Child's Car Seat, How to Clean and Disinfect

How to Clean a Dirty (Really Dirty!) Child’s Car Seat, with SNiPER  Disinfectant and Deodorizer

Children are so mobile! Especially when they’re toddlers. They go everywhere with you…to the grocery store (oh, OKAY! I’ll open up your favorite box of crackers!) To pick up laundry/dry cleaning…(oh, thanks so much for the cookie. Janie really likes that kind.) To the drive in Bank window…(Janie, do you want a sucker?) Or, we are in such a hurry, Janie! Just bring that bottle of soda with you!

You get the drift, even the most precious child is generally unconcerned about the trail of crumbs or the dribble of soda they leave behind! Don’t even think about that long trip to see Gamma, and everyone got sick in the SUV!

Sooner or later, you are going to have to face a nasty car seat, and Do Something About It!

Even at the beginning, you understand that is a chore to remove the seat from the automobile/SUV from your vehicle. In some instances, these contraptions may be bolted in. But, you have decided that you can no longer ignore the trash in the car seat, the smell of vomit on the straps, or the crud that is stuck on the seat itself. You are seriously, knowing, that this car seat must be cleaned and disinfected properly. Let’s just DO IT!

Some things to remember before attacking this job:

Never submerge straps in water. The integrity of the fabric will be weakened, and they may stretch, and not hold your child in place.

Cleaning the upholstery of the car seat, in situ, not in the washer, is another challenge. Resist the desire to scrub vigorously with a harsh brush. A used toothbrush or a non abrasive scrubber is better. A heavy duty scrubbing may ‘wash away’ the flame resistant coating that has been factory applied to straps and fabrics.


Procedures for cleaning and the tools that you will need:

1) Tools you need:

  • SNiPER Disinfectant & Deodorizer*
  • A toothbrush
  • Q-Tips
  • A dull kitchen knife
  • A damp cloth
  • A sponge
  • Portable hair dryer, or a hand held vacuum cleaner

2. Insofar as you may not want to strip the car seat of all of the cushions and fabric or take out everything down to the car seat shell, begin with the headrest and whittle away at the bits and pieces stuck here and there that are easily removed, until you find no more contamination.

3. Begin with the head rest. With a dull knife, scrape off hardened on pieces of crud. Use a hand held vacuum cleaner or a hair dryer on ‘cool’ setting to suck or blow the debris away as it collects. Spray Sniper* heavily on a cloth, and begin to, lightly scrub visible stains. If the stain is also stuck to the material, lightly scrape with a dull knife. It may take repeated attempts to remove stuck-on food. This stuff is like GLUE! Do not allow the material to get totally wet.

4. With a toothbrush, dipped in SNiPER, brush all snaps, hooks, and cavities scrub plastic clips. Allow to air dry. There is NO NEED to rinse when you use SNiPER. It is very safe and leaves no toxic residues behind.

5. Straps: Spray a clean cloth heavily once the hardened on debris has been removed. Wipe straps both vertically and horizontally. 

6. Remove the fabric covered upholstered seat cover and rinse with cool water to dislodge all hard, crusty stuff, then place in the bathtub with a ratio of 8 oz SNiPER* to a gallon of warm water. Swish, scrub, and rinse in cool water. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

7. Place in the dryer with 3 clean towels and spin in the dryer until all moisture is evaporated.

8. While the upholstery is drying, use a ‘q tip’ which has been dipped in SNiPER to pick up any crumbs or small trash in those difficult to reach corners of the shell of the car seat. Spray the shell overall with SNiPER. Allow to air dry. Replace the clean dry upholstered seat, being sure that all parts have been put back together correctly.

9. If odors remain anywhere, lightly spray the entire car seat, paying close attention to areas which you have treated separately.

Pat yourself on the back. Janie has a clean, sweet smelling car seat, and is protected from harmful germs and bacteria.

*SNiPER is an EPA Registered Hospital Disinfectant that destroys bacteria, viruses, all pathogens of importance within 5 minutes of contact. You can explore the many ways SNiPER is effective in homes, businesses, schools, or anywhere that many people collect and enjoy life together. More information about SNiPER can be found here: