How to Clean High Chair Straps? – 5 Easy Methods

Are your kids involved in these kinds of activities, as shown in the below picture? Therefore, you are likely to see a dirty high chair. Also, the straps get dirty.

A toddler enjoys playing with food. It is completely normal for them to throw and squash food and to create a mess during mealtime.  They can learn table manners over time; however, you still need to clean the dirty straps.

I’ve compiled a list of ways to clean high chair straps that got filthy. But first, why is it so important to keep your straps clean?

Why Clean High Chair Straps?

The task of keeping your child’s high chair clean goes beyond good hygiene. Even though the high chair at home may be cleaner than that at a restaurant, the message remains: high chair cleanliness is essential.

If your child’s high chair is contaminated, bacteria will likely enter his/her mouth. It’s only natural that you wash and sanitize a high chair after every use, just as you would your food plate. Food spilled on straps is equivalent to leftover food. Therefore, accumulated foods can be poisonous over time.

In addition to food spills and stains, there are several other causes for a dirty strap.

Types of High Chair Straps 

There are two types of High chair straps: removable and non-removable. Cleaning each of these types requires a different approach.

Removable High Chair Straps

Depending on the high chair, the straps might be removable in some cases, but in most cases, they won’t. You can find strap removal instructions in the manual for your highchair. You may need to do a bit of digging to find instructions if you can’t find them on your high chair. Usually, you can unscrew or unbuckle the straps from the chair.

Non-Removable High Chair Straps

Do not worry if your high chair straps are non-removable. You can still get them cleaned and looking brand new. Even though you can’t machine wash them, scrubbing can work well here. If the stain is too stubborn to remove, cut the strap off and get a new one.

What Materials Are Needed for Cleaning High Chair Straps?

Generally, straps are made of nylon, cotton, or polyester. Your child is likely to lick or bite those harnesses. It can be dangerous to wash or clean these straps with chemicals. For baby products, I prefer natural cleaners over chemicals. If you prefer natural alternatives, you can use distilled white vinegar and lemon juice. However, if you will use chemicals, make sure you wash and rinse them thoroughly first. In a nutshell, both cleaning methods are safe if the straps are thoroughly washed.   

Cleaning Techniques

You can easily wash away tomato stains, orange stains, spaghetti stains, and carrot stains after they have dried, as long as you clean them when they are raw. Following one of the below methods will make the chair straps look as good as new after stains have dried.

Bleaching

First, remove the removable straps from the high chair.

Pour cold water into a container. Let the straps soak for 10-15 minutes. Then, remove the wet straps and set them aside. Add bleach to the container and mix it well with the water. Then, place the wet straps on the bleach mix and let them sit for 20-30 minutes. Stir the straps, wash them, and raise them. After the straps have dried completely, attach them to the high chair.

For non-removable straps, you can place the container in the seat and put the straps inside, and then you follow the same procedure as before. Well, you can’t soak a full strap in the mixture as it’s attached to the high chair. 

Bleach is only suitable for white straps. This method can discolor colored straps, so don’t follow it. 

Washing Powder & Hot Water Method

Remove the straps from the high chairs first. Mix hot water and washing powder. Also, you can use dishwasher liquid. After that, soak the straps in hot water mixture for 10-15 minutes. Allow them to soak for several minutes to loosen the stains. You can then gently scrub any stubborn stains with a nail brush.

Last but not least, wash the straps in the washing machine with detergent then wipe with a clean damp cloth.

With non-removable straps, you can put the mixture in a bowl and soak the straps in the bowl as much as possible. Lastly, you can use a sprayer to clean high chair straps. Spray waters on the soaked straps and keep scrubbing using a soft brush.

Mix hot water with washing powder to create a muddy mixture. Use the mixture and a soft brush to scrub the straps. Use a clean damp cloth to clean. Repeat the process until the straps are clean. 

Vinegar Method

Apply a solution of half water and half white vinegar to your high chair liberally until completely wet. To soften food particles, let them sit for at least five minutes. With a clean damp cloth, scrub off stubborn food stains and clean the entire high chair.

