How to Clean High Chair Straps
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How To Clean High Chair Straps: The Best Tips

If your child has recently started solid foods, you know how fast their high chair can become disgusting. And if your child uses their high chair for three meals a day, plus snacks, it can get stained in a heartbeat. That’s why it’s crucial to know the best ways to clean a high chair, specifically how to clean high chair straps. 

Because there are so many different brands of high chairs, cleaning instructions can vary. There isn’t just one way to get the high chair sparkly clean and smelling fresh again! Plus, the straps are the most challenging part of cleaning a high chair. Not all high chairs have removable straps. Talk about frustrating!

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to clean a high chair. From how to remove high chair straps to removing set-in stains, we’ve got you covered!

Let’s get started!

This post contains affiliate links to products I have used and enjoyed. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. To find out more, you can read my disclaimer here.

How To Detach High Chair Straps

When giving your high chair a deep clean, you’ll need to remove all the soft surfaces. For example, you’ll want to remove the chair’s cover, all straps, and any other padding. While prepping the chair, you’ll find the straps are the trickiest high chair parts to remove.

The high chair straps must be secure to ensure your child’s safety. Therefore, the straps might be challenging to remove or not removable at all.

Removing Graco High Chair Straps - How To Clean High Chair Straps

If your high chair straps are removable, most brands have them attached similarly. Typically, the straps are fed through a slot and have a little tab that sticks out of the backside of the chair, like in the picture above. You’ll simply press the tab together to remove said straps and feed it through the slot.

When removing high chair straps, it’s always a good idea to refer to the manual if you still have it. And, even if you didn’t hold onto the manual, most brands have digital manuals you can read online.

Also, if you’re more of a visual person, you can find videos specific to your high chair online that will describe how to disassemble your high chair. 

How to Clean Removable High Chair Straps

Now that you have the high chair straps removed, it’s time to get them looking brand new again! Because there are so many kinds of high chairs, there is more than one way to clean the removable straps. Here are the top three ways to clean removable high chair straps:

1. Washing Machine

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “can you put high chair straps in the washing machine?” Quite often, the answer is yes, you can wash high chair straps in the washing machine! In fact, this is my favorite way to clean my kiddo’s high chair straps.

The easiest way to wash high chair straps in the washing machine is to use a laundry bag like this one. A laundry bag will ensure the straps are not snagged or hooked onto anything else in the washer. Plus, the laundry bag will keep them all together; you won’t have to dig through the laundry to find them!

Before throwing high chair straps into the washing machine, you’ll want to remove any stuck-on food chunks. Then, you’ll want to either soak or spray them with stain remover. The extra boost of the stain remover will help make the straps look brand new again.

When using the washing machine to clean high chair straps, remember that this method isn’t suitable for all kinds of straps. This method should work fine if your high chair straps have plastic clips. But if your straps have metal clips or parts, consider another washing option.

2. Handwash

The following way to clean removable high chair straps is to handwash them. Handwashing high chair straps is often the safest option because it’s gentle, and you can control how they are soaked and scrubbed.

To handwash high chair straps, you’ll want to start by removing any stuck-on food. Then, you’ll want to soak the straps in stain remover or soapy water. In the past, I’ve used Dawn dish soap or regular laundry soap, and both have worked well! 

Once the straps have soaked for at least 15 minutes, you can start scrubbing. I’ve found that using a small brush like this one works best because it can get into the clips while also scrubbing out stubborn stains from the straps. Depending on how stained the straps are, you might have to repeat this step several times. 

Once you are happy with how the straps look, you’ll want to ensure you rinse them thoroughly with clean water to remove all soap and stain remover. 

3. Dishwasher

Our last method for washing high chair straps is in the dishwasher. Surprisingly, the dishwasher is handy for cleaning more than just dishes. In addition to high chair straps, you can even wash some of your children’s toys in the dishwasher!

First, knowing that you’ll need to take some precautions when using the dishwasher to clean high chair straps is helpful. Because dishwashers use such high heat, they can sometimes warp or misshapen the straps. 

If you can test this method with a spare strap first, that would be the best option. If you don’t have an extra strap but want to try this method, ensure the dishwasher is on the coolest temperature setting and that you put the straps on the top rack.

Also, like the washing machine, the dishwasher is only suitable for some high chair straps. This method should work fine if your high chair straps have plastic clips. But if your straps have metal clips or parts, consider handwashing.

How To Clean Non-Removable High Chair Straps

Almost all high chairs have at least one strap that isn’t removable, and that’s typically the main clip on the bottom of the seat that all the straps hook into. These non-removable straps are the most challenging part to clean on a high chair! Here is the easiest way to clean non-removable high chair straps:

What you’ll need:

  • Dish soap or laundry detergent – Depending on which option you prefer, you’ll need a dish or laundry soap that is tough on stains. I usually use Dawn dish soap, and it works well to remove stains and get the straps smelling and looking nice.
  • Small scrub brush – You’ll want a small brush like this one to scrub the straps and the inside of the clips.
  • Two large bowls – When I clean the non-removable straps on my kids’ high chair, I grab two large bowls. I fill one with warm soapy water and the other with warm water for rinsing.


1. Remove Padded Cover

The first step for cleaning non-removable high chair straps is to remove the padded cover and any other parts you don’t want to get wet. You’ll want to get the high chair down to the basics.

