November 16, 2009,
M.G. asks from Minneapolis, MN on November 12, 2009
A.F. answers from St. Cloud on November 12, 2009
HOLY HANNAH! I can't believe that people are suggesting that you take your straps off and wash them! You should never immerse car seat straps! It will damage the fibers.
My daughter vomited all over her car seat and I used a gallon of warm water and a cup of white vinegar and a few drops of grapefruit essential oil, dipped a rag in water and scrubbed the straps. I didn't need to take the straps off at all. I set the whole seat in the window to dry in the sun.
The smell of the vinegar totally goes away in no time at all and does act as a disinfectant. You can also use tea tree essential oil for more disinfecting power
EDIT****I meant to say that I dipped the rag in the water AND vinegar solution, not just in water. Just had to clarify! :)
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B.W. answers from Minneapolis on November 12, 2009
YOU CANNOT MACHINE WASH OR SUBMERGE CARSEAT HARNESSES!
I hope everyone reads that! You absolutely cannot submerge car seat harnesses in water, or put htem in the washing machine. Doing either will weaken the fibers in the harness and cause them to fray and be weak, possibly breaking in a crash. They absolutely cannot be washed in the washing machin or submerged in water.
Now, that being said, you son vomited on his car seat harness. Gross, right? You can do a few things. Get out some baby wipes and get as much off as you can, and then let them dry. Take the clorox wipes next and finish cleaning them that way, then lay outside to dry out and freshen up.
You can also order a new harness from Britax. We did it one time, and it was here in 3 days. Explain the situation to them and they send them out pretty quickly.
S.P. answers from Minneapolis on November 13, 2009
I've removed and cleaned our Britax straps more than once. I've put them in a basket in the dishwasher, but found that the bleach in the detergent faded them. The washing machine on gentle cycle worked great. Just be sure to let them line dry. Also, you might want to make a mental note on which hole in the side they came out of. The first time I reinstalled them incorrectly.
C.L. answers from Minneapolis on November 13, 2009
Remove the straps and spot clean using an old toothbrush dipped in a solution of a couple drops of Dawn (or other mild dish soap) mixed with a cup or two of warm water. The toothbrush does a great job of getting the residue out of the crevices in the straps. Then hang them to dry.
E.B. answers from Duluth on November 13, 2009
I didn't know that you weren't supposed to submerge car seat straps; honestly, I'm not sure what the difference is between putting them in a bucket and wiping them down thoroughly enough that they're clean (I can see that agitating them in the washer might be wear and tear)--but I had spitty babies, and we were always wiping ours down. When they were really bad, I made sure to do an initial wipe to get the crud off, then I took a bucket of warm water and gentle soap and washed and rinsed them just with a rag. I think I might have even taken them out of the seat to wash them thoroughly, though I think I've always used a rag and gentle soap to wash them; I just make sure they get really wet!
K.S. answers from Minneapolis on November 12, 2009
A lot of times the carseat cover and the straps will come off the frame completely and can be washed in the wash machine.
J.L. answers from Duluth on November 13, 2009
I learned you are not supposed to use soap, but how is this going to work?! I was told just water but the smell will be there so get in touch with the Manufacture and see what they say.
I was told the soap will make the seat not a safe in an accident. The straps neeed to stretch and if you use the wrong cleaner this may mess with the stretch.
T.H. answers from Minneapolis on November 12, 2009
There are 3 possible options that I am aware of.
1. Soap and Hot water and a rag.
2. a little bleach in the water
3. dismantle the car seat, which I am sure you have already done, and the straps should come off completely and then you shoud be able to put them in the washing machine, maybe put them in like a net bag so that they don't wrap around the washer and get stuck.
Good luck, it is always fun!