Messy meal times is a big part of having young kids. They seem to love draping their food over themselves and sharing it with their high chair in every way possible!
Do you have a baby or toddler that loves to make messes during meal times?
Over time, food particles, spills, and germs can accumulate on the high chair straps, making them not only hard to look at, but also potentially harmful to your baby’s health.
Today, I am going to share my best methods for how to clean high chair straps.
Unfortuantely, not all high chairs are made equally, some high chair straps can be easily removed and cleaned in the washing machine, while others may require a more hands-on approach using cleaning supplies you should already have in your home!
As a mom of two, I can tell you the best thing you can do is to make a habit of regularly cleaning your baby’s high chair straps. This will ensure that your baby stays clean and safe during mealtimes.
Consistency is key.
To clean high chair straps well, you will need detergent or dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, a cleaning
toothbrush, and a disinfectant spray. If you have all of these things at home, then you’re ready to
clean your high chair straps properly!
How To Clean High Chair Straps:
If you need to know how to clean high chair straps quickly, here you go:
- Remove the straps from the chair.
- Remove any caked-on or heavy gunk from the straps with a stiff brush.
- Soak in a solution of vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap.
- Put the straps into a mesh laundry bag and wash the straps in the washing machine.
- Spray them with a disinfectant.
- Allow the straps to air dry.
- Place the straps back on the chair.
In this article, I’m going to share some of my best tried-and-tested methods to show you how to clean high chair straps, whether they’re removable or non-removable.
I’m also going to tell you how to keep your high chair looking and smelling fresh without too much effort on your part.
So, let’s dive in and talk about how to clean high chair straps, and how to keep them clean!
*This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Basic Cleaning Methods
I can’t over emphasize how important it is to clean high chair straps on a regular basis.
You don’t want your baby eating in a high chair that is caked with old dried food from a week ago. You want your child eating in a clean environment.
That can happen, as long as you add clean your baby’s high chair to your cleaning routine!
Don’t worry, I am going to share some of my best cleaning methods that will make this task a breeze.
First, always wipe down the high chair straps after EVERY USE.
Using a clean damp cloth or a baby wipe will help to remove any food or spills immediately. Doing this after every use, will prevent any food stains happening, and this will make the cleaning process so much easier for you in the long run.
For more of a deep cleaning, you can use a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Simply remove the removable straps from the high chair, soak them in the soapy water for about 15 minutes, and then gently scrub them with a soft-bristled brush.
Make sure to rinse the straps thoroughly to remove any soap residue, and let them air dry before putting them back on the high chair.
Now, if your child had a particularly messy meal time and you have some stubborn stains that you’re trying to get rid of, try soaking them in a solution of equal parts white vinegar, baking soda, and warm water. This solution is great at breaking down and removing stubborn stains.
After soaking for around 30 minutes, give the straps a good scrub and rinse them off with clean water. Finally, allow the straps to air dry completely before putting them back on your baby’s high chair.
In some cases, high chair straps can be cleaned in the washing machine. Just remember to place the straps in a mesh laundry bag to prevent any potential damage or tangles in the wash cycle.
Always use a mild detergent, and set your machine to a gentle cycle with cold water. Once again, make sure to air dry the straps afterwards.
Always stay away from harsh chemicals that may irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Stick to mild, non-toxic cleaning detergent .
By following these steps, your baby’s high chair straps will remain clean(ish) and safe for your baby to be around.
Cleaning High Chair Straps That Are Removable
Not all high chair straps are removable high chair straps, but if yours are, then start doing your happy dance. Thsese are so much easier to clean than the non removable high chair straps!
So, let’s get those straps squeaky clean, so your little one can enjoy their mealtime in a spotlessly clean high chair.
Steps For Cleaning High Chair Straps
Sometimes I don’t understand why high chair manufacturers don’t give an extra pair of straps for
high chairs…I feel that would be so useful, but unfortuantely, they don’t!.
Here are the steps to cleaning your high chair straps.
- Remove high chair straps from the chair. This is usually pretty easy or self-explanatory, but if you are having a hard time, jump on YouTube, look up your chair brand and see if there is a tutorial on how to do it.
- Remove any caked-on or heavy gunk from the straps with a stiff brush.
- If the high chair straps are heavily soiled, soak them in a solution of vinegar and a dash of baking soda along with some dish soap. Once the gunk has softened, scrub it with a soft brush. The dried food should come off easily enough.
