How to Clean a Nasty Booster Seat

Here’s my advice to all you new parents out there.

Never buy the light pink car seat. Ever. Don’t buy any light-colored car seat. Even if all your hormones scream you want the pretty pink flowery car seat just slowly STEP AWAY.

Seriously. Stick with black. You will thank me later.

Before you have kids you might make ridiculous statements like “I’m never going to let my kids eat in the car.” Okay…I actually said that.

And then I quickly realized the only way to survive a car ride longer than 0.3 seconds is to have plenty of snacks on hand. Okay, I exaggerate. Slightly.

On the plus side, if the Zombie Apocalypse ever happens, we can survive quite awhile on the crumbs my kids drop everywhere.

Now, I’m embarrassed that I left my child’s booster seat get this dirty, but here it is. Go ahead, laugh and judge. I deserve it.

Shameful, I know.

Nothing pretty about that.

The good news is this booster seat cover is removable. She has the earlier version of the Graco Nautilus. That’s key if you are buying a booster or a carseat that converts into a booster like this one did.

After you’ve removed the booster seat cover, add a scoop of Oxiclean (this is no time to skimp) to a large tub or pot and fill it with hot water.

Submerge your booster seat cover in the water.

Now cross your fingers and hope for the best. Kidding. Sort of.

I let mine soak for a couple of hours.  You want it to get clean, but you don’t want to bleach the cover…or maybe you do.

When the booster seat looks pretty clean or you need your pot back, get out a scrub brush and give the seat a good scrub to loosen any remaining dirt or stains.

When you are done scrubbing, put the booster seat in the washing machine and wash it on a cold cycle.

This is important DO NOT PUT IT IN THE DRYER. You don’t want to risk the seat cover shrinking – no matter what the label or your mama says. Let the seat air-dry instead.

I can’t promise that you’re going to get every single stain out since I have no idea what your kids have spilled on it, but the very nasty, embarrassing seat my daughter was using looks one million times better now.

Not perfect, but no longer hideous.
The seat already had some “pilling” before I washed it, which was hard to tell since it was so dirty. The scrubbing probably made it a little worse, but that was a fair trade-off, in my book.

I’m happy to report I also hosed off and scrubbed the plastic seat base…yes, it required a hose. *sigh* I could have done a little bit better on that Graco logo though. Oh, well. I’ve also pledged to myself that I won’t go so long between booster seat cleanings. I’d feel worse about this embarrassing booster seat neglect if it weren’t for that fact that a) that booster seat helps keep my kid safe and b) I’ve seen many other boosters look just as bad, so I know I’m in good company.

Why Does Everything Need Cleaning? All. The. Time. 

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