How To Clean Vomit From Your Leather Car Seat And Car Seat Straps

Beginner Info, Car Seat

how to clean vomit from your leather car seat and car seat straps
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The urge to vomit can happen to anyone at any time.

So, if you’re looking for some quick hacks to deal with cleaning vomit from your car, then you’ve definitely, landed on the correct page.

Vomiting is quite frequent with the kids, and if they have spilled the content of their stomach on your car seat then you’ve to find some quick ways to get rid of it.

I’m also a mother of three sweet and adorable kids and trust me, I’ve been in such situations numerous times.

The thought of rigorous cleaning that follows after my kids’ vomiting has literally drained me more than often.

And, when vomiting became a part of my daily routine, I didn’t have an option but to dive deep into the problem to figure out what best could be done.

I tried quite a few methods to get rid of vomiting but wasn’t satisfied until I found BAKING SODA.

Yes, you heard it, RIGHT.

The fastest method of cleaning vomit from your car seat is baking soda.

It can effectively lift the stain and can do justice to the remaining lingering stink.

But, before sprinkling a tangible amount of baking soda on the vomit residue, you’ve to wipe the vomit first.

Baking soda isn’t the ONLY SOLUTION, though it’s an effective and affordable one.

Moving further, we’ll dive deep into some other effective methods as well so that cleaning vomit from your car seat will be a breeze in the future.

How To Clean Vomit From A Leather Car Seat

Frankly speaking, cleaning vomit from a leather car seat or car seat straps isn’t a task that most of us would enjoy doing, right?

Whenever we’re in the midst of doing so, the first thing that comes to our mind is the fact of how fast can we get rid of it.

The easiest and the quickest of all the methods that we’re gonna discuss today is baking soda.

Simply wipe the vomit and then apply baking soda to the impacted car seat area.

Baking Soda

Baking soda aka sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline compound that when combined with an acid will produce CO2 gas.

Some of the common acids that can cause such reactions include vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk, yogurt, etc.

So, now you’ve some idea about baking soda, let’s figure out why it is so effective when it comes to removing vomit from car seat straps.

Well, as mentioned earlier, baking soda easily absorbs and lifts stubborn stains.

If needed you can also add other stain removers to baking soda in order to make the resultant solution more effective.

First thing first, scoop off the vomit with the help of a spatula.

Then, wipe your car seats and straps with a soft, smooth, and clean cloth to prevent any scratches on the car seat.

Now, it’s time to sprinkle a tangible amount of baking soda on your car seat and rub it for a couple of minutes.

Let it dry and then vacuum the residue.

The entire process will not consume much of your time and is easy to expedite as well.

Not only will your car seat look fresh but will smell also good.

However, keep in mind that you don’t have to overdo the entire process.

Hydrogen Peroxide And Dish Soap

The good thing about hydrogen peroxide is that it is readily available, and if you are a mom then you could understand it better than you, isn’t it?

And, in case, you’re not able to figure out where can you find it, then just refer to your first aid kit.

Like the aforementioned method, in this case, also, you also need to first wipe off the vomit.

Now, you need to prepare a solution of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap.

An empty spray bottle could be a good choice for preparing the solution.

Fill the spray bottle with two cups of hydrogen peroxide.

Then, use two drops of liquid dish soap into the solution.

Do the proper mixing and then spray it on the stained surface.

Give some time to spray so that it can settle, and then wipe it off with the help of a smooth cloth.

Spray as per your requirement, wipe off the foam and let it dry.

Isn’t it an easy way to get rid of vomit from your leather car seat?


Another effective cleaner that we’ve got on our list is Vinegar.

Not only does it help in cleaning clothes but also vinyl seats.

You’ll have to prepare a solution that comprises water and vinegar in the ratio of 8:1.

Furthermore, add a dash of liquid soap.

With the help of a cloth scrub the stain.

In fact, you can also use a bristle brush to scrub the stain softly.

Lastly, wipe it off using a soft cloth, and then leave it to dry.


Of course, you can use water as well for cleaning vomit from a car.

And, the best part is, that water is readily available.

If your car seat is made with leather then you can get away by using a few drops of dish soap and water.

Mix in a few drops of soap in a bowl of water.

Then, gently wipe down the seats with a cloth.

Concentrate on every crevice to ensure that you get your vomit out.

Once you’re done with the aforementioned steps, the next thing that you need to do is to use a dry cloth to dry the surface.

The fabric would absorb excessive liquid.

Crack open a window to let in excessive fresh air or use a hairdryer to dry off the seats.

Step By Step Method To Clean A Baby’s Car Seat

As I told you earlier I’m a mom of three kids, so for me cleaning a baby’s car seat has been a frequent event.

Out of the three kids, some of the others would vomit so I had to find a way to get rid of this problem.

Let’s quickly look at the steps involved in cleaning your baby’s car seat.

  • First thing first, uninstall your baby’s car seat
  • If you’ve bought a branded baby car seat, the manual will definitely have all the important washing instructions, simply follow them
  • Many of you wouldn’t be aware of the fact that the car seat cover is only functional with the seat’s hard shell, and vice-versa, please follow the instructions
  • You need to properly wash the shell
  • Use mild soap and a toothbrush to get into those little space
  • I wouldn’t recommend you to power wash the outside as it may adversely impact the car seat
  • If the straps have been deeply impacted by the vomit then hand wash them using dish soap and water
  • Never try to wash the straps in a washing machine as it can ruin the unique webbing of the straps
  • In fact, the spinning of the machine will stretch out the belts and permanently reduce its effectiveness
  • While handwashing the straps you can use dish soap because it is mild and gentle
  • Mix a few drops of soap into the water and spray it on the straps
  • It is best if you don’t allow the straps to be soaking wet
  • With the help of a napkin or sponge, wipe the strap
  • Always refrain from using bleach or vinegar on straps
  • Some puke might be present on the other side of the buckle, and if that is the case, then remove it and submerge it in water
  • Swirl the strap in water and make sure that the strap doesn’t get dripping wet
  • Put the seat and its related parts in the sun to remove the vomit smell

However, prevention is better than cure, so try to stop your kid from puking in the seat.

