This is one of those jobs we’ve become very good at. No matter how well you put baby’s nappy on, no matter how certain you are that the bib will catch everything, somehow, baby capsules get really messy over time and need a good clean.
Thankfully a part of the Australian Standard for baby capsules specifies that the covers on the capsule must be easily removed for cleaning. “Easily removed” is a broad term in our experience and some covers are much easier than others to get off. Most times you’ll find some helpful cleaning advice in the instruction manual that comes with your capsule or carseat.
So, how to clean your baby capsule.
Step 1 – Loosen the inbuilt harness using the harness adjuster so that the belts in the restraint are nice and loose. The harness adjuster is normally labelled and is often situated near the bottom of the restraint (ie where the baby’s legs and feet would be).
Step 2 – Undo the harness from the restraint by taking each strap off the splitter plate (which is at the back or underneath the restraint).
Step 3 – From the front of the restraint pull the harness straps free from the seat and out of the trim. – Now your seatbelts should be loose and you should be able to start removing the fabric covers from your restraint.
Step 4 – Remove any newborn headhugger cushions first.
Step 5 – Turn the restraint over and check for any elastic straps or any places where the trim is held in place and release all of those.
Step 5 – Remove the fabric trim in one piece from the restraint by pulling off the shell of your restraint.
STEP 6 – Wash in a gentle wash cycle using warm or cold water and a mild detergent solution and hang outside inside out to prevent fading.
The shell of your restraint can be cleaned while its “in the nude” – we suggest you use a mild solution of disinfectant and warm water and wipe the body and handles down and then dry with a clean towel.
This is also a good opportunity to do a safety check on your restraint while the covers are off. Check the following:
– Check there are no cracks in the body of the restraint;
– Check the harness and webbing for any fraying
– Have a look at your buckle – does it need cleaning? (See Factsheet “How to clean your harness buckle”
– DO NOT use bleach, ammonia or spirit based cleaners on your infant restraint
– DO NOT use the restraint without the fabric trim – its very dangerous and can result in serious injury or death to the child;
– DO NOT use any oil on the buckle ever. If its not operating effectively it may need cleaning. If after thoroughly cleaning your buckle its still not working contact your hire company or the manufacturer and a replacement can be sent to you.