How To Get Poop Out Of Your Car Seat

upset baby in a car seat

Let’s face it, children (and sometimes adults too) are messy and we all end up with a stain or smell in the car at some point. But with babies and young children, there is one thing every parent dreads…

The exploding diaper! This is an awful situation to deal with, made even worse if it happens in the car. The best solution to remove poop is a simple mix of warm water, a touch of vinegar with a squirt of washing up liquid. Fortunately, poop usually cleans up well if you can get to it quickly. In this article let’s look at this topic in more detail including how to get rid of any lingering smell of poop from the car seat if you just can’t shift it.

How to clean poop from your car seat

Here is a step-by-step approach to removing any faeces or diarrhoea from the car seat:

  • Move fast if you can. The quicker you can get to spill the more likely it will come out. A dry spill might wait but a wet one usually won’t.
  • Identify where the mess is coming from.
  • For the best mix to clean the stain, take half a tablespoon of washing up liquid, a tablespoon of white vinegar and add 2 cups of warm water.
  • If there is any solid matter, use a plastic scraper to remove as much as you can making sure to do this delicately as you don’t want to push any faeces further into the car seat.
  • Blot up any wet mess using a rag or paper towel.
  • If you allow the stain to dry first, use a vacuum cleaner or dustpan and brush. It will be much easier to clean off your car seats when you get rid of as much debris as you can in the beginning.

How to remove poop from your baby’s car seat

If the incident occurs only on your baby’s car seat, then it’s a little easier to deal with as you can remove it from your car and clean it at home. It’s important to note that you should only use a gentle soap and water solution to clean a child’s car seat. You can also put the covers in the washing machine (just make sure you check the car seat user manual first to see if it’s ok)

  • Take off any fabric pieces and remove any straps and buckles that you can. You might like to pre-soak the fabric parts for half an hour in a bucket of warm water with a few drops of washing up liquid added. Afterwards, run them through the washing machine according to the directions listed in the car seat’s manual. You can usually search for the manual online by going to the manufacturer’s website and using the code on the label along the side of the seat.
  • Fill a new bucket of warm soapy water, grab a cloth and wipe the plastic and metal car seat parts and straps. You can use a toothbrush to get into tight spots. Wipe the seat over again using warm water and dry gently using a clean cloth. If you can leave the seat outside to dry completely, this will help to air out any smells.

How do you get rid of any poop smell from the car seat

So what do you do if you still have some faeces odour coming from the car seat even after you’ve cleaned it? If you have really cleaned the car seat properly and you acted quickly you should be ok. That being said here are some other tips:

  • Dry and air out the car. This is the best way to avoid any smells or water stains after cleaning.
  • Try treating the area again. You can add some baking soda and leave it for a few hours. Vacuum it up afterwards. If you still have the smell, then repeat this process a couple more times.
  • Alternatively, you could purchase a charcoal smell absorber that works to neutralise, rather than mask smells. Another tip is to put a few drops of an essential oil onto a cotton ball and place it in the car.

What household items can you use to clean car seats?

Old towels, rags and toothbrushes can make great cleaning tools. A hand-held vacuum cleaner or a dustpan and brush is important. There are also some tried and tested items from your kitchen cupboards that are proven to help with stain and smell removal. Baking soda, vinegar and washing up liquid can all be helpful.

Of course, you may prefer to buy a pre-made cleaning solution that is ready to go. This can work on removing stains, smells and unsightly marks. No matter what you choose, you should always do a spot test on a hidden section of your car seat when using any cleaner for the first time.

How can you protect your car seat?

You can purchase a car seat cover to protect the fabric or leather material of the car seat.

how do you get poop out of your car seat?


How do you clean car seats without leaving water stains

Make sure the whole seat including the seams gets wet. You can use a damp cloth or spray bottle to apply the water to make sure you get an even coverage. Add a few drops of gentle washing up liquid or all purpose spray to the mixture. Scrub the seats thoroughly and then wipe down one last time with a clean, damp cloth.

Can I use carpet cleaner on car seats?

According to a number of bloggers you can. I would recommend proceeding with caution and reading the instructions well before using any cleaner on your car seats. Always do a spot check with any new cleaner before using it widely.

Can you pressure wash car seats?

It’s not advisable to use a pressure washer to clean car seats. You run the risk of driving dirt deeper into the fabric and you even might damage the material.

Can you clean your car seat with baby wipes?

If baby wipes are all you have to hand then by all means get started with them. Baby wipes can help to blot up any dirt and liquid until you get home. Once you can, revert to the guide above to give your car seats a great and stain-free clean

Can I clean my car seats with soap and water?

Yes, you can. Warm water with a few drops of gentle washing up liquid or soap can work well for a basic clean and may remove some stains and smells. You will want to be careful to avoid water stains.