Some cleaning applications can be made safer by using white vinegar instead of bleach. Additionally, it is biodegradable. Although vinegar is a natural disinfectant, it cannot kill dangerous bacteria such as staphylococcus.

Dishwasher

If your straps are removable, you can place them in a dishwasher, and the dishwasher will do the rest. This is the laziest method to wash straps. However, it works.

Cleaning with Chemical Solutions

If soapy water and vinegar are not your things, you can use store-bought cleaning products instead. Vanish oxy, Milton solution, and sodium bicarbonate are among the items on the list.

Clean the straps with any of these cleaning agents dissolved in hot water. In addition, you can scrub stubborn stains with an old toothbrush.  

As usual, bring the cleaning solution mixture close to the straps if they are not removable.

Additional Cleaning Tips

High chair straps are bound to get dirty and stained. It is inevitable. Therefore, they should be either cleaned every day after a feed or at least once every week.

Molds

Remove the straps and spray down with bleach. Let it sit in the sun, and then wash it off. Borax is used for washing the straps. You can also soak the strap in isopropyl alcohol to remove the mold. Once you have applied our vinegar technique above, you do not need to take an additional step to remove the mold. Also, the vinegar solution can effectively remove mold.

Foul Odor

If straps are left uncleaned for a long time, they emit an unpleasant odor. Hygiene is necessary. You should wash and dry the high chair straps in the sun if they stink. Thus, the straps will remain clean and fresh.

If you want to remove the odor without cleaning, you can use the following methods.

  • Vodka Spray – Spray vodka on the stains and the odor will be removed.
  • Sunlight – Put high chairs on the sunlight to remove the odor.

Cleaning High Chair Straps of Different Brands

Here are 5 brands: Ikea, 4Moms, Keekaroo, Graco, Lalo, and the cleaning process.

Ikea

Most of the Ikea chair’s straps are non-removable and attached to the chair. The only way to clean them is to clean them by hand. The methods suggested for non-removable straps above will be applied here.

Soak the straps in hot soapy water or hot washing powder solution. Scrub gently with a nail brush to remove build-up dirt. For bad odor elimination, you can use vodka or vinegar.

Rinse the straps after washing them. Rinse until you no longer see suds.

You don’t need to disinfect the straps separately. The cleaning methods suggested above disinfect the straps as well.

Finally, dry them in sunlight, and the chair is ready to use.

4Moms

4moms high chairs have removable shoulder straps, making it possible to use the harness either as a 5-point or 3-point harness. Any of our methods for removable straps will work here. Furthermore, the shoulder straps are machine washable.

Keekaroo

The Keekaro high chairs come with removable straps, but removing them is a pain. To remove the middle strap, you must disassemble the entire chair. Additionally, the foods get stuck easily inside the straps. However, you can follow one of our methods to clean them.

Graco

Baking soda or hot water can be used to clean the straps. In addition, you can wash them when they need refreshment after messy meals. If you want them to stay protected and dry, place them in a mesh bag.

Lalo

The lalo high chairs use 5 point harness. Additionally, they are detachable. Hence, you can follow any of our methods.

How Often Should High Chair Straps Be Cleaned?

Sanitizing your baby’s high chair after each use is an important step. In the absence of sanitization spray, you should at least wipe away any food residue to avoid it getting stuck on the chair.  If you want your child’s high chair to be as clean as possible, you should deep clean it once a week.

Alternatively to hand washing, a washing machine is a good option for washing high chair straps. Please check the instructions on the label of your chair to find out if it can be machine washed if you choose to do that. Plastic straps can occasionally break in a washing machine, so you may want to use a wash bag to prevent this from happening. Straps from high chairs should never be dried in a dryer as the high heat can melt them.

Cautionary Measures for Cleaning High Chair Straps.

Pick ONE process of cleaning instead of trying all. A chemical reaction could occur if vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach are mixed.

  1. While handwashing, make sure the chemical is not touching the surface. For example, vinegar can damage the wood surface.
  2. If the stain is too deep, replace the strap.

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