Buying a car seat is a very important and responsible step. The safety of your child depends on this appliance, and there are many crashed cars for sale, whose little passengers were also saved by safety seats. Therefore, parents devote a lot of time to choosing the optimal model while they look at the quality of materials, comfort, degree of protection, reviews, and much more. At the same time, even the most expensive and high-quality child car seat won’t please you for a long time if you don’t properly care for it.
Child Car Seat Cleaning
Like any item that is used regularly, child car seats need regular cleaning. Moreover, this must be done even if, at first glance, the chair seems clean, and not only when the child has spilled something on it. During use, dust and dirt, particles of sweat, baby saliva, etc., hit the surface of the chair cover. Invisible to the eye, pollution can lead to the active reproduction of bacteria, which in turn can adversely affect children. Of course, serious pollution requires mandatory cleaning: stains from various foods, spilled drinks, dirt from shoes, and much more. Even very tidy children can leave a nasty stain from time to time that will require washing.
Experts recommend cleaning your car seat regularly, at least once a month. Along with that, modern parents rarely take this requirement into account and practically don’t comply with this rule. Some people prefer to simply ignore the existing pollution. They even specifically choose the darkest, not easily soiled colors, on which the dirt is almost invisible. Other parents clean only if the stain is visible, locally rubbing the dirt without removing it completely. Someone puts off washing until later. Only a few disassemble the chair and completely wash the cover regularly, and not as needed.
What To Look for When Buying a Child Seat
If you want to make car child seat care easier, ask the seller whether the cover for this car seat is removable before purchasing. If it isn’t removed, then it will be very difficult to wash the upholstery. Many models are disassembled almost to the frame, which is very convenient. Even if you don’t know how to dismantle the seat, there is always a detailed instruction where it’s described step-by-step how to remove the cover and disassemble the chair.
It’s also important to read the information and recommendations for product care, which are usually duplicated on a special label in addition to the instructions. Here, information is usually indicated in the form of special characters and symbols. In particular, you can find such signs as “washing is prohibited,” “hand wash only,” and “dry cleaning” (which means the seat can be taken for dry cleaning).
Another important point is that some models come with additional protective covers, or if they aren’t available, they can be purchased separately. This is a very useful accessory that is designed to protect the surface of the child seat from dirt. These covers are very easy to remove and can be washed in the washing machine. It’s best if such an additional cover is made from natural materials. Both the summer cotton models protect against sweat and, consequently, irritation on the baby’s skin, and the winter insulated options.
The practice has shown that the car seat often gets dirty when it’s carried from the car to the apartment and back. To prevent this from happening, and if you don’t have to clean the car seat often, you can wrap it with a film, a bag, or a special shipping cover. You also need to do the same if you are going to store the seat in a garage or pantry for a long time, so later you will not have to clean it from dust.
How to Clean a Car Seat Properly
Care for child car seats must be strictly according to the attached instructions. If the product involves the possibility of hand or machine washing, then all procedures can be easily carried out at home. The algorithm will be something like this:
- Pull out all additional removable structural elements: inserts, blankets, linings, etc. They are washed separately.
- To remove dust, small debris, and crumbs, you can use a vacuum cleaner. This will simplify and speed up the work.
- Choose a gentle detergent. It’s best to use neutral compositions recommended for washing children’s clothes and underwear.
- If the upholstery isn’t removed, its surface must be wiped with a special cloth or sponge dipped in detergent after you thoroughly vacuum all the folds and irregularities of the seat. Then rinse the fabric very thoroughly with clean water to completely remove soap residue from the surface. After completion of the procedure, the chair must be thoroughly dried.
- If the upholstery is removable, then it must be pulled out and washed in a washing machine. Put it back on only after the material has completely dried.
Remember that the health of your child depends on the condition of the car seat, especially if your kid spends a lot of time inside the vehicle.
Tips for Child Car Seats Cleaning
Follow these simple tips so that you don’t have additional problems in the process of using a car seat. They will help make your life much easier, save you from unnecessary expenses, and the seat will remain clean and delight you and your baby for a long time.
- When installing, check the fastenings’ security. Here it’s necessary to act strictly according to the instructions. You risk that the fixation will be weak, or the chair won’t be securely fixed at all. Check the tension of the inner belts. They shouldn’t press, hang out, or twist.
- Any stains should be wiped off immediately. If a stain suddenly appears on the cover or upholstery of a child’s car seat, it’s better to clean it as soon as possible. You can use a sponge and soapy water. If you are on the road and there are no detergents at hand, then you can simply use a damp cloth and wipe the stain thoroughly. Don’t leave the stain just like that. When it dries, it will be very difficult to get rid of it.
- Be sure to clean the seat belts. It’s recommended to do this regularly with a special cloth dipped in warm water. The cleaning agent must be gentle. When installing the seat, make sure that the belts don’t come into contact with sharp interior elements and don’t rub against the body elements of the child seat itself. Besides, make sure that the belt is not pinched when closing the doors.
- There is no need to abuse chemicals and cleaning products. It is recommended to use a simple soapy solution to clean the plastic parts of the child’s car seat. It’s not worth using aggressive chemicals because they can be harmful to a small passenger.
- Wash the cover in cold water only. As a rule, the manufacturer indicates the recommended temperature for washing the upholstery. Usually, it is 30 degrees, so this parameter shouldn’t be exceeded. It’s best to wash the cover by hand—it will be less subject to mechanical wear. You can also use a washing machine with a hand wash mode, setting the spin power to a minimum. The detergent should be mild. The use of bleach is strictly prohibited. Dry only naturally.
We hope this article was useful for you, and now you know how to choose a car seat, wash it, and properly care for it. As you could notice, it’s not a complicated task, but your child’s safety depends on how responsibly you treat it.