How to Clean Car Seat Straps Vomit? – 8 Steps to Do

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to clean car seat straps vomit

Driving with kids can sometimes lead to a messy case of vomit on car seats, as they’re prone to travel sickness and stomach upsets. Usually, the seat’s straps would suffer the worst aftermath.

In this article, we’ll be delving into how to clean car seat straps vomit. Since the other parts may also be affected, we will also discuss how to deal with them.

Step-by-step to Clean Vomit From Car Seat Straps

What to Prepare

For the Straps:

  • Dish soap or baby soap
  • Cold water
  • Cloth

For the Cover:

  • Tissues
  • Mild detergent
  • Cold water
  • Washing machine (optional)

For the Shell:

  • Mild soap, warm water, and cloth
  • Or baby wipes
  • Toothbrush or Q-tips

For the Buckle:

  • Warm Water
  • Glass

Step 1: Remove the Car Seat Cover and Clean It if Soiled

It would be necessary to remove the car seat cover to thoroughly clean the straps and to also clean the cover if it got soiled as well.

  • Get rid of the vomit from the soiled cover using some tissues.
  • How to remove the cover depends on the seat’s design. The process of removing a cover from Graco car seat, for example, may differ from another brand, so check the manual on how to do it.

For example, watch this video to remove the Graco Extend2Fit cover.

  • Usually, covers should be hand washed with mild detergent and cold water. If machine washing is allowed, you must set the washer on a delicate cycle.

Step 2: Optional: Remove Car Seat Straps


Car seat straps are usually removable, but some aren’t. Check the seat’s manual to see if yours are detachable.

  • If they’re removable, follow the instructions on how to take them out.
  • If they’re not, just clean them while they’re attached to the seat.

Step 3: Wipe the Shell Clean


The shell may also be dirty. So you might want to clean it as well.

  • Clean it using a cloth with mild soap and warm water or baby wipes.
  • For the crevices, use a toothbrush or Q-tips.

Step 4: Wipe the Straps Clean Using a Cloth Dampened With the Solution


The best way and the only way to clean vomit out of child car seat straps without harming them is by wiping them using a cloth.

  • Dish soap or baby soap should be used to gently clean vomit out of car seat straps and avoid damaging them. They can also get vomit smell out of car seat belts.
  • Prepare your cleaning solution by adding a few drops of the soap to some cold water.
  • Slightly dampen the cloth with the solution and wipe it on the straps.
  • Avoid getting the straps soaked to prevent them from being weakened from too much moisture.
  • Once the cloth has accumulated a lot of grime, rinse it out, so you’ll continue to work with something clean. Then, resume cleaning car seat straps, repeating the wiping until no trace of vomit is left.
  • Give the straps a final rub.

Step 5: Clean the Buckle

Most likely, the buckle may also have some vomit. Use a glass of warm water to clean it.

  • Try not to get the straps soaked in the process.
  • Dip the buckle in an upside-down position in the warm water, then swish it to get rid of the particles in it.
  • Constantly press the buckle button to help clear the vomit.

Step 6: Air Dry the Car Seat Parts

It’s best to dry the car seat straps and cover naturally by giving them adequate time under the sun. Sunlight would also help get puke smell out of car seat straps and other parts of the seat.

  • Don’t use a tumble dryer or blow dryer for the straps, as the high temperatures those machines emit can damage them.
  • Similarly, machine drying can also affect the cover’s flame retardance. Hence, check the seat’s manual if you’re considering machine drying.

For example, when you clean Britax car seat vomit from a SafeWash model, it’s okay to put it in the dryer.

  • Also, lay the shell and buckle out for drying.

Step 7: If the Straps Remain Disgusting or Stinky After Cleaning, Get a Replacement

In a severe case of soilage that leaves the straps disgusting or stinky even after cleaning, call the manufacturer’s customer service to get a replacement.

Step 8: Prevent Future Messes With a Car Seat Vomit Protector

  • Protect the straps and buckle with some covers designed for them.
  • Get some specialized bibs for your kids during car rides, especially those with extra large sizes and a pouch. This type of bib is to be placed over the straps to prevent vomit from spreading.
  • Get some disposable or machine-washable seat covers for the child restraint. When your baby throws up in car seat, all you have to do is remove it, replace it, and throw it in the washer.



How to Clean off Vomit From Leather Car Seat

  • Remove the vomit particles using a spatula, cloth, or tissues.
  • In a bowl, combine baking soda and water in a 3:1 ratio. Liberally spread the mixture on the leather to get throw up smell out of car seat. Let it sit for 5 minutes to soak up the odor then clean it off with a vacuum.
  • If you’d rather go for a commercial product, use a leather cleaner and conditioner. Apply and leave the cleaner on the affected area for a few minutes to do its job.
  • Remove as much of the cleaner as you can with a damp cloth. Keep pressing on the surface until the cloth is no longer lifting out any stain and there are no traces of vomit on the seat anymore.
  • Let the seat air dry by opening the doors and windows. But if you want to make the drying quicker, use a fan.

Ways to Dry the Car Seat After Washing

Drying a car seat after washing is important to prevent it from getting stinky and developing mold. Usually, after washing, you’d pat the seat with some cloths, but aside from that, you also could:

  • Park the car under the sun with the windows open to expose the seat to heat.
  • Let some air in the car by opening the doors and windows, so the seat can dry.
  • Use some electric fans, a blow dryer, or a shop vac to make the drying quicker.
  • Let the car’s heater run at the highest temperature and the highest fan speed until the moisture in the seat evaporates.
  • Take advantage of the seat heating, if your car is equipped with that feature.

Can I Use Vinegar or Bleach to Clean the Vomit From My Car Straps?

When you clean car seat straps Chicco or those from other manufacturers, it’s advisable not to use harsh cleaners like bleach, vinegar, etc. because such cleaners can weaken and damage your seat components.

Can I Wash Car Seat Straps in the Washing Machine?

Generally, you shouldn’t machine-wash the straps, as submersion in water and the spinning of the washing machine’s agitator would weaken and stretch them. As a result, they’d no longer be reliable in protecting your kid from accidents.


Learning how to clean car seat straps vomit may be a tiresome task, but it is necessary, so your child can enjoy a clean and comfy ride again.

Remember to get vomit smell out of car seat straps with caution. Follow the instructions carefully, so the seat would be unharmed in the process.

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