How to clean a baby car seat

Here's how to clean your baby's car seat in five easy steps.

By Today's Parent
car-seat-harness-istock Photo: NHTSA Image Library

1. Remove the car seat from the vehicle and place on an old blanket. Gently overturn the seat to free any crumbs and vacuum out as much dust, dirt and food as possible.

2. Remove straps and buckles and clean them with a toothbrush and a little water, but never submerge them in water, as that can weaken the webbing.

3. If your car seat manual says it’s OK, remove the cover and place it into the washing machine on gentle. If not, submerge it in the bathtub with warm water, ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup vinegar. Stomp the cover with your feet to really get the dirt out and use a sponge to scrub stubborn stains. Hang to dry.

4. Wash all plastic parts with gentle soap and a damp towel.

5. Reassemble the car seat and install in your vehicle according to the manual.

Source: Mama Bree at


A version of this article appeared in our May 2015 issue with the headline, "How to clean a baby car seat," p. 48.

This article was originally published on Apr 17, 2015

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