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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lessons learned from the vomit fest - how to clean up a carseat

For those of you with a faint stomach, you may want to skip this one...but I thought I'd pass along this lesson learned from the first of our two vomit fests this month. Just in case you ever find yourself in the freezing pitch black of a winter night, trying to figure out how to clean the vomit out of your car seat, after finally getting your sweet sick one to bed.

I had a bad feeling about our ability to make it home without Sweetpea getting sick, so I had a blanket over her. That helped keep some of the mess contained, but much of it was still on the straps and cover. The cover was easy, I knew how to take it off the seat and inside to wash it. The straps were another story. We have the Evenflo Triumph 5 with the adjustable straps, and I was afraid if I figured out how to get them undone, they would never go back together correctly. Eventually, I came up with an idea, and it worked pretty well. Here are the details, but I hope you never need them!

1) take the dust buster to the carseat to remove any crackers and other solid bits from the seat. I was amazed that there seemed to be half a box of various crackers wedged in the nooks and crannies of the seat.
2) Bring out a wet rag and wipe down the shell of the seat as best you can.
3) Bring out a large cup of water and a toothbrush...submerge the straps, one at a time, into the water. Brush the straps with the toothbrush until they appear clean. You may want to add a small amount of soap to the water, and you may need to change the water out before you're through.
4) Wipe the shell and the straps with a dry cloth.
5) Spray the entire car, but especially the seat, with Febreeze, close the doors and hope for the best!

Do you have any experience with this kind of thing? Any other suggestions?
Here's hoping for a healthy rest of cold and flu season for all of us!

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8 comments:

Gill said...

great tips...we used to jet spray the car seats after removing the cover! Straps and seat hosed atlocal garage then as you say febreeze the car out! And NEVER feed your kids cheddar cheese because that makes the smell linger for weeks :(

Marva said...

Yes, I have experience.....it was beanie weinies! YUCK! We did basically the same thing and used the Febreeze for several days. We also left the windows down during the day (parked at home).

Blessings and glad you are back!

Jess said...

Gotta love Febreeze!!! Hope your little one is feeling better. I try to always keep a damp towel with me for the just in care stuff.

One Anxious Mommy said...

My daughter threw up in her stroller when we were in Mexico a little over a year ago. We could not get the smell out. It was awful! When we got off the airplane they had our stroller waiting right by the exit door of the plane and we could hear people getting off the plane and going "what's that smell?". Once I got it home and washed the entire cushion in the washing machine it was okay, but man, what a smell! By the way, never take my daughter to a fish market!

Brooke said...

I'm so happy you guys are back to "normal". Although I did take our carseat fully apart once before for cleaning, it was too hard to try and put it back together! I love all your suggestions and will be using those next time.

And I too was surprised by how many little snacks can hide in a car seat!

Mommychicky said...

When the munchkin lost it all over her carseat last spring, I found a "recipe" online for water, white vinegar, and salt solution that we used to clean/get rid of the smell. I was amazed at how well it worked. The vinegar smell lingered for a while but it sure beats that other smell.

T with Honey said...

We have the exact same car seat and when Princess yacked all over it I just took it into the back yard and sprayed it down with a garden hose. Then I followed up by spraying the straps with Febreeze, just to be on the safe side.

By morning it was mostly dry and the water didn't do any damage.

Lori said...

I like the submerged straps idea. We have the same seat and I just had my mother in law sew a new cover from a Simplicity pattern because we had some serious hurling issues. I can't wait til the car itself stops smelling like sour milk (febreeze, oust and a car air freshener have not worked).