Britax Willow S Infant Car Seat

Car Seat Cleaning Hacks: Keeping Your Child's Ride Safe and Spotless

Life with babies, infants, toddlers, and kiddos, in general, can get quite messy, and this mess inevitably extends to their car seats! Parents make a significant investment in a car seat, and naturally, they become fanatic about keeping it clean, pristine, and looking like new. While cleaning a car seat might seem intimidating, this article breaks down the process into easy steps, empowering parents to maintain their child's ride, keeping it clean and, above all, safe!

How often should a child's car seat be cleaned?

A child's car seat should ideally be cleaned on a monthly basis, but depending on how much time they spend in the seat and unexpected messes, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.

Why is it important to routinely clean a child's car seat?

Even in the absence of emergency cleaning needs, performing monthly maintenance is crucial. Routine cleaning helps ensure that the materials maintain their condition over time, thereby contributing to the longevity of the seat and safeguarding the parents' investment. Regular maintenance prevents trapped moisture from leading to mold growth. Furthermore, routine cleaning clears away debris that could potentially interfere with the safety features of the seat, thereby preserving the integrity of its crash performance and installation systems.


How can a child's car seat be cleaned?

It cannot be emphasized enough that cleaning and maintenance procedures for car seats are specific to each brand and model. For the most accurate and up-to-date cleaning instructions, owners should refer to their user manuals. In case the manuals have been misplaced or inadvertently discarded, parents can quickly download them from the car seat manufacturer's website. These manuals provide step-by-step guides on how car seat parts can be broken down for cleaning, cleaning instructions, and directions on carefully removing car seat covers and fabrics for washing. However, most manuals will direct owners to the tags located on the car seat covers for even more specific care and cleaning requirements.

While car seats feature different fabrics, leading to varying washing and cleaning procedures for covers, many other components are cleaned similarly. Continue reading to discover how to clean your car seat's shell, buckles, harness, and straps.


After removing the car seat cover how is the rest of the car seat cleaned?

As mentioned earlier, owners should refer to their user manuals for step-by-step cleaning and maintenance instructions. However, below is a general guide for car seat cleaning.

  1. Once the car seat cover is removed for washing following the care tag instructions, the interior of the seat can be vacuumed to remove debris and crumbs that may have become trapped under the cover.
  2. Most harnesses and straps cannot be fully removed from the body of the car seat, and attempting to do so should be avoided. The cleaning process for harnesses will also be addressed in the user manual. However, the general consensus for harness and strap cleaning involves spot treatment with a soft cloth, warm water, and mild soap. Harnesses and straps should never be submerged in water or cleaned with solvents or harsh or acidic cleaners, as these solutions can break down the material and compromise their quality and performance. Additionally, harnesses and straps should never be machine washed, ironed, or fully submerged in water. After cleaning, straps can be towel and air dried.
  3. Buckles should only be rinsed and cleaned with warm water. They should never be fully submerged in water or cleaned with soaps, solvents, or household detergents. After cleaning, buckles should be tested to ensure that the harness still clicks and locks into place as intended.
  4. The outer shell of the car seat can be cleaned with a sponge or soft cloth using warm water and mild soap, then towel dried.


How is a car seat cover cleaned?

It is crucial to adhere to the cleaning and care instructions found on the interior care tag of the car seat cover. While most car seat covers can be machine washed, most must be line or air dried. If air drying is recommended, it's because there's a risk that machine drying can cause the cover to shrink, making it difficult to fit back onto the car seat. Therefore, it's important to plan the cleaning routine properly, ensuring there is enough time for the car seat cover to air dry before it is needed for use again.


What car seats are the easiest to clean?

Car seats covers can all be cleaned and regular maintenance is necessary. However, some are inherently easier to keep clean than others. Explore some low-maintenance options below: 

Britax offers car seats in their SafeWash fabric. This fabric is naturally flame resistant and it is both washer and dryer safe.

