Have a toddler or an older baby at home? Ask any parent having a self-feeding child and they’ll tell you how comical yet ridiculously messy the whole thing looks.
Often, when a child is taken out of its high chair after a meal, more food is found beneath rather than what goes into their belly!
If you are not in the habit of doing a regular cleanse of the high chair, you could soon find yourself with stained, grimy, caked-on straps.
You don’t want to end up in a situation so bad that you have to lug the thing to the nearest car wash and give it a thorough cleanse with the industrial power sprayer!
Good news is that you need not let things pass and reach such an ugly stage.
With the right amount of regular maintenance along with a regular deep clean, your child’s high chair can be kept clean and sanitized.
This article will detail all that you need to know about it.
Recommended High Chair Cleaning Products
A regular chemical kitchen spray will be good enough for removing the stubborn dried-on food and killing the bacteria, but you need to be mindful of using plain water to wipe down the tray after that so as to remove harmful cleaning product residues.
The sensitive skin on young children and babies should not be exposed to the harsh chemicals in these cleaning liquids.
If you are one for adopting the natural route, lemon juice and distilled white vinegar are considered sworn enemies of tough high chair stains.
The naturally acidic properties of both do not offer a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive in.
A few drops of tea tree oil in a water spray is just as good a natural anti-bacterial agent.
In case you are faced with marks and stains that require you to grease your elbows just a little more, mix a paste of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and lemon juice.
Baking soda serves as a natural deodorizer and abrasive stain remover.
How Often Should I Clean The High Chair?
Cleaning frequency is something best left to your judgment, but it is recommended that you at least wipe down the tray at the end of every meal.
The seat can be given a nice wipe after every couple of days while once a month remember to do a deep clean of the chair.
Check for some of the dirt hotspots, those areas which are most likely to have food and grime getting caught in them.
The underside of the food tray is a particularly tough place to start while some other spots include the plastic portion of the chair, the area between the seat cushion, and the holes through which you run the threads of your high chair straps.
Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide
- Start by brushing off all the loose crumbs: Once your kid has finished his meal, remove all the loose crumbs to prevent them from getting sucked into the safety belt and cushion. Gather it all up in a dishcloth or napkin and dispose in the garbage bin or brush it all down to the floor and then run a quick sweep or vacuum.
- Do a wipe down with a damp cloth: Once the loose, large food pieces have been removed, use a cloth dampened in water to wipe the high chair. Reach into all the places where it is possible for food to be trapped. This way the food does not dry out and turn into a sticky, stubborn mess.
- Disinfect the eating surface: Keeping the eating surface or tray sanitized is of utmost importance since this part is in constant contact with the food. A white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide spray can be done on the surface and allowed to rest for five minutes before being wiped using a damp cloth. A diluted bleach solution is another viable option.
- Wipe the seat below the chair: Space-saving high chairs need to be removed once a week and the portion below it wiped using a damp cloth. You will be surprised to see the number of food particles nestled underneath your kid’s high chair.
- The underside, legs, and exterior need weekly cleaning: Do a thorough disinfecting of all the parts that only get a wiping down each week. In case you find it difficult to remove stuck-on food, the scrubber side of a sponge will do the trick.
- Once a month, remove and wash the straps and cushions: The high chair needs a deep clean once every month. Remove the safety straps and cushion, and throw the high chair into the washing machine. The back of the high chair usually comes with washing instructions, so you would do well to cross-check here. Allow the chair to air dry and do not make the mistake of putting it into the dryer.
- Clean out the crevices once a month: The nooks and crannies are potential hotspots for caked-on food to get into, so you need to give them the kind of detailing you would normally do for your car.
- Eliminate any other stuck-on-food as necessary: Spots of stubborn dried food will typically require a little more elbow grease than otherwise to sort things out. Soak the high chair parts in a water and vinegar solution and allow them to sit for around ten minutes. Scrub them off and then use a damp cloth to wipe the whole chair.
By now you would have become used to all the mess that toddlers and babies make while having a meal.
Sure, it drives you crazy thinking of all the cleaning up you need to do after them but does the process really have to be all that complicated?
Wipe down the chair regularly, do a maintenance job weekly, and deep-clean every month to keep the gross build-up of food wastes at bay and ensure your little one gets to enjoy a healthy eating environment.