to messes. To clean a fabric car seat, you’ll need the following materials.
Materials needed:
  • Mild soap or cleaning spray
  • Cloth or soft-bristle brush
  • Towel
Once you have all the materials, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Vacuum the car seat to remove any large crumbs and debris, making sure to get into any crevasses.
Step 2: Apply a gentle soap or cleaning spray all over the seat, primarily focusing on the stains.
Step 3: Scrub the seat using a clean cloth or soft-bristled brush.
Step 4: Pat the seat with a clean towel to absorb excess moisture and allow it to fully air dry before use.
Don't forget to give all of the seat's components some attention. Although the majority of the messes end up on the seat's fabric, the plastic base could also use a good wipe every now and again, too.
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