Best Practice for Cleaning Seats in a Car After a Vomit During Ride

Updated on September 07, 2008
G.W. asks from San Leandro, CA
4 answers

Hello fellow moms,

Do anyone has good ways of cleaning the backseat in the car after a major vomit episode? My baby son vomited in his carseat yesterday so needless to say I need some good ways to clean his Britax Marathon carseat as well as our Toyota Matrix. Unfortunately things already got "soaked" as we could not stop the car in the middle of the freeway.
We also need to get that itcky smell away too.

Please help us... Thanks and have a wonderful day.

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answers from San Francisco on

We have also had this situation occur with our Marathon. We took the cover off the Marathon and ran it through the washing machine, then let it air dry. We then wiped down the skeleton of the seat by spraying it with vinegar and water to take away the smell an I think we even sprinkled baking soda. Good Luck!



answers from San Francisco on

I'm a pro at this! My son gets car sick everytime he is in the car for longer than 20 minutes. The entire Britax can be taken apart. I usually scrub all of the belts with a very harsh brush. Then I soak the belts in soapy water over night--then hang to dry. I've found that the belts retain the stink unless they are scrubbed and soaked.

For the seat, I launder the cover and dry the cover in the dryer. I take out the foam underneath and soap that down and soak that as well. Finally, if stuff has reached the plastic part, then the plasitc part gets hosed down and left out to dry...

As for the car...that same harsh scrub brush used for the belts and a bucket should do the trick...

Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on

we've had to go thru a couple of times. We took off all the pads & straps washed them in the washer. If u think your detergent won't take out all the odar, you can baking soda to the wash. then hosed down the plastic seat and cleaned it an antibacterial cleaner. Clean your car w/ fabric cleaner, we just use a spray carpet cleaner for the rug & seat and then you can febreeze it too



answers from San Francisco on

use an enzyme based cleaner (like Nature's Miracle or Kids'n'Pets) that are especially designed to help clean up stinky smells like pet urine, sour milk, spitup, etc. You can find them at pet supply stores, I used to get Kids'n'Pets from Target but haven't seen it there lately.

Check your Britax manual about how to clean the straps. *PLEASE NOTE*: This is what a Certified child-passenger safety tech says about cleaning the harness straps:

"Why can’t I wash my harness straps or soak them in water?

Soaking the straps will remove the chemicals that make the harness fire resistant. The water won’t damage the fibers.

Using detergent on the straps can weaken the harness fibers. Also, putting them in the washing machine can stretch the fibers if they get caught around the agitator. Never iron the straps to try to flatten them or use any other chemicals such as a fabric softener, bleach, starch, etc.

If in doubt about how to care for the harness, use a damp wash cloth and wipe it down. A toothbrush is great for getting in the little crevices of the straps."
(from "

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