It may have been suggested that being messy helps children learn, but if you’ve ever had to remove the kids car seat from the back seat, you may know what I mean when I say there’s a whole new world of grim there! And not just under the seat, but the seat itself can be covered in anything from snacks to half the beach from your last holiday. I’m sure I’m not alone at having been tempted to just bin the lot, rather than have to face cleaning it. But that’s not particularly cost effective.
With the average first-year cost of having a child being over $10,000, many parents will want to save money any way they can – keeping your car seat in good shape is a great way to start! If your child is partial to making the odd mess or two, here are some quick and easy tips to make the clean-up job a whole lot easier.
It may be tempting just to leave cleaning the seat until the morning if you’ve had a long journey. But if you do this, you’re almost guaranteeing yourself more hard work as whatever substance has been spilt will have hours to sink into the seat material and become engrained.
Ensure you have wet wipes with you at all times to instantly get rid of any removable gunk; wet wipes are also great for cleaning the actual seats of your vehicle too. So, if you own a large family-friendly vehicle like the Chrysler Pacifica, wet wipes will be your new best friend if the spillages reach further than your baby’s seat.
Once your wet wipes have worked their magic, a simple concoction of warm water and gentle soap is likely to be sufficient enough to scrub away the stain as long as you work quickly.
Lay the seat out in the fresh air
Once clean, your child’s seat can be damp and smelling a little unpleasant. Instead of just leaving the seat in the car, the easiest way to get the seat dry and smelling fresh is to leave it outside to ‘air out’. If you can leave it out in the sun, this is even better as it will likely dry much faster! Good luck with that if you’re in the UK right now though! The seats we’ve owned have all been machine washable, which is really useful as it means you can really get it properly clean – think about it: a child can be in the same seat for years and years. It’s kind of like never washing your sheets!
Clean the straps and buckle
Often, especially when in a rush, you may be tempted to just clean the seat portion and forget to thoroughly go over the straps and buckle. When kids make a mess, it often covers both them and their entire surroundings; meaning the buckle and straps are also highly likely to be affected.
Don’t ignore them for a ‘quick fix’, as they will simply stay dirty, smell, and could cause safety concerns in terms of how secure the buckle is.
Car seats are an essential part of any parent’s car and must be looked after to guarantee longevity. But as long as you clean up the mess quickly and ensure to keep a handy pack of wipes in the car at all times, you’ll never end up with a permanently damaged, messy seat!
Rachel Bryant is a new Mommy who is enjoying writing some articles when time/baby allows! She is currently on extended maternity leave as she learns the ropes of Motherhood!