Spring cleaning car seat tips

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Spring has sprung and while many of us are starting to do our Spring cleaning indoors, you might want to think about freshening up your child’s car seat. After all, who knows what winter treats and other wonders are lurking beneath their seat?  We put together a few tips on how to tidy up your Diono car seats and get yourself ready for those Spring break road trips.

Before you get started make sure you have enough time for a thorough cleaning and that you won’t be needing your child’s car seat anytime soon. Don’t forget to factor in drying time if you wash the cover. If you don’t have a Diono car seat please refer to your manufacturer’s instruction manual for cleaning instructions.

What you’ll need

  • Warm water
  • Clean towel
  • Wash cloth
  • Mild soap
  • Vacuum
  • Air duster – such as “canned air” used to clean a computer keyboard
  • Baking soda
  • Soft bristled brush

Remove the car seat from the car

  • This is where you’ll probably need the vacuum to clean the inside of your car where your child’s car seat was sitting.  You’ll probably find lots of goodies under there!
  • If you notice a lot of debris and liquid has fallen under here you can get a seat protector to place underneath your child’s car seat. Just make sure it’s made by the same company that makes your car seat, or that it’s specifically approved for use with your car seat.
  • Once you’ve removed the car seat flip it over and remove any debris from the bottom with a soft bristled brush.
  • You can also use an air duster (like a keyboard cleaner) to remove crumbs from the nooks and crannies – like the center buckle and cam lock.
  • Fold the seat and look for debris in the folding mechanism and locking bolts. Clean these with water and a damp cloth only, and towel dry to prevent rust from forming. Do not use any bleach, harsh soaps, detergents, solvents or abrasive cleaners.

Cleaning the cover

  • Remove the cover from the shell, if you are unsure how to remove it, check your car seat manual for instructions.
  • Remove the car seat cover and hand wash or machine wash only in a front-loading machine or top loader with no agitator, using a mild soap or detergent.
    • Do not use bleach or hot water to wash the cover.
  • Line dry or air dry in a dryer with a fluff or “no heat” setting.

Cleaning the plastic shell

  • Clean with a damp cloth only. Wet the cloth with warm water and mild soap and wring thoroughly so it is not dripping water. Wipe the shell and towel dry.
  • Make sure that all debris has been removed and everything is dry and that all mechanisms are working properly.

Cleaning harness straps:

  • Clean with a damp cloth only. Wet the cloth with warm water and mild soap and wring thoroughly so it is not dripping water. Wipe the straps clean. Do not saturate or soak the straps.
  • To remove odor from the straps, make a solution using 4 tablespoons of baking soda and one quart of warm water. Dampen a cloth with the solution and wring so it is not dripping. Wipe the straps and allow to dry. Repeat if necessary.
  • If your straps are so soiled that you can’t keep using them, contact your car seat manufacturer to order new ones.

Cleaning the harness adjuster

  • Check the harness adjuster for cleanliness and proper functioning.  It should spring back immediately when lifted. If necessary, remove debris with a soft bristled brush.
  • Clean with water and a damp cloth only. Wring the cloth so it is not dripping water.
  • ONLY use water to clean.
  • Towel dry.

Cleaning harness buckle

  • Remove center buckle from car seat.
  • Rinse the buckle thoroughly in mildly hot water or soak overnight to loosen dried liquid and hardened food debris. Do NOT get the buckle strap wet. Carefully rinse ONLY the buckle.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Confirm proper buckle functioning.
  • Fasten and un-fasten both tongues. If you don’t hear the “click” repeat the process until you do. 

Extra tips

  • When you’re taking things apart, especially the harness straps, snap a photo or two so you don’t forget where things go.
  • An air duster keyboard cleaner comes in handy for those nooks and crannies.
  • Always refer to your car seat manual.
  • Use an approved seat protector under the car seat to keep your car from getting messy.
Brought to you by Diono.
The radian® rXT car seats are designed with your child’s security and safety as top priorities.

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