This kid’s safety product is dirtier than a toilet seat


How do car seats get so dirty?

Life happens! If you feed your child in the car seat, odds are pretty good that food will end up getting on the fabric, harnesses and in all the cracks and crevices. Natural oils from our bodies can end up on the covers and harnesses, and hair from our children’s head can shed and stick to the fabric. Plus, when you open the car door dirt particles in the air will come sweeping into the car, especially on a windy day.

How can moms and dads clean them properly?

First and foremost, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on washing and maintenance. Many covers can be hand-washed or machine-washed on a gentle cycle, but soaking harness straps is usually a “no no.” Never use abrasive cleaning solutions on any parts or pieces of the car seat.

What can be done to upkeep the cleanliness and prevent buildup in the future?

Taking the car seat out of the car once a week or at least once a month is a good way to inspect and maintain a clean seat. In addition, there are some professional services that offer cleaning of car seats. Be sure they are reputable and have a CPST certification like The Tot Squad ( Plus, there are usually flame retardant chemicals on the seat that are required by law. Using certain techniques and cleaners can strip the flame retardants from the seat, so be sure and ask how the cleaning will be done before using this type of service. Parts and pieces are delicate so hosing down a car seat is definitely not appropriate.

Allana Pinkerton has been a Certified CPS Instructor for over 12 years. She became passionate about the issue out of concern for her own children’s safety on school buses. She has worked to instruct and present to others about the danger of not properly installing and utilizing car seats and seat buckles. Through a non-profit organization she founded, Allana has worked in children’s hospitals and at community events with companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and State Farm. She has been actively involved with the Annual Kidz in Motion CPS Conference, and in 2013 was elected to Chair the Manufacturer’s Alliance for Child Passenger Safety. Currently, Allana also serves as the Global Safety Advocate for Diono <> .