How to clean a car seat?

Not all parents know that regular cleaning of the car seat is essential. Sooner or later, dirt builds up on the upholstery from food residue, spilt drinks or muddy shoes. Leaving them in for any length of time negatively affects the appearance of the car seat and, what’s even worse, it can lead to the development of bacteria that are dangerous to your child’s health. Wondering how to clean your car seat? Fortunately, it’s not complicated! All you need is a little patience, some free time and basic chemicals and supplies that you can find in every home.


  • 1. Cleaning the car seat – start by vacuuming
  • 2. Removing the upholstery
  • 3. Washing the upholstery
  • 4. Drying the upholstery
  • 5. Cleaning the hard elements of the seat
  • 6. Reassembling and reinstalling the child seat
  • What if the upholstery is permanently mounted?

1. Cleaning the car seat – start by vacuuming

It is best to start by thoroughly vacuuming the car seat. This will remove crumbs and other small waste from the recesses of the upholstery. Of course, you can do this while the car seat is in the car, but we recommend removing it beforehand. This will make it easier to get to the hard-to-reach places, especially as the dirt is more visible in daylight.

2. Removing the upholstery

The next step in cleaning your car seat is to remove the upholstery. If you don’t know how to do this, you can find detailed information in the user manual or the manufacturer’s website. Under no circumstances should you do this by force, as you may damage not only the fabric and hooks, but also the seat structure. As you can easily guess, this will negatively affect safety when riding.

The Avionaut seats are designed to make removing the upholstery as easy as possible. In most models, the headrest and the main part of the seat have separate covers. Avionaut car seats with integrated seat belts can also have their covers removed. In the MaxSpace Comfort System +, which is designed for older children, the seat covers for the backrest, headrest and seat base are removed separately.

3. Washing the upholstery

The critical stage of cleaning a car seat is washing the upholstery, which is the most exposed to dirt. The washing instructions are found in the user manual of the seat or on the fabric label sewn to the textile parts. Some models can only be hand washed; others can be machine washed. For example, the removable Avionaut upholstery elements can be conveniently washed in the washing machine at temperatures up to 30°C at a maximum of 600 rpm. The only exceptions are the Avionaut Cosmo upholstery and the Pixel PRO cotton insole, which should be washed without spinning.

For cleaning upholstery in car seats, a delicate clothes programme and a liquid or powder for children’s clothes are best suited.

4. Drying the upholstery

The washed cover still needs drying. Most manufacturers advise against the use of a tumble dryer, which can cause the material to shrink. Spread the cover flat in an airy place away from heat sources.

5. Cleaning the hard elements of the seat

After washing the upholstery, it’s time to clean the plastic parts of the seat. Use warm soapy water and a soft sponge to wash them. Carefully wipe all components and then allow them to dry, preferably in an airy place. In the same way, you can also clean the parts of the belt that are permanently attached to the seat, such as straps and buckles. Remember that the base of the seat should not be immersed in water or cleaned with a pressure washer. Also, do not use aggressive cleaning agents, as they may cause the material to crack.

6. Reassembling and reinstalling the child seat

The car seat has been cleaned, but it still needs to be assembled. Start by installing the upholstery and other components to the seat, then install the seat in the car. If you are unsure how to do this, refer to the instruction manual. It’s best to put on the cover when it is still slightly damp so that it fits better on the seat. If you choose this solution, do not install the car seat in the car immediately, but wait until the material dries completely.

What if the upholstery is permanently mounted?

Some models have permanent upholstery, which complicates car seat cleaning. In these cases, you can remove small contamination from the material with a damp cloth or sponge. When the contamination is more serious, using a washing vacuum cleaner or upholstery washing agents is a good option, if the manufacturer allows this solution. Ultimately, you can entrust the car seat cleaning to specialists, but it is a slightly more expensive solution. If you are planning frequent travel with a child, we recommend buying a model with a removable cover.

You already know how to clean a car seat. If you are looking for other travel advice with your child, follow the Knowledge Base at


Avionaut Expert
Published: 14.10.2022

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