Did you know that your child’s car seat has more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat.

These shock results were from a UK survey hosted by Which? It found that buckles, harnesses and headrests of child car seats are literally covered in faecal and bad gut bacteria.

You do know what that means? There are actual poo speckles on the seat that your child sits on every day. This is probably likely due to the fact that many kids sitting in car seats wear nappies.

Bacteria Lurking

The survey discovered that there were 30 types of bacteria on different parts of the tested car seats, compared to just 16 on toilet seats, as reported in Practical Parenting.

The research was conducted by taking swabs from car seats and then testing these for a variety of bacteria, including MRSA, E Coli, Staphylococcus and C difficile.

These results are similar to a previous study which recorded over 100 potentially dangerous bacteria and organisms lurking on kids car seats.

I know our car seats look filthy – they have food encrusted deep into the core of the material and who knows what else. So I’m not really surprised about these results.

So the question remains: what can we do about this?

The answer is to regularly clean your car seats. I know, what a mission! But it’s better than having the kids encompassed by poo and the like.

So let’s go over some steps as to how to clean the car seats:

Clean the cover

Remove the car seat cover (you’ll need to read the instructions as to how to do this). Hand-wash the cover using cold water and mild soap. It’s advisable not to put the cover in the washing machine. Lie flat or dry on the line to prevent the cover from shrinking. Don’t put the cover in the tumble dryer or iron it.

Clean the buckle, straps and harness

Rinse the buckle and harness with warm running water but do not use soap or detergents. Make sure the buckle is working when replacing it. Towel dry.

It’s advisable to clean your car seats regularly – even if they don’t look messy.

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  • With disenfectant wipes you can wipe over the seat and harness every week.


  • When my nephew was a baby he vomitted all over his the first time he used it front facing. His Mum took it off and washed it in the washing machine. While it was drying she washed the rest of the seat.


  • yuck, and imagine the pram then too!!! I imagine it would be quite similar. Phew, thank goodness we are past that stage now or I would become a complete germ phobe!


  • Ew. Thank God I’m long past that.


  • Not surprised. Any time we’ve cleaned them we’ve been disgusted by what we find underneath.


  • So pleased I am beyond this stage now.


  • I tend to wash the seats every few months. You can stick them in the washing machine, just make sure its on a cold gentle/delicate wash with a mild soap. So no acid additives like sard, vinegar or lemon and fabric softener is a big no no.

    • We have a regular schedule for cleaning everything!


  • I have read about this before about car seats – clean, clean, clean!


  • Aw gross, I totally believe that ! I have some car seat protectors in use (Brolly sheets) for my youngest, what makes the cleaning a bit easier. I must admit that I hate to remove the carseat and it’s cover to clean it all, it’s a lot of hassle. Btw, I always don’t hand wash the carseat covers as this article suggests, but always throw them just in the washing machine without a problem !


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