Thursday, November 1, 2012

Carseats vs a Good Wash

Bottom of daughter's carseat. ICKY
Carseats vs a Good Wash

Our kids are still in their carseats- only because the government keeps upping the carseat laws. *rolls eyes* Every time we leave our house to go grocery shopping, to the library, to swimming lessons, or a trip out of town, there are always drinks and snacks in our car. My latest great idea to save money is trail mix. Apparently its great for the wallet, but not great for the car.

Those little fingers dig around the little Ziploc for the blue M&Ms first, knocking sunflower seeds right out of the bag into the nooks and crannies of their clothes, seats, and floor. Ugh. So much for a clean car. At least none of it is sticky, right? M&Ms melt and the craisins have some sort of sticky residue on them. In addition to the kid's food droppings, the dog insists on cleaning the seats for me (although he's not suppose to eat chocolate or raisins).

My son, 3, is potty training and has quite a few accidents compared to his sister at this age. I couldn't stand the smell anymore, so I decided to take the carseats in the house and take them apart to clean them. I would also vacuum the darn car since I could finally fold the seats down to vacuum. YAY!

I scrubbed the spots on the carseats with Fels-Naptha. Some spots came out and others...not so much. I've pretty much given up on trying to make their seats look like new. I've scrubbed to my little heart's content and it didn't hardly convince any part of the stain to come out. Oh well.

Elbow grease.
So I threw the fabric part of the car seats in the washer, take the plastic parts out back to hose off and the dog and chickens come running for the food still on the carseats! They quickly learned that the hose is powerful.

That day had been 103 outside. The kids had nothing to do, so I filled a bucket with soap and water, grabbed two brushes, and had the kids scrub their carseats. "This is like going to the carwash!" My daughter exclaimed. They both were so excited to have a "carseat wash" right there in our backyard. Two birds with one stone- awesome! Two thumbs up for mommy.
Carseat Wash! $5.00 Good scrubbing guaranteed!

When the washer finished, I pulled the carseat supplies out one at a time until one of the straps would not budge. I twisted it, pulled it around in circles, and it would not come loose after fifteen minutes of struggling with it.

The tools I used in addition to elbow grease.
Aggravated, I stormed out to the garage, got some of hubby's tools (I think its called a socket wrench), and took apart the washer like my child had been entangled in it. My daughter asked why I was making so much noise. "Mommy is going to win this fight!" She raised an eyebrow and left.

Taking apart the washer was almost easy. It did take some muscle to get these sturdy plastic pieces off and back on. Beware: muscle needed!

The top piece just pops off. Literally.

The second piece just pops off. Sturdy plastic.

This is the screw holding the circular bottom. All held with just one bolt.
I had to not only find the right size, but also the extension socket. Not an easy task. Good thing the garage door is just a door away from the laundry room.
This is the bolt that connects the middle part to the drum

Finally! No wonder I couldn't get it off earlier. It was knotted!

Glad I didn't call a handyman...

Might as well clean it while its out

Putting it back together, I put the bolt in the socket wrench to keep it upright and somewhat straight.

Make sure you have the washer on it

I found it easier to get on if I screwed the washer on before I put it back on. That way I didn't have to worry about the washer not going all the way back on.

I put everything back together in reverse order and viola! I have my wonder washer back! Now back to laundry...

A clean washer ready for the next wash!
Not all the dirt and grime got out of the carseats. Oh well. Good thing no one else sees them! 
 Thanks for reading!