2. Mix Your Preferred Soap in the Warm Water

Next, you’ll want to make soapy water to clean the straps. Ensure your water is nice and warm, and pour a generous amount of soap. You’ll want to use enough soap so that it easily gets the grime and food off of the straps.

3. Dip or Soak the Straps

Cleaning Graco High Chair Straps

Now, you’ll want to soak or dip the straps in the soapy water. In the picture above, you can see that I set the bowl of warm water on the high chair seat so that most of the non-removable straps could soak in the bowl. 

I let the strap soak for about 10-15 minutes, then scrubbed it with a brush until it looked good as new. Also, it’s helpful to dip the strap in the soapy water occasionally to rinse some of the dirt off so you can see how much more you need to scrub.

If you don’t want your strap to soak in the water, you can dip it and thoroughly scrub it until the strap is clean. 

4. Scrub Until the Straps Are Clean

To get the cleanest straps, you’ll want to continue scrubbing them until they are as clean as can be. If the straps are very soiled, it can also be beneficial to add extra soap directly onto the strap and then scrub.

5. Use Clean Water to Rinse

Once the high chair straps are clean, you’ll need to rinse them until all the soap is gone. Depending on how much soap you use, you might need to empty your rinsing bowl and add fresh water to repeat rinsing.

How To Clean Discolored High Chair Straps

After everyday use and repeated spills, high chair straps can quickly become discolored, especially if they are white! Here are the best ways to clean discolored high chair straps:

White Vinegar and Baking Soda

Soaking high chair straps in white vinegar and baking soda is a great way to remove discoloration. Baking soda is excellent for absorbing stains, grease, and odors, and white vinegar reacts with the baking soda to help lift the stain from the clothing. 

To use this method, you’ll make a paste by adding some baking soda to a bowl and then slowly adding the vinegar while stirring until you get a paste-like consistency. Then, scrub the paste into the discolored high chair straps and let it sit for at least 15-30 minutes. 

Once enough time has passed, you can scrub the paste under warm water or launder them as usual. If the stain is stubborn and still visible, you can repeat this process, but add some dish soap for a little extra power. 

I love this stain-removal method because you avoid using harsh chemicals that could be a skin irritant to your child.

Presoak in Oxiclean

For a quicker fix, using a stain remover like Oxiclean can help revive discolored high chair straps. When I notice a bit of discoloration on my child’s high chair straps, I generously spray them with Oxiclean and let them sit for about 10 minutes before throwing them in the washing machine or hand washing them. 

This option is also great for removing stains as they happen to prevent them from becoming discolored!

How to Dry High Chair Straps

Now that you know how to wash high chair straps, it’s crucial to understand how to dry them effectively. Depending on the conditions, letting your high chair straps air dry over a long period can make them musty. Or, if the straps have metal parts, they can even become rusty. Here are the top three ways to dry high chair straps:

Low Heat in the Dryer

The easiest way to dry most high chair straps is to use your clothes dryer on the lowest heat setting. When I wash and dry my child’s removable high chair straps, I take them out of the laundry bag and throw them in the dryer with a load of clothing. Our straps have plastic clips, and this method has always worked well!


Using a hairdryer is a wonderful option if your high chair straps aren’t removable or have metal parts. If you use a hairdryer, you can control the heat level and ensure the straps are dried promptly. 

When using a hairdryer to dry high chair straps, I use mine on the highest heat level and start at one end, slowly moving toward the other end. Once I’ve sufficiently dried the front side, I flip the strap over to ensure the backside is dry. Also, I always take extra time around the plastic clips and parts to verify that the straps underneath aren’t damp. 

In the Sun

Lastly, another great way to dry high chair straps is in the sun. When it’s warm outside, laying the high chair straps out in the sun gets them dry, and the UV rays can also help remove stains. 

What to Avoid When Cleaning High Chairs

Because there are many different kinds and brands of high chairs, there are a few things to avoid when cleaning.

Avoid Using Bleach

As you likely know, bleach is a cleaning agent that can discolor fabrics. Unless your high chair straps and covers are white with no patterns or other colors, you should avoid using bleach to clean them. 

Avoid Soaking Wood and Metal Parts

If your high chair has any wood or metal parts, you’ll want to avoid soaking them in cleaner or water for long periods. Soaking metal parts can cause them to rust. And soaking wood pieces can cause them to warp.

How often should you clean the high chair?

While keeping your child’s high chair clean is essential, that doesn’t mean you need to disassemble it and deep clean it daily. Here’s an example of how often you should clean the high chair:

  • After Every Meal: Spot clean the high chair after each meal. To do so, remove any crumbs from the eating surface and seat. Once you remove all crumbs, wipe down the eating surface and any other hard surface that might have gotten spilled on.
  • Weekly: Wash removable straps and soft cover weekly. Also, wipe down all hard surfaces of the chair.
  • Monthly: Deep clean the whole chair monthly. Wash cushions and all straps, making sure to remove any stains that have occurred in the last month. Also, ensure all cracks in the chair are wiped out and all hard surfaces are sanitized. 

Using a cleaning schedule is one way to keep track of when you need to deep clean the high chair. Check out this post to find out how to make the easiest cleaning schedule for your home!

How To Clean High Chair Straps Pin Image

There you have it; how to clean high chair straps. I hope these cleaning methods have brought you peace of mind that cleaning your baby’s high chair isn’t as daunting as it looks! And you’ll know you don’t have to worry about what germs are growing in your child’s eating space.

Before you go, check out these related articles:

What was your favorite tip for cleaning high chair straps? I would love to know in the comments below!

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