And, in case, you’re finding it difficult to prevent then better prepare for the worst.

So, you might be wondering how to prepare well for such problems, right?

For your perusal, I’m listing below the most crucial vomiting first-aid materials.

  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand towel
  • Garbage bag
  • Gallon-sized Ziplock bag
  • Change of clothes
  • Large cup ( that your kid can hold easily)
  • Bib to catch all the dripping 
  • Air freshener

How Do I Permanently Get Rid Of The Vomit Smell In My Baby’s Car Seat?

Some of our clients asked us, how to get rid of the vomit odor.

Well, after the above cleaning procedures, if the odor lingers, allow it to dry completely for almost a week.

In case, it doesn’t help you to get rid of the vomit smell, then repeat the process until the odor subsides.

In most cases, puke has been found to play a hide-and-seek role and keep emitting an unpleasant odor.

You can also try soaking the car seat covers in a mixture of Borax and 1 cup of laundry detergent.

Let the pieces soak for a few hours and wash as you would typically do.

How to Clean Vomit from Car Seat Straps

It goes without saying that the car seat straps are the most important part of your baby’s car seat.

These little beasts play a crucial role in keeping your baby safe and secure.

And, in the case your baby has vomited on these straps, then you need to act very fast.

You would need three things in order to expedite the cleaning process, that is, warm water, a soft cloth, and mild soap.

How To Wash Car Seat Straps?

So, here I come with a step-by-step guide on how to clean your car seat straps.

Remove the cover of your car seat

In order to prevent stains all over the cover, you need to wipe the vomit as soon as possible.

Moreover, in order to get rid of small vomit particles, the best thing that you can do is to use dry car wipes or tissue paper.

The car seat cover comes with the washing instructions sewn on the stitching line.

The reason why I’m emphasizing the car seat cover is that all covers are different and need to be maintained differently.

Wipe down the hard shell

You can do it using warm water, mild soap, and a cloth.

The debris, specks of dirt, and food particles stuck in the corners can be removed with the help of a toothbrush.

As mentioned earlier, refrain from power washing the hard shell.

Take care of the straps

Many of my clients often make the mistake of throwing the straps into the washing machine.

However, manufacturers often advise NOT TO do such things because washing machines might loosen the webbing of the straps.

In fact, washing machines might cause the straps to stretch which means they will be less effective and can be a cause of concern for your baby’s safety and security.

So, the question still remains the same, how to clean the vomit, right?

The good news is warm water and mild soap will do the trick for you.

Take a clean and soft cloth and deep it into the soaped water.

Keep wiping the straps until vomit hasn’t come off.

My strict advice to you is to keep bleaching agents at bay.

Not only can they be dangerous for your baby’s health but also can lead to discoloration.

Once you’re done with the aforementioned steps, wipe the straps with the help of a smooth cloth dipped in the warm water.

By doing so, you would be able to rinse off the soap.

Try not to get them dripping wet as it might weaken the fabric.

Dry the straps

One of the best and most feasible ways to dry the straps is to take the seat out and put it in the sun.

In case, you’re a resident of cold climatic conditions and the climatic condition is not allowing you for air drying, then simply use an electric drier.

If the straps are still possessing the smell of vomit then you can fix the problem with the help of an air freshener.

At the same time, try to refrain from using a strong freshener as it might irritate your baby.

And, to kill the germs you can take the help of a disinfectant.

Once you’ve expedited the aforementioned steps, all you need to do is to put the seat back into the car.


Let’s have a quick look at some of the frequently asked questions on how to clean vomit from car seat straps.

Is it safe to hose off the car seat?

Definitely NOT, hosing off the car seat might weaken the EPS foam. Not only that but also the metallic parts of the car seat might get rusty, and as a result, efficiency might decrease.

How to dry the car seat after washing?

I’ve spoken about it several times on that the best way to dry a car seat after washing is to place it in the sun for a couple of hours.

Other than drying, the sunlight will also help in the dissipation of the vomit odor if any is present.

In case, the straps aren’t fully removable then you don’t have an option but to completely remove the car seat and place it in the sunlight.

Can I use vinegar or bleach to clean the vomit from the car straps?

Of course, NOT.

Both vinegar and bleach are harsh materials that can damage your car seat straps.

Not only vinegar and bleach but any household cleaner should be avoided as they may weaken the elasticity of the straps.

Also, bleaching may lead to discoloration of the straps, so you need to be very careful.

Can car seat straps be washed in the washing machine?

The pad on the strap is made from a special material that is definitely not suitable for machine wash.

Soaking the straps wet will weaken their webbing and effectiveness.

On top of it, most of the straps are fixed to the seat and can’t be removed.

This simply means that if they are soaking wet, then they might not dry properly.

And, as a result, mold might accumulate.

It’s A Wrap

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

Secondly, I would like to bring to your notice that I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this idiosyncratic superlative piece of information.

And, in case, you liked our efforts, then please do share this information with like-minded people and the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

To cut a long story short, we’ve tried to the best of our capabilities to answer the question, how to clean vomit for a car?

And, how successful we were in our attempt depends totally on the feedback from our readers.

That’s all, as of now :):)

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