Car seats can get really dirty and hold a lot of germs. It’s important to sanitize them, especially with the recent coronavirus pandemic.
Some parents may be eager to reach for bleach-based cleaning products and other virus-killing chemicals but they should pause.
Harsher cleaning products and strong chemicals that work well on some surfaces may damage the car seat, thus leading it to not being able to fully protect a child in a crash.
How to Safely Clean Coronavirus From Your Child’s Car Seat
Parents should clean their children’s car seats following the car seat manufacturer’s instructions, such as using a mild detergent and water. Many seat pads are removable and machine washable as well.
Do not clean your car seat in any other method than what the manufacturer suggests. Read your car seat’s manual for instructions or find it online through the car seat manufacturer’s website.
For example, the manual will recommend you on how to wash the seat cover – whether you should hand wash or you can machine wash on a specific seating. Make sure to read the drying instructions as well.
How to Clean Car Seat Harnesses and LATCH Straps
Generally, harness and straps should only be spot-cleaned with a nonabrasive cloth or sponge using mild soap and water. These parts need to be air dried rather than machine dry.
How to Clean Car Seat Buckles
When cleaning buckles or push-on LATCH connectors, use only water. This is because soaps or lubricants may leave residue that can affect performance of the buckle.
The seatbelt straps should also be wiped down with a damp cloth.
If you have machine-washed your harness or damaged it in some other way, you should purchase a new car seat for safety reasons.
If you machine-washed your car seat cover when you shouldn’t have or cleaned your car seat improperly, you should reach out to your car seat manufacturer and let them know. They’ll suggest you to buy a replacement piece or get a new car seat.
Coronavirus and Protecting Your Child
Infant Car Seat Cover
If you’re using an infant car seat, you may want to considering purchasing an infant car seat cover.
When you take the car seat out of your car with your child inside, sometimes you might want to cover up his seat from the outside. This is especially helpful if your child is sleeping and you don’t want to disturb him.
There are infant car seat covers for both winter and summer. Below are a few we suggest. If you want the full list, read our best infant car seat covers.
Brica Infant Comfort Canopy Car Seat Cover
The Brica Infant Comfort can be used on the car seat as well as attached to a stroller. This is great if you want to bring your baby out for a walk and are concerned about the coronavirus.
Their retractable rain and sun cover is UPF 50+, meaning it blocks 98% of UVA and UVB radiation. The sun cover can also be used as a waterproof shield if you get caught out in the rain.
If you remove the sun cover, there is a mesh panel that allows your little one to see outside while still being protected from things such as insects. The mesh material provides ventilation, visibility, and privacy. Your baby can breathe easily and not get overheated. Both the panel and sun cover can be folded back on top so you can have sun coverage while having access to your baby.
This convenient canopy installs easily, fits all major brands and includes a zippered carrying case for easy storage.
Barnaby Belle ‘Night’ Baby Car Seat Cover
This stylish baby car seat cover protects your baby from germs, insects, and sunlight. This lightweight cover is made out of 100% muslin cotton, which makes it a breathable and cool canopy for your baby. You can easily fold up this cover and put it in your diaper bag.
The Barnaby Belle cover is an universal fit for all baby car seat models with its adjustable velcro straps.
If your child does not use an infant car seat or you are not using a travel stroller system, you may just want a stroller cover instead.
These are very affordable and recommended if you are worried about your child being outside. Here is a few products we would recommend:
For just $10, this baby stroller rain cover may help ease your mind when taking your child out.
It is a universal fit for strollers and features a thick quilted material.
Bemece Stroller Rain Cover Universal
This universal size rain cover fits most strollers, protecting your baby from rain, wind, snow, cold and dust.