I love a good road trip – the open road, discovering new places to stop along the way and my own personal soundtrack – it’s heaven for me. However, now with two littles road trips are, how do I put this, a teeny, tiny bit sucky. I’ll spare you the details but this past weekend we ventured to New Jersey for a friend’s surprise birthday party and the ride back was tortuous. All you need to know is that a 3 hour drive turned into a 5+ hour drive (there was zero traffic), there was non-stop crying from the baby and vomit all over our Radian car seat.
Fun, right? The real fun didn’t even start until I got home and had to clean our car seat. The worst mess we’ve ever seen in either of our car seats is a small potty training accident which required barely any elbow grease. Vomit, on the other hand, is a whole different beast.
Here’s what to do if you ever find your Radian car seat covered in pukus maximus:
- Remove the entire seat from the car. The way the seat is designed there are spaces where vomit can seep through onto your seats. Clean your car and air it out.
- Remove the cover from the car seat. We have the Radian XTSL and it comes off relatively easy, just unhook your cover all the way around. The tricky part is on the sides of the seat where the two “buttons” appear. You’ll feel as though you might break the seat; you won’t – it’s designed that way.
- Sunshine Kids, which manufactures the Radian car seats does not recommend putting your cover into the washing machine. They suggest you hand wash and hang dry your cover. I had disgusting puke so into the machine and dryer it went. And out it came looking & fitting fine. I’ve contacted the company to find out what their reasoning is for not encouraging the use of a washer and dryer. You make the call on your own seat and what kind of mess you’ve got on your hands =)
- Now for the actual seat. Grab Q-tips, tooth brushes and some wash cloths. I used paper towels at first but they came apart and didn’t really help much. First, I used wash cloths to get the chunkier matter out of the way. Then I pulled out the toothbrush to get the straps extra clean. You don’t want to drench your straps so I just kept dipping the brush into a little bit of soapy water. Because of the texture of the straps the toothbrush was key to getting all the gunk out. Then came the Q-tips for all the little crevices in buckles. Finally, I gave it all a once over with the wash cloths.
- The end.
Good luck to you if ever you find your self with a puke-y car seat!
I emailed customer service at Sunshine Kids Juvenile Products, the makers of Radian car seats, and within 24 hours they had a response for me. Here is my question:
Hi, Recently our youngest had a bit of a vomit-fest in her car seat. We removed the cover and washed it on gentle in the wash with great results. We also put it through the dryer on the delicate cycle. We are completely aware this is against the cleaning suggestions you make. I just want to know if what I\”ve done affects the safety of the seat or just the longevity of the cover.
And the official response from the company:
Great question! The method in which you wash the seat cover does not affect the Radian’s safety. I would not recommend repeating this method, as it may not stand up to the next round. I advise checking out the Dry Seat accessory. This sits in the Radian seat to protect it from “accidents”. It may not protect it from needing to be washed, but will protect it from needing to be seriously washed.