- Put the straps into a mesh wash bag like this and wash the straps in the washing machine. Always use a mild detergent to keep your baby safe. Do NOT dry them in the dryer. If you do not have a washing machine or don’t want to use one, then you can soak your straps in vinegar, naking soda and dish soap overnight, or at the very leat 1 hour.
- After the straps are clean, you can spray them with a disinfectant, and allow them to dry. My
favorite disinfectant is METHOD because it is plant-based, smells amazing, and is not full of toxic chemicals. It’s easy to find on Amazon, but you can also find it at Target and Walmart.
- Allow the straps to air dry. You don’t want to wipe the disinfectant off so that it can do its job
- Place the straps back on the chair once they dry and let your baby get back to their favorite job of making a mess.
Cleaning Non Removable High Chair Straps
High chairs that have non removable straps are a little tore difficult to clean, because you can’t just toss the straps into the washing machine (sigh).
If you are shopping for a baby’s high chair, I strongly recommend getting one with removable straps.
For my kiddos, I used totally plastic high chairs which were SOOOO easy to keep clean, I think I got them from Ikea, they were so easy to clean, it really made life really easy for me.
I could just give them a quick wipe down after meal times with a damp cloth and then I would throw the deat cushions into the washing machine.
My kids are 13 months apart, so you can imagine how hectic my life was when they were younger!
I removed the cushions after particularly messy meal times and just put a folded towel in as a cushion. That way I could shake out the towel and toss it into the wash, and then wipe down the chair with a damp cloth.
Amazon carries a pretty cool space-saving high chair that is all plastic, has removable straps and converts easily into a toddler chair.
Even though cleaning non-removable high chair straps is a little bit more tricky, I have several different methods that work really well.
Steps To Clean Non-Removable High Chair Straps
- Make a solution of baking soda, warm water, and dish soap in a small bowl. Use a microfiber cloth and dip it into the solution you just made.
- Rub the straps with the clean damp cloth. Make sure to wipe well and keep rubbing until all the gunk comes off. If you need to get dry food off the straps, either try prying the food off with a butter knife or your fingernail or soak it with the cloth until the food particles start to soften and come off. Use a damp cloth to ensure all food residue is gone.
- For stubborn stains on the straps, take your cleaning toothbrush and dip it into the water, and then into baking soda. Gently scrub using the toothbrush on the stains in gentle circular motions.
- Wipe up any remaining wetness and soapy water off the straps.
- Spray the straps with your favorite disinfectant. I like to use natural stuff that won’t harm your baby’s skin so I stay away from bleach personally, but if bleach is all you have then make a 30/70 solution of bleach and water and use that.
- Let the wet straps dry completely before using.
Cleaning The Rest Of Your High Chair
While your straps are soaking or in the wash, it is a good time to clean the rest of the chair. For best results and sanitary condition, you should clean the high chair after every use.
After the straps, I always like to check the high chair cover (cushion area) to see if it needs a good clean. You can spot clean your high chair cover easily enough with soem warm water and a mild deterdent.
Then, from time to time, you should do a deep cleaning to keep it clean and sanitary for your child.
How To Clean the High Chair After Each Meal
After each mealtime, you’ll also want to check and clean the rest of the high chair to make sure there isn’t caked on food anywhere.
- Remove the cushion and check it for any food particles stuck to it. When you find some, use a damp cloth to get rid if them. If you do this daily, there shouldn’t be any caked on food particles.
- Check under the seat, behind the seat and the legs, as we know babies and toddlers manage to get food everywhere,
How To Clean High Chair Weekly
To keep your high chair sanitary and clean for your baby you should do a little weekly cleaning maintenance. Here is what I recommend.
- Wipe the entire seat from top to bottom with a damp cloth and a dab of dish soap.
- Clean the legs and all exterior parts of the high chair.
- Checking to make sure the straps do not have any stuck-on foods.
How To Clean High Chair Monthly
To do a deep clean of the whole chair once a month to remove caked-on food, and any food particle build up in the nooks and crannies. Here are the steps to follow.
- Take the high chair apart so you can clean the cushions and the straps. Check the label on your
high chair cushion and if it’s ok, throw them into the washing machine. Usually, you’ll have to air
dry the cushion and avoid the dryer.
- Remove gross food build up from all tiny cracks and crevices. A toothpick works really well to get into the nooks and crannies of the high chair. Food can get stuck in tiny holes and then grow mold, obviously this is NOT good for your baby. Use a stiff brush to eliminate stuck on food. Add a little elbow grease if necessary.
