While someone purchases through the links posted on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Find how it works.

How To Clean Graco Car Seat: A Step-By-Step Guide

By Jennifer Ward

Babies make a mess in the car seat all the time; it’s the same with my Graco car seat. When there is spillage and stains, it’s better to clean and keep it hygienic. Sure, it’s not exactly the glamorous part of parenting, but let’s be real here: these mishaps are all part and parcel of the parenting journey. If you fail to clean it properly, mold might catch the car seat or contaminate it and cause serious health issues, especially for infants with vulnerable immune systems, unlike adults. So, I’m here to share some battle-tested tips and tricks that’ll make your Graco car seat look and smell like new – or as close to new as it gets in the parenting arena. Let’s get started. 

How to clean Graco car seat: Step-by-step

How to clean graco car seat instruction

Graco is renowned as one of the best-selling car seat brands worldwide. It requires proper cleaning to ensure and maintain its high-quality standard. Now, before you start to toss your little one’s car seat covered with bleach into the washing machine, you need to stop. I know the dirt and grim may make you feel this is the most tempting way to clean. But that’s not the way you should do that. While cleaning, follow these guidelines to clean your Graco car seat properly.    

What You Need: 

You’ll need 

  • Mild soap  
  • Warm water 
  • A soft cloth, and  
  • A gentle detergent 

Step 1: Remove and Wash the Extras 

Unhook the car seat from its base and bid adieu to any detachable bits – harnesses, pads, and other detachable. Give them a little shake outdoors to free them from crumbs and debris. Wash the removable parts in the washing machine on a delicate cycle with cold water and mild soap. Then, turn your car seat upside down and give it a gentle shake. 

How To Clean the Straps? 

Most manufacturers disagree with using harsh chemical cleaners on their seat straps. That’s because these chemicals can remove flame retardant, and then again, machine washing and submerging straps in water weaken the fiber of the strap. Here is how to clean the straps: 

  1. Remove any kind of solid waste like gum before you start cleaning.     
  1. Try using a soft brush or toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas.     
  1. Take a damp cloth or sponge and then wipe the straps carefully with warm water or soap.     
  1. After spot cleaning, air dry the straps.    

Tips: Always check your baby’s car seat manual for any special instructions. If you feel that your straps are frayed or drenched in any undesirable liquid, replace it all at once, as it may be harmful to your little one.     

How To Clean the Buckle?    

Why skip the buckles when you have cleaned most parts of the car seat? Plus, buckles require only warm water and some easy steps to clean properly.     

  1. Remove the buckle from the car seat.     
  1. Place the buckle in a warm cup of water.     
  1. Press the button several times to dislodge any gunk.     
  1. Remove the button and allow it to air dry. 

Tips: Do not use any soap or any bleaching product while cleaning.     

Step 2: Use Soapy Water 

Mix a little amount of mild soap with warm water in a bowl. Grab a soft cloth and dip it in the soapy water. Now, with a tender touch, wipe down the surface of your car seat. If there are any spills or stains, you can spot-clean them with this mild soap and water solution.  

Note: Test the soap in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it doesn’t discolor the fabric. 

Step 3: Machine Wash the Cover and Padding 

Check the care label for instructions, then toss them in the washing machine for a gentle cycle. Use a mild detergent, and once they’re squeaky clean, hang them to air dry.  

Avoid using bleach or fabric softener. Don’t put the cover or padding in the dryer, as this can damage the fabric. 

Step 4: Clean the Base and Frame  

The base and frame of the car seat can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove any crumbs or dirt. 

Step 5: Reassemble the Car Seat 

Once everything is nice and dry, you can reassemble the car seat and put it back in the car. Be sure to dry the car seat completely before using it again. 

How To Clean Graco 4ever Car Seat: Step-by-step 

What You Need: 

You’ll need 

  • Mild soap  
  • Warm water 
  • A soft cloth

#1 Remove the removable parts. This includes the seat pad, headrest, and harness covers. 

#2 Clean the removable parts. Mix a small amount of mild soap with warm water in a bowl. Dip your soft cloth into the soapy mixture and wring out any excess water. Now, gently wipe down the parts. If your car seat comes with covers that are safe for machine washing, follow the guidelines on the label and ensure a proper wash.  

#3 Air-dry the removable parts. Find a well-ventilated area and lay the seat pad flat. You can also hang the harness straps to ensure they dry evenly. Remember, you shouldn’t put them in the dryer, as this can damage the parts. 

#4 Wipe down the car seat frame. Dampen another cloth with plain water and clean the frame. It will help remove any residue and keep your car seat looking spick and span. 

#5 Reassemble the car seat. Once everything is dry and clean, it’s time to reassemble. Make sure all the straps are properly threaded, the seat pad is snug, and everything is securely fastened. 

How To Clean Graco 4ever Car Seat Base 

Here is how to clean the Graco 4ever car seat base in easy-to-follow steps:  

  1. Firstly, remove the base from the car. It’s usually quite easy; just follow the instructions in your car seat manual. Now, it’s time to start cleaning the base.  
  1. Start by using a sponge or soft cloth to wipe down the base with warm, soapy water. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. If there’s any stubborn dirt or grime, you can use a brush to scrub it away. Just be careful not to scratch the base. 
  1. Once you’ve scrubbed the base, rinse it with warm water to remove any soap residue. Finally, dry the base with a clean towel. Once the base is dry, you can reinstall it. 

Final Words

I understand the struggle of tackling those stubborn stains, grime, and the unmistakable aroma that can cling to a child’s car seat. One moment, they’re gleefully enjoying their juice boxes, and in a heartbeat, that juice seems to have a mind of its own and has taken over the entire seat. Kids will be kids, and as a parent, it’s just one of those tasks that come with the territory. So, follow the above tips properly and get a squeaky-clean car seat for all your future adventures. Clean the seat regularly, especially if your kid is prone to spills or messes. Always avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the seat. 


Can your machine wash Graco 4ever car seat?

No, technically, you cannot completely machine wash the Graco 4ever car seat. You can only wash the seat pads in the machine in delicate washing mode. For more detailed information on how to clean the Graco car seat, go through this post.

Can you wash baby car seat covers?

Yes, baby seat covers can be washed, the padding and fabric materials can be machine washed, and the rest needs to be spot clean and air dried thoroughly.

Can you dry the car seat covers

No, you cannot dry seat covers in the machine; you need to drip dry your seat covers in the cloth line. Drying the seat in a machine will damage the car seat’s fabric.

Are car seat covers washable? 

Yes, car seats are washable, but before you jump for washing, you must follow instructions to clean them properly. 

Related Posts:
How To Travel With A Baby Without A Car Seat
Can You Use A Car Seat Without The Base?
Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1 Review

Leave a Comment