Sunday, April 06, 2014

Cleaning a Car Seat

Since I'm going to start taking care of my niece soon, I was going to need a car seat. My sister had an extra one after buying a new seat for her van so she gave it to me.
It's hard to see here, but the seat was VERY thoroughly stained
Now to clean the thing ^^;

I've never cleaned a carseat before and had absolutely no clue how to go about it. After a little googling I found this post by Jessica Fisher(aka FishMama) and followed it.

1. Remove the cover and straps. Have the carseat manual handy or take a picture of how the straps are configured so that you can reattach them properly.
Baby Duck's response, "You're taking my seat apart?!"
You can really see how bad the staining was here
My sister came over with my niece as I was taking the carseat apart, so Baby Duck decided to help clean it^^ She's old enough to just use the seatbelt with the carseat as a booster, so I didn't need to worry about putting the straps back on. Thank goodness:)
2. Wash the cover according to the manufacturer’s directions. Usually, this requires line drying. (Make arrangements not to transport your child anywhere or borrow a carseat in the interim, about 1/2 a day, less if it’s warm outside.)
I washed the cover one the delicate cycle with warm/warm water and ran it through twice with plenty of Shout sprayed on the stained bits. I let my niece decide if it was cleaned enough before running it through the dryer since she's the one who'll be sitting on it. I set the dryer to delicate and air dry for 30 minutes.
3. Soak the plastic clips and snaps in hot, soapy water. Scrub well, rinse, and air dry. Sponge clean or wash the straps. (PLEASE NOTE: Read your manufacturer’s manual first. Some manufacturers advise against soaking the straps. If this is the case, sponge clean your straps. Thanks to the readers who pointed this out to me. I apologize for the confusion.)
Baby Duck took so many pictures of this bucket with
my camera. My sister was worried she'd drop it in.
We filled a Hunger Games popcorn bucket up with hot water and some dish soap and put all the bits and pieces, including straps, in to soak. Baby Duck stirred them around with a wooden spoon and took tons of pictures of the soapy water while I worked on the plastic seat. We checked the pieces and refilled the bucket with clean soapy water for the few pieces the still needed some soaking time. I dried everything with paper towels and put them in a gallon ziploc bag since I didn't need to put them back on.
4. Hose or wipe down the plastic form of the carseat, if necessary. Spray with disinfectant spray if cooties were involved. Air dry.
This is where the worst of the mess was. I used a package of disinfectant wipes, figuring I would just need a couple to wipe down the body. I ended up using the entire package. There were these deep gaps where the seat and back connect that were FILLED with gunk, that's where most of the wipes were used. I think it took about 20-25 minutes to get it all cleaned up.
5. Reattach cover and straps properly. Law enforcement agencies report that an overwhelming number of carseats are misused. Please make sure yours is not one of them. Consult the carseat manual if you are unsure of the proper orientation of the straps.

After getting everything all clean and dry I put the cover back onto the seat. Now it's all ready to go into my car for Baby Duck to ride in. She was very proud of her job cleaning her seat. When she grows out of the seat it can be all put back together to be given away, sold, or held onto for a new baby(should there be one.)

I can't wait for our first trip to the library:)

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