How do you deep clean car seats? How can you thoroughly clean a child’s car seats or clean the front car seats?
The first step to cleaning a car seat is to break out a car vacuum cleaner and clean the surface of the car seat. Thoroughly vacuuming every surface is the first step to cleaning any car unless you need to use a paper towel to remove the worst vomit, poop or other biological stains. Then start vacuuming.
Take off the cloth cover and run it through a washing machine. Don’t put the foam of a baby’s car seat cover in the washing machine unless you know it is safe to do so. If in doubt, run the unit on the gentle cycle before letting it air dry.
Then use a car detailing toolkit for the vacuum cleaner to suck up crumbs and any biological messes from every nook and cranny of the car seat. If your child has been seriously ill and the smell seams to linger, sprinkling the car seat surface with baking soda, letting it sit overnight and then vacuuming it up will help remove the smells of spat up baby formula or rotted spilled milk.
Some people shampoo car seats along with the cloth upholstery of the car using carpet steam cleaners or car detailing equipment with that capability. The risks you take with this include not getting all the moisture out of the car seat so it mildews, the soap in the upholstery not being good for the child and the process affecting the car seat cover’s appearance without really getting it clean. You can avoid part of this by only using soaps designed for hand cleaning, not extractor machines.
Parents can clean their own car seats with a vacuum. This is true whether you have leather seats or cloth seats. After vacuuming, you can wipe down leather seats with cleaning agents before applying leather restoring chemicals. If you have cloth car seats, use an upholstery cleaner rated safe for car seats. When you are cleaning leather seats, clean them section by second, applying the cleaning solution and wiping it off. You’ll want to vacuum it afterward to prevent moisture from the upholstery cleaner causing mold and mildew to grow in the foam under the seats.
Don’t forget to get cleaning wipes and clean every nook and cranny around the car seat, such as the cup holders many infant car seats and booster seats come with. If you have young children prone to biological messes or spilling drinks, you may want to take the car seat out of the base and wipe down all the crevasses with cleaning wipes to remove traces of vomit, poop, pee and spilled drinks. Latching systems are hard to clean, but they need to be in some cases. Use cleaning wipes instead of sponges or cloths.
For adults, cleaning with cleaning wipes to get the crevices in the edge of the seat is a good idea. Don’t forget to wipe down the seat belt latches, cup holders around the adults’ seats, handles and levers to adjust the seat and every other surface.
You should clean your floor mats, since these are rarely cleaned after installation. After you take it out and shake it out, spray it with bathroom cleaner and scrub with a brush to remove caked on stains or hose it down to remove loose debris. A scrubbing is necessary if you have spilled soda and coffee residue stuck in the channels of the floor mat. Then leave it out in the sun to dry before re-installing it in the car.