How Do You Clean High Chair Straps?

child with messy high chair straps

Earlier this year when I picked up my daughter’s old high chair from the garage to use for my younger son, I realised it needed a thorough clean. Most of it was fairly straightforward to wipe down, but the straps were pretty dirty. They had bits of food in them and they were very greasy. Yuck. Apologies if that paints too vivid a picture!

To clean high chair straps, you can usually put them in the washing machine if they are removable. However, for hand washing you can soak the straps in some warm water and detergent. For stubborn stains, baking soda and vinegar can really help too.

In this article let’s look at how to clean high chair straps properly and what to do if they are non-removable.

How do you clean high chair straps?

Before you get started, you’ll need the following items:

  • Detergent
  • A soft brush
  • Some white vinegar
  • Baking soda

Remove the straps

This can be a bit fiddly, but you’ll find the straps a lot easier to clean if you can remove them first. Check the assembly instructions for your baby high chair, as it should explain how to do it.

How do you remove high chair straps?

Usually you have to force them through a small hole in the seating area which is not the easiest task! Have some patience as it can require a bit of pressure, depending on the design of your high chair.

Place the straps in the washing machine (or wash by hand)

Once the straps are removed, the easiest way is to put the straps in the washing machine and run it on a normal cycle. If you prefer to wash the straps by hand, place them in a bowl of warm water along with some detergent. Let them soak for several hours, or better still, leave them overnight. If there are some harsh stains on the straps, you can add some vinegar and baking soda too. After the straps have been soaking for a while, with a brush, gently scrub the straps to remove any stains and bits of food.  Make sure you check any crevices as these can accumulate grease and dirt very easily!

If the stains are still there, you can try some bleach, but check your high chair instructions carefully. Some bleaching products can be harmful to the strap material.

Rinse the straps

When you have cleaned the straps, you need to rinse them thoroughly to remove any traces of detergent, bleach and other cleaning products. Wipe them down with a damp cloth as well.

Air dry the straps

You probably don’t want to put straps in a tumble dryer as it could cause the straps to shrink or get tangled up. This can be a real problem when you try and reattach the straps to the high chair. Also, if there are any metal buckles on the strap, this could damage the tumble dryer fairly easily.

You’re better off just drying the straps with a cloth and letting them air dry.

Reattach the straps

Once the straps are dry, just reattach them to your high chair.

How do you clean non-removable high chair straps?

If your particular high chair model doesn’t have removable high chair straps, you can still clean them. Soak a cloth in a mixture of warm water and mild detergent, and wrap it around the straps whilst giving them a gentle rub. Wait a few hours and you should find that some of the grease and bits of food have come loose. Remove the wrapped cloth and start scrubbing the straps with a brush. Rinse the straps thoroughly and air dry. If you find some of the stains haven’t shifted, try applying a bit of bleach (if it’s approved by the manufacturer).

The trickiest aspect of washing non-removable high chair straps is that you will undoubtedly get other parts of the high chair wet, particularly the cover. If you don’t dry these parts properly, it could easily lead to a build up of mould. Therefore, when you’re cleaning the straps, you’re probably better off cleaning the cover and other parts of the high chair too, including the seat and footrest, ensuring everything dries properly.

How often should you clean high chair straps?

Of course the easiest way to avoid any stubborn stains and the build up of grease on your high chair straps is to prevent it in the first place. In one study, scientists discovered that high chairs in restaurants are dirtier than tables and contain 12 times the amount of bacteria than you would expect!

Any build up of bacteria, mould and other stains can be avoided if you do some regular cleaning. After every meal ensure you wipe down the high chair and brush off any bits of food and crumbs. If you do this, you shouldn’t need to clean you high chair straps more than once a month.

How do you remove mould from high chair straps?

Usually a deep clean in the washing machine, or a long soak overnight should get rid of mould. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to use bleach or some mould removing product.

Although I’ve never used it on high chair straps, my wife and I have used Mould Magic for getting rid of mould on the inside rim of the washing machine, on bathroom sealant and on bathroom walls. It’s a gel you just apply to any surface containing mould. Highly recommended.  

However, before applying any chemicals to your high chair straps, check it’s safe to do so by reading the instructions. You should also thoroughly rinse everything afterwards.

How do you get stains out of high chair straps?

Most stains should come out fairly easily in one washing machine cycle. If not, you can try a mix of baking soda and vinegar and apply it to the high chair straps. Leave it for a few minutes and then scrub with a brush.

Cleaning high chair straps – Leading brands

If you’re unsure how to clean high chair straps for your particular model, here’s a look at some of the popular high chairs from Graco, Stokke and Cosco.

Graco high chair straps

There’s no specific reference to cleaning straps, but for the Graco Blossom and Duodiner models the product instructions clearly state that no detergent or bleach should be used for cleaning the high chair or high chair cover. You should only use warm water and mild soap. Therefore, it probably stands to reason that you shouldn’t use any chemicals on the high chair straps. The straps are removable though, so if they are heavily soiled you can always purchase another set.

Stokke high chair straps

For the Stokke Clikk, you can remove the harness which contain the straps and just put everything in the washing machine at 40 degrees.

Cosco high chair straps

For the Cosco Simple Fold High Chair, you can’t put anything in the washing machine. For the restraints, you can surface wash and drip dry only. You can only use soapy water, no detergent.

how to clean high chair straps


How can you make the straps white again?

It can be tricky to make straps look like new and white again. That being said, try soaking them overnight in a mix of vinegar, baking soda and detergent. This may give the straps a new lease of life!

Can you put high chair straps in the washing machine?

It should be ok, but you should check the labels on the high chair first, or in the assembly instructions. If you decide to place the straps in the washing machine, it’s best to let them air dry and avoid using the tumble drier. However, if you have any doubts, it’s best to just to just to let them soak in some laundry detergent.