Babies are adorable! With their sparkling eyes, cute, soft lips, and little hands, they can make everyone’s heart melt! Until, of course, they vomit on your favorite shirt, couch, or in your car. Don’t get us wrong- they are babies; it’s only normal they vomit since they are really vulnerable to stomach upsets and diseases. However, cleaning after them can be really frustrating!
One of the most challenging situations is driving around with your baby in your car. Most adults get sick on longer trips, so just imagine how your little angel is feeling while traveling. What’s important in such cases is staying calm and quickly cleaning the car seat and the seat straps.
What Do You Need to Clean Vomit From Car Seat Straps
Car seat straps are the most important part of your baby’s car seat. They keep your precious angel safe and secure, and when there’s vomit on them, you need to act as quick as possible! Here’s what you need:
- Warm water
- Soft cloth
- Mild soap
How to Wash Car Seat Straps
Here is a thorough, step-by-step guide on how to clean your seat straps:
- Remove the cover of the car seat
We bet you don’t want stain all over your cover, so wipe the vomit off it as soon as possible. Then, use dry car wipes or tissue paper to get rid of the vomit particles by carefully picking them from the seat.
Once you have taken out the car seat cover, look for washing instructions- that are usually sewn on the stitching line. This is important since all car seats are different and need to be maintained clean in different ways.
- Wipe down the hard shell
This should be done with warm water, mild soap, and a cloth. Keep in mind that a toothbrush would also be useful because dust and food particles are often stuck in the corners that are hard to reach with a cloth. We do not recommend power washing the hard shell!
- Take care of the straps
Many parents claim that throwing the straps into the washing machine is all you need to do. However, manufacturers often advise against doing this because machine washing might weaken the webbing of the straps. Machine washing might cause the straps to stretch, which means they will be less effective, and we do not want that for our babies!
So how exactly to clean the vomit? Well, once again, you will need nothing more but warm water and mild soap. Take your clean, soft cloth and dip it into the soaped water. Then wipe the straps until the vomit has come off.
Do not use bleaching agents! They can not only be dangerous for your baby’s health but might also cause discoloration. When you are finished, dip the cloth in warm water and carefully wipe the straps one more time to rinse off the soap. You must try not to get them dripping wet because this may also weaken the fabric.
- Dry the straps
The best way to dry the straps and the seat is to take the seat out under the sun. If the weather does not allow for air drying, you can also use an electric drier. It is possible that after you have cleaned them, the straps still smell of vomit.
A simple air freshener might fix this problem, but remember to avoid strong fresheners because they may irritate your baby. Using a disinfectant to kill germs is also a great idea! Once ready, put the seat back in the car.
FAQs on How To Clean Vomit From Car Seat Straps
- Is it safe to hose off the car seat?
The short answer is NO! Hosing off the car seat will weaken the EPS foam. Moreover, the metallic parts of the car seat might get rusty, which will make them less efficient.
- How to dry the car seat after washing?
As we already explained above, the best way to dry the car seat is by placing it in the sun for a couple of hours. The sun will not only dry them perfectly but will also dissipate any remaining vomit odor. However, if the straps of your car seat are not removable, you might have to take out the whole seat.
- Can I use vinegar or bleach to clean the vomit from the car straps?
No, this is not advisable at all! Bleach and vinegar are harsh chemicals that might damage the fabric in the straps. Such harsh chemicals and any other household cleaners should be avoided as they may weaken the elasticity of the straps. This means the straps won’t be able to perform their main function- restrain the baby on the seat. In addition, bleach might discolor the seat straps.
- Can car seat straps be washed in the washing machine?
Even though many parents would say, “yes, you can,” this is not true. The pad on the straps is made of special material that’s not suitable for machine wash. Soaking the straps wet will weaken their webbing and effectiveness. What’s more, most straps are fixed to the seat and can’t be removed. This means that if they are soaking wet, they might not dry properly, and mold can be accumulated.
Babies vomit- this is a universal truth! That’s why you need to be prepared and to know how to clean this vomit, no matter if it is on your favorite dress or your car seat! If you remember not to throw your car seat straps in the washing machine and if you follow our instructions, you will be fine!