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Should I Wash Infant Car Seat Before Use

Do You Need To Wash Car Seat For Newborn?

From the moment you have a positive pregnancy test to searching for the top baby names, once you are about to become a parent something inside you begins to change. And I am not talking about morning sickness! What happens is you begin to worry about your child’s safety. All the time. This feeling becomes very evident when you first drive your newborn home from the hospital. Although we can’t help take away your nerves about becoming a new parent, what we can do is talk about babies’ car seats and the proper way to wash your infant car seat. Now, let’s dive in!

Do you need to wash a car seat for a newborn baby? The short answer it does not hurt to use a baby wipe or warm water with mild soap to do a thorough cleaning on any baby products. However, you should always first refer to the car seat manufacturer’s instructions, especially if you plan to dissemble and reassemble the seat for a spot cleaning. The last thing you want to do is reduce child passenger safety by incorrectly assembling a car seat because you wanted to do a deep cleaning on the infant seat.

Should I Wash Infant Car Seat Before Use?
– Should I Wash Infant Car Seat Before Use?

Top Selling Infant Seat On Amazon 2023


Tips On Washing Baby Car Seats

Most parents who put their kid’s clothes and bed sheets in the washing machine before using them are going to want to wash an infant car seat before using it. And honestly, it is good practice to clean anything you purchase for your baby. I mean if you washed the covers for the bed you might as well wash an infant car seat before using it. Here are some basic cleaning tips you should know before you begin cleaning your infant seat:

  • Review the instruction manual first so you know how to handle harness straps and other equipment 
  • Consider gentle soap and a damp cloth to wash the infant’s car seat 
  • Avoid cleaning products that use a lot of chemicals – natural is always better
  • Let the baby gear air dry once you have cleaned the entire car seat
  • Make sure car seat covers have dried completely before putting a child back in the seat

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will help you install a car seat for free if you need any assistance.

Infant Car SeatImage courtesy of

How Often Should You Wash A Car Seat?

Babies, infants, and toddlers can all be very messy! Bodily fluids, goldfish crackers, and random stuff can find their way onto car seat covers and under the plastic base. The reality is your kids are in their car seats every day and that means gunk is going to build up. But how often should you wash a car seat? According to pediatrician Alisa Baer, M.D, also known as the Car Seat Lady, if your child keeps the car seat clean then you never need to use a baby wipe or wet cloth to clean it. Unfortunately, kids eat in the car and can overflow a diaper on any given day. Since snacks can dirty a car seat and even potentially interfere with safety features, it is best practice to clean the car seat on an as-needed basis.

In those real-world situations, you can use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to clean the harness straps, and a vacuum to pick up debris inside the car seat and under the plastic base. The Car Seat Lady also mentions that some car seat manufacturers allow for harness straps to be removed so they can be soaked in water for a thorough cleaning, but many do not. So you need to review the instruction manual for car seat safety precautions.

GPS Tracker Shop recommends you visit the United States Department of Transportation (NHTSA) website for reviews on car seats and booster seats. 

Related Article: 9 Simple Car Seat Cleaning Tips

Video On How To Clean Infant Car Seats

Check out this cleaning instructions video on the dos and dont’s with car seats!

Fernando Gonzalez
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