Best way to clean car seat straps? – 2 Simple and Easy to Use Tricks


Oh that looks dirty and now how the hell should I clean those car seat straps?

Since I have 3 kids I had my fair share of strap cleaning experience. This is why I’ve put together this simple to use DIY strap cleaning guide.


Straps are one of the most important safety components of the seat so you need to be careful how you clean it. No worries my suggestions will work on all brands and and all car seats

Let’s get to it already!


Clean or replace the car seat straps?

This is a very good question. This depends on the stain. Also when should the strap be cleaned?

If the seat is not in immediate use it’s best to clean it immediately. If there is no time for this, it’s OK to let the car seat strap build up grime for a while until you can spare some time for it.

I highly recommend trying to clean it first. If the tips below don’t help you will need to replace the car seat straps.

For this you might need a replacement car seat while the job is done or ground your child.

What does the manual say?

I’ve read the top 5 brands manual to see what do they recommend when it comes to cleaning up the straps. No thanks are needed.

As you have probably guessed there’s not much agreement among manufacturers. However makes sure you read the manual first before trying anything.

Here’s a list of things that they agree upon not using:

  • stick to mild cleaners;
  • don’t use bleach;
  • avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives.


Take pictures of the straps and buckles!

This is very important step to do before you get started.

It’s a good idea to take pictures of the car seat before taking it apart. This will help you remember how it’s supposed to look when you put it back together. Many parents forget about this step and spend a lot of time tinkering with the straps trying to fit them back together.

Sometimes you might need to take off the seat cover to get into some deep clean territory. In this case you might want to take photos of how it’s supposed to look before going on with your business.


What car seat manufacturers agree upon with cleaning

Well not much. The most common thread is using water and a mild detergent.

The things you need:

  • Warm water
  • Mild Detergent
  • Sponge (magic eraser)
  • Dry Rag
  • Some Elbow Grease

The best way is to wash them with a mild detergent and warm water – but make sure that the detergent isn’t too strong because it can damage the safety belt material. You can apply the detergent directly on the straps then rub it to foam and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Then use a sponge and gently clean it. Finally soak up the water with the dry rag. The best way to dry it is using the natural air drying method.


Conclusions on how to clean car seat straps

By now you should know that the easiest way to clean you car straps is by using a mild detergent and some warm water. Sadly the straps can’t be taken out so you will have to work with the car seat.

Most stains will come out easily without leaving a residual odor.

If this doesn’t work you have to replace the car seat straps. So make sure you have a backup car seat while this gets done.

I hope you enjoyed this article and put it to good use. If you have questions let me know I’ll do my best to help you out.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wash the straps on a car seat?

Yes you can. The straps and strap covers can be washed easily with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. You can also wash the straps with soap and water or just use wipes to clean them.

How do you get stains out of car seat straps?

Stains on car seat straps can be removed using gentle soap and water. But if the stain is deeply set, consider taking it to a professional cleaner. Read my full article to know how to get it done right.

Can you use Lysol wipes on car seat straps?

No you can’t use Lysol on car seat straps because it can damage the material and put your child’s life at risk. However Lysol wipes can be used on the car seat covers.


Last Updated on October 18, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!