- If you can, take your high chair outside and give it a good pressure wash with the hose. This
can help loosen any stuck-on foods on the chair as well. If you cannot do that, then use vinegar
and water and a little bit of elbow grease to get the high chair very clean. The point is to
remove all stuck on food from the entire high chair.
Handling Specific High Chair Materials
When cleaning high chair straps, it’s important to consider the specific materials of your high chair. Each material requires a slightly different approach, so let’s dive into some tips for handling the different materials on your high chair.
Plastic High Chairs
For plastic high chairs, use a gentle soap and warm water solution to wipe down surfaces. Always make sure to finse it thoroughly with clean water. If the stains are particularly stubborn. I find using an old toothbrush works really well, as it can get into the hard to reach areas.
Wooden High Chairs
Wooden high chairs should be wiped with a damp cloth and a very mild detergent diluted in water.
Be sure to dry the wood immediately to prevent water damage. To protect the wood and maintain its finish, apply a wood furniture polish periodically.
Remove the cushion or whatever padding the child sits on, and check it for any food residue. If you notice any stains, spot clean with a dampl cloth, some mild detergent and warm water.
Always check and follow the manufacturers instructions when it comes to washing and drying anything. If you don’t have the manual, you can usually look it up online.
Make sure the high chair cushion is dry before you put it back on.
Metal Components of a High Chair
To clean the metal components of a high chair, wipe them down with a damp cloth and some mild detergent. Always dry thoroughly to prevent rusting or discoloration.
High Chair Cushions
Again, always read your manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to washing and drying. Things are so expensive these days, you don’t want to ruin something just because you didn’t read the instructions carefully.
High chair covers can typically be removed and washed separately.
If the high chair cover cannot be machine washed, spot clean it with a damp cloth and mild (baby safe) detergent. Rinse the cusion and air dry it afterwards.
Cleaning Supplies You Will Need
To clean high chair straps effectively, you’ll need some essential materials and supplies, most of these you will find around your house.
.First, gather a soft brush and a cleaning toothbrush. These brushes will help you scrub dirt and stains off the straps without causing any damage.
Next, you’ll need a gentle detergent or dish soap. This will help remove greasy residues and break down any dried-on food particles.
Additionally, baking soda can be a fantastic natural cleaner for the straps, especially when combined with water and dish soap to make a paste as mentioned here.
Vinegar is also brilliant at getting rid of stubborn stains, so make sure you have some of that on hand.
I always like to have a microfiber cloth on hand because it works great for wiping down the straps after they’ve been soaking. Microfiber cloths are soft, non-abrasive, and excellent at absorbing moisture and any remaining cleaning solution. I buy these in bulk on Amazon, so I always have some around.
Another useful supply is an good disinfectant spray. After you clean the straps, you can use a disinfectant spray to make sure any lingering bacteria or germs are killed!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should You Clean High Chair Straps?
You should give your high chair straps a deep clean when you notice the food is getting stuck and is difficult to wipe up after mealtimes.
Twice a month is recommended, however I recomend you clean your baby’s high chair at least once a week.
High chair straps that are dirty can be hazardous to the health of your baby due to the mold and bacteria they can grow.
You need to make sure you clean the child’s high chair straps after each meal so that food doesn’t get stuck on them.
How Do You Get Mold Off High Chair Straps?
Doing a deep clean on the high chair straps can help remove the mold. If the mold is very tough to
get rid of, we’ll need to turn to bleach for help.
Soak the straps in a bleach and water solution (as long as the manufactures tag says that’s ok to do) and wait for a few hours for the bleach to kill the mold.
Then run it through the washing machine to get the bleach off the straps.
How Can You Make Your High Chair Straps White Again?
To make your high chair straps white again, you’ll want to try to remove them and then soak them overnight in a solution of baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap (or detergent).
If you continue to have stains, a bleach solution may be used- just make sure to soak them again in clean water to remove any residue before you put them back on the high chair.
Keeping The High Chair Straps Clean And Healthy
It is so important to maintain a healthy and clean eating environment for your baby or toddler. Be sure to take good care of your high chair and wipe it down properly after every meal.
If possible, I would add clean high chair straps and the high chair itself into my daily cleaning routine. As food drys it becomes more and more difficult to remove.
That’s it mama, I hope I have shown you how to clean high chair straps easily and effortlessly.
Taking care of the issue on a daily basis will help you clean high chair straps without much effort!
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Grainne Foley is a wife and mother of 2 great kids. During her 5 years of full time RV travel, Grainne learned to become very efficient at household chores, in order to make time for family adventures. Now, back in a house, she has continued to create tools and techniques to help others lighten the load of household organization and cleaning.