Children are messy, and that’s a fact.
It’s like they have a hidden superpower that allows them to make a mess wherever and whenever.
This things they can do to a car seat, it’s impressive, really…it’s no wonder that cleaning the thing traditionally gets too much fast and you’re tempted to pressure wash the baby car seat.
It’s not a simple yes or no – it’s the reasons that matter.
Don’t kill the messenger, but there’s more to this story than pressure washing the vehicle car seat…much more.
Can you and should you pressure wash the seat are two separate questions (more on that in a minute).
You have the flame-retardancy to think about, the sturdiness and physical integrity of the textile…we have a lot of ground to cover.
Most importantly, the reasons I’ll outline here pertain to more safety aspects than pressure washing. So, bear with me and let’s clarify it all.
Can you pressure wash a baby car seat?
You can’t pressure a baby car seat because it can weaken the materials and compromise the flame-retardancy.
A better way to put it is that you should not do it.
If you consult your car seat’s manual, you’ll find that pressure washing isn’t allowed on any car seat, especially an infant one.
I understand the temptation – pressure washing is minimal effort
You take the seat out of the car, put it outdoors on a larger surface, and blast water towards it. The high pressure eliminates gunk even from the hard-to-reach parts, and you’ll have a clean car seat.
It’s nice to think about but a safety no-go.
Related: Free car seat Medicaid | Britax car seat expiration
Can you hose down seat belts and car seat harnesses?
I’m never recommending hosing seat belts, and seat harnesses down simply because they’re among the most important parts of car seats, keeping in mind they’re primarily responsible for your kid’s safety.
Seat belts and harnesses are made from special webbing using polyester or nylon.
These fabrics are known to be durable and resistant, which explains their wide popularity and use for safety belts.
Affects of pressure washing on the baby car seat webbing
Pressure washers use incredibly high pressure to wash all the gunk out. However, the pressure can cause damage to the seat belt and harness webbing, such as lost flexibility and firmness.
As a result, you won’t be able to get the proper car seat strap placement.
Additionally, the webbing will start to weaken, which will cause the material to break and fall apart over time.
In other words, hosing down baby harnesses and seat belts can jeopardize your baby’s safety.
Related: Are swivel car seats legal in US?
How to properly clean baby car seats
Just because pressure cleaning isn’t the best idea doesn’t mean you have to live with dirty car seats until your kids turn 12 and ditch them.
Even though we’ve covered the topic of can you pressure wash cloth car seats already, we’ve never mentioned how to clean baby car seats correctly.
- To clean baby car seat, you’ll first need to check your car seat’s manual. The manufacturer knows best about the model’s features and materials, so following the manual’s guidelines will ensure you take good care of your car seat.
- Then, you’ll have to disassemble the car seat. Separate the cover from the car seats foam and base alongside any other detachable items.
- Next, it’s time to clean the whole thing. Parents use different solutions and tools to get their car seats squeaky clean. For example, you can use a degreaser, mild detergent, or gentle soap. As for the tools, parents use cloths, sponges, and brushes to clean different areas.
- When washing your car seat, don’t forget to be careful around seat belts and harnesses, as they need to remain firm but flexible. Some parents choose to go over webbing with a damp cloth and nothing else if the webbing isn’t that dirty.
- With all car seat parts clean, the only thing left is to wait for them to air dry. Once the car seat components are all dry, you can put them back into their place, and voila! You have a brand new car seat!
Related: Infant car seats vs convertible car seats
Useful tips and tricks for clean baby car seats
Although keeping the car seat spotless day after day is a mission impossible, there are some useful tips and tricks you can implement to protect the seat from your babies and maintain some level of cleanliness.
- Invest in disposable vomit bags:
If your baby hates car seat or car rides in general, disposable vomit bags can save you from a catastrophe. They’re leak-proof, odorless, and affordable, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have them with you.
- Introduce snack containers:
The market is filled with travel-friendly snack containers that’ll prevent spillage. Fill them with some goodies and let your kids enjoy a mid-road snack without ruining the whole backseat area.
- Take cleaning tools with you:
Wet wipes, paper towels, clean diapers, and a baby wash are just some examples of how you can keep your car surroundings clean even when you’re on the go.
Related: When to forward face a car seat?
Conclusions on pressure washing car seats
To sum everything up, you definitely shouldn’t wash a baby car seat.
The pressure can affect the safety of car seat, especially when it comes to the seat belts and harnesses.
Instead, choose a safer version of washing the car seat with a gentle cleaning supply and a cloth.
While it’ll take you a while to get the car seat squeaky clean, you won’t have to compromise on safety.
Steph is a passionate mom who co-founded Wumblers to share her parenting journey with others. She graduated from Concordia University with a masters degree in Education Technology and worked as an advisor for many years. Steph loves being a mom and wants to have more kids.
Learn more about Steph and Wumblers here.