Mold on Car Seat Straps - Advice Please

Updated on April 18, 2010
C.O. asks from Minneapolis, MN
11 answers

We dug out toddler son's 2 year-old car carrier seat in prep for new baby's arrival. There's icky gray dusty mold on the straps. I can't remove the straps at all to wash them.

If I use bleach, I'm worried about discoloring the straps.
If I don't use something strong enough, I'm worried I'll give my newborn baby a toxic mold allergy.
Plus I'm disgusted.
And I do NOT want to buy a new one. - unless I'm harming my baby by not buying one.

Okay, so I'm a cheapskate and a worry-wart at the same time and I'm driving myself CRAZY!

Any suggestions?

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

My neighbor volunteered to loan me her old one, so I'm using that one and dumping the moldy one. I was ready to buy a new one, but my husband wouldn't agree.

Featured Answers

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

Contact the manufacturer first. But tea tree essential oil is an anti-fungal that is non-toxic and not harsh. Vinegar is also good but I'm not sure about its anti fungal properties.



answers from Minneapolis on

Are you sure you cannot remove the straps? My oldest daughter is 9 and I was able to remove the straps on her Graco infant seat and clean them before my next daughter came along 3 years later. (Car seats have definitely improved since 1998!) I would call the company and get advice from them. Otherwise, I would definitely buy a new car seat. Mold is nothing to mess around with. Especially with a newborn.


answers from Minneapolis on

Check out Heloise or Martha Stewart tips online. I would think some solution of vinegar would be effective but not toxic. Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

vinegar & water is a good disinfectant- try that is a tub of warm water. Try a cup to a 5 quart bucketwater- this is non toxic. I use vinegar for most all my cleaning. It works great


answers from Minneapolis on

Maybe you'll want to contact the manufacturer. I'd be worried that the bleach would eat away at the fabric and make it weaker. Discoloration will happen as well. I think I'd try soap and water and scrub it with a tooth brush and rinse it well. Maybe use a blow dryer so it dries quicker and prevent mold from growing.


answers from Indianapolis on

Hi I would use dish soap and Hydrogen Peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide is the main ingredient in many of the Earth friendly cleaning products. Mix them together with luke warm water,scub, and air dry. See the many uses for Hydrogen Peroxide.


answers from Minneapolis on

You cannot use bleach on carseat harness straps, or the plastic. In fact you cannot machine wash the straps, nor are yo usupposed to submerge them in water. The bleach and water sumbersion will damage the fibers in the harness, making it very weak and susceptable to snapping in an accident.

Mold is also quite the health hazard.... I would purchase a new seat. You just can't guarantee that the mold is totally gone with the way you have to clean the straps......

so its either damage the straps by using harsh chemicals or machine washing them and making htem dangerous, or exposing your newborn to mold.

You can purchase a new infant carrier at Wal Mart for $40. KMart is having a carseat sale right now, 20% off. Maybe a family member or very close friend has one you can borrow that you can guarantee isn't expired or been in any type of accident?

If it were ME, I wouldn't question it, I would purchase a new seat. ITs just not worth damaging the straps trying to clean them, nor is the mold worth my babys health.



answers from Minneapolis on

I know buying new stuff when you already have it sounds silly but mold is scary and the straps will be on the baby I would really suggest not using it. Also the carseat laws have changed alot in the last 2 years and they say not to use them after 2 years anyway. I would buy a new one but get the kind that last until they outqrow a booster since your 2yr old will still be in a carseat when the baby is old enough for a front faceing you will have to buy one anyway. Just a suggestion.



answers from Minneapolis on

I personally would not use the carseat if you are unable to get the straps off.

What kind of carseat is it that the straps are not able to be removed? The seat that I have now and was also used by my 4yr old is a Graco and in order to adjust the straps they come out.

I guess my baby's health is worth spending the money on a new carseat if I was unable to clean the other one....

Congrats the new addition!!



answers from Minneapolis on

Vinegar is a non-toxic disinfectant. For recipes go to:

By the way, the straps should be removable. It is just a pain. You have to undo all of the loops and then when you are done you have to re-string them again.



answers from Minneapolis on

I would try vinegar. It's actually really powerful as a cleaner also non-toxic etc. Good luck. Also I bet you'd be able to search online of a natural mold removal that would work.

Next question: Cleaning Car Seat Straps