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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Found a Great Way to Clean Carseats

You know how sometimes it feels like we live in our cars? Well over the past week we spent so much time in the car or truck that it really felt like we lived in them. The kids make such a huge mess in the car and in their car seats (yes my 5 year old is still in a car seat) that it gets pretty gross. Last night I had to into work at the office for a while and on the way home I decided to be nice an go clean out the truck. I stopped at one of the great do-it-yourself car washes that we have now that take debit cards and have shampoo facilities. My plan was to throw away all the trash, vacuum and shampoo the carpet and the seat, where a Twix bar had melted. Did you see that I didn't say anything about washing the truck - well I don't need to do that because firefighters wash their trucks at the station. I took the kids seats out with the intention of vacuuming under them and then taking them home and tearing them apart to wash.....then it came to me......wash them in the car wash. So I took them into the car wash bay and put them against the wall. I then used their high power, hot, soapy water to spray them down. It worked great! It even took off the sticky marshmallow residue mess that Caleb created. Once they were washed I rinsed them and set them out on the asphalt while I vacuumed the truck. Since this car wash has the shampoo option the vacuums are wet/dry so I vacuumed out the excess water from the car seats and then just tossed them in the back of the truck -- now today they are dry and Caleb's no longer has that- oops my diaper leaked smell!! Best of all -- I didn't have to try and figure out how all the straps and pieces go back together after washing it in the washer - and I got to wash an extra load of towels today instead of the seat pads. Yeah it cost me an extra $2.25 but oh well!! And I am sure I will be doing this again next week after our camping trip this weekend....

16 comments:

Norah said...

I've done the car wash for cleaning the carseats. So much easier than taking them apart. I also have to say KUDOS to you for keeping your child in a 5pt harness as long as you have. I'm hoping to keep mine in one until age 6.

Norah said...

I've done the car wash for cleaning the carseats. So much easier than taking them apart. I also have to say KUDOS to you for keeping your child in a 5pt harness as long as you have. I'm hoping to keep mine in one until age 6.

Sherri said...

I feel safer having her in the 5 pt harness... She's little!!!

Mrs. R said...

Awesome Idea! My 7 year old, who is 60 lbs and tall for his age still uses a booster. Its just safer. Period. When the seatbelt can fit like it's supposed to, we will be done. Until, then, booster it is.

Heather said...

This is brilliant!! I wish I could do that for the entire inside of my van.

Rhea said...

You're good, girlfriend. What a great idea. I would have been worried about those seats drying in time, but the wet vac helped a lot. You rock!! I'll remember this. I still have a booster seat for my 6 yr old.

You're on the Saucy Blog list today at SITS. :o)

Deb said...

Love this idea! Definately going to do it. My 4 1/2 yr. old is still in a 5 point harness. My 7 1/2 year old is still in a booster. Of course, now that it's state law, that makes it a lot easier to enforce with the "big" kid!

Sherri said...

Thanks for all the great comments!!

Nicole said...

Awesome idea Sherri, I'm going to have to try this one out.

Jen said...

What a great idea. Thanks for visiting me. Isn't SITS just great!

Lauren Horsley said...

Sheer BRILLIANCE! I've got a 4 yr old, 2 yr old and 1 yr old - that THREE car seats that I can't wait to hose down tomorrow thanks to you! Seriously - this is the best cleaning tip I've heard in a long time. Thanks for sharing!

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Malsmom said...

Are you sure that doing this is ok? I think someone else question it as well. I dont know if it is a Britax thing or all car seats(which i thought was the case), but my carseat said to never to wash the harnesses. The only only thing it say that you can use is a damp cloth on them because if not it removes the fire retartant that is on them and something else that i cant remember. Double check this.....id hate for it to be a bad thing for your carseat as well.

Sherri said...

We have been washing car seat straps for a long time!! I just checked my manual and it says nothing about not washing them. Yes straps and the seat covers do have a fire retardant on them but over time it wear off on it's own. My husband is a car seat safety tech and he has not heard or read anything about not washing them. It could be a Britax thing but I am not sure. I am not worried about it!! I would be more worried about the germs and crap that gets embedded in the cover and straps. Thanks for your concern though. I guess if anyone else is concerned about this then they can check their manuals and decide for themselves.

Malsmom said...

So you made me think and pull manuals out of all 6 of Mallorie's carseat(yes she truely has that many-one for everyones car). I truely hopped to be able to do this with hers as her Boulevards are a pain in the butt to take apart to wash. All six had simmilar statements saying to never(in bold and red) wash or use detergants on the harnesses or to allow harnesses to become soaked with water. Five of them said to use a damp cloth to wipe clean and one said to use a damp sponge. So that is not very definitive to me so i called Britax, Fisher Price and Evenflo(not so fond of this seat) and asked them for more details. All three said that if i had done this that i needed to order replacement parts and stop using the seat until they came because it may have caused breakdown of the fibers, bla bla bla. So, maybe some of the other manuf. may say diff. but I can not wash any of Mallories simply now because i cant do it with out fear of doing damage to the seat-or worse.
But yeah to any one who can clean so very simply i wish i could do it too!!!!!!!!!

-Bridget said...

Good idea!