How To Easily And Efficiently Disinfect A Car Seat

It isn’t news to anyone that kids can be messy sometimes, and because they like to touch things while they explore and learn, the first thing they touch in your car can get dirty and gross. In a time where we are becoming more aware of germs and how easily they spread, it’s important to learn how to quickly and easily disinfect the things our children come into contact with on a regular basis, and that means car seats especially. COVID-19 safety or not, cleaning and disinfecting your child’s car seat should be a part of your regular maintenance routine.

Car seat
Car seat | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Avoid harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals

While it’s easy to reach for a bottle of bleach or rubbing alcohol to help us disinfect, these aren’t great options for car seats for several reasons.

For one, chemicals can be potentially harmful to the different surfaces of the car seat and can leave bleach stains or even in extreme circumstances ruin the fabric and plastic. The goal is to find less-harsh cleaners that are just as effective to disinfect as they are safe for skin and other materials.

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Even more so, it’s important to keep our children away from these harsher chemicals as they are typically more sensitive to them, and the residues can cause unwanted side effects like rashes or minor chemical burns.

Washing the fabric and cloth surfaces

In recent years, car seats are becoming safer and even easier to use, and for many, that means that the fabric parts which come into contact with spilled juices, as well as germs, can be easily removed and washed in a washing matching. It is important to verify that you can machine wash these fabrics if they are removable.

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Read warnings and instructions for how to properly wash and dry the removable fabric to ensure nothing gets ruined. Not all car seats have this option, so make sure to check before you purchase a new one.

If you can’t remove the fabric, remove the entire seat, and use a cloth with warm water and mild or baby-focused detergent that is well-diluted. Allow the seat to air dry in indirect sunlight, and don’t place it back into the car until the fabric is completely dried.

Disinfecting plastic and metal surfaces

There are just as many, if not more, plastic and metal surfaces to disinfect as there is fabric, even if it might seem like it. To start, you should remove the car seat from the car to make sure you can wipe down all of the surfaces, including where the car seat touches the car’s seat fabric or leather.

car seat
A worker at a factory of FDA Start, a Russian manufacturer of child car seats | Alexander RyuminTASS via Getty Images

To clean the plastic and metal components, as well as the seatbelt and straps, use a washcloth with warm water, and a mild soap or detergent. Ensure that you’ve thoroughly washed the surface with warm water after using detergent so there is no remaining soap residue.

You don’t need to buy a fancy cleaner or have an extensive cleaning regime to ensure your child’s car seat stays clean and germ-free. With just some warm water and mild soap, and even your washer, you can easily add this as part of your weekly routine.