Britax SafeWash Models

Models available in SafeWash:

  • Britax Willow S Infant Car Seat and Alpine Base
  • Britax Willow SC Infant Car Seat and Alpine Base
  • Britax Poplar Convertible Car Seat
  • Britax Poplar S Convertible Car Seat
  • Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
  • Britax One4Life All-in-One Car Seat
  • Britax Grow With You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster
  • Britax Grow with You ClickTight Plus Harness-2-Booster

    Britax SafeWash Models

    Clek offers a variety of fabric options for each car seat model included in their line-up. Two fabric choices stand-out for easy maintenance. 

    Clek's C-Zero Plus Performance Fabric is offered in a variety of colors. This is a Crypton fabric, which is GREENGUARD Gold Certified  and free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants. The  C-Zero Plus Performance Fabric is stain, odor, bacteria and moisture resistant providing easy wipe-to-clean maintenance.

    Clek C-Zero Performance Plus Models

    The C-Zero Plus Performance Fabric is available in the following models:


      Clek's Railroad-Ziip is super innovative! The Railroad fabric is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 Certified and free of any added flame retardants. The standout feature is its zipper-removable cover. Parents can simply unzip and remove both their car seat cover and headrest cover and machine wash and machine dry, when done zip the covers back on!

      Clek Railroad-Ziip Models

      The Railroad-Ziip fabric is available in these Clek models:

      The Fllo and Foonf Railroad-Ziip models also come with a built in "Crumb Catcher,"  integrated directly under the seat cushion. The "Crumb Catcher" is a zip-in liner that is easily removed to ensure the interior of the seat stays clean.

      The UPPAbaby Alta V2 Booster Car Seat features a zip offer cover, providing easy removal for machine washing. The Alta V2 features UPPAbaby's SAFETECH fabric which is naturally flame resistant. The Alta V2 is completely flame retardant free and Greenguard Gold Certified.

      UPPAbaby Alta V2

      What should car seat owners do if they can not get car seat components clean?

      If parents encounter difficulties cleaning car seats according to the manufacturer's instructions and feel that the integrity of the seat is compromised, they should reach out directly to the manufacturer. Most brands provide phone numbers, contact links, and email or chat support directly on their website, making it easy to connect and receive assistance. Additionally, most brands offer replacement parts. If the issue is not covered under warranty, replacement parts should be available for purchase directly from the manufacturer. However, in extreme cases the entire car seat may need to be replaced. 

      Can liners be  added to car seats to keep them clean?

      It is not advisable to use any products on a car seat that are not directly offered by the same brand. Manufacturers only provide accessories for their car seats after conducting crash tests with the added accessories integrated into the seat. Adding accessories to a car seat that are not brand-approved may compromise the seat's crash performance and overall safety.

      Clek P-Thingy

      Clek offers the Clek P-Thingy, a seat pad specifically designed for use and crash-tested with the Clek Fllo and Foonf Convertible Car Seat models. It boasts a waterproof backing, and is seamlessly added and removed, for machine washing. Providing added comfort for young riders and protection against spills and accidents, it's an ideal fit for potty-training tots. While this is a great car seat accessory, it is important to note that it should only be used with the Clek Fllo and Foonf models.


      Should parents consider cleaning and maintenance while shopping for car seats? 

      Clek Foonf

      Safety, comfort, ease of use, and vehicle compatibility should top the list of considerations when shopping for the right car seat. However, when narrowing down options that meet all the criteria, features for easy cleaning and maintenance can play a significant role in making the final decision. Given that routine cleaning and maintenance are essential, it's wise for parents to fully understand the process they'll be committing to before making a purchase. For families seeking the easiest-to-clean seats, it's reassuring to know that the ones listed here also rank among the safest in the US.



      Strolleria is dedicated to making the baby gear buying experience less overwhelming for parents.

      If you have more questions about Car Seat Cleaning, feel free to email us at or chat with us today!