Children’s car seats are designed to be extremely tough. Despite that durability, storing them incorrectly can ruin them quickly. If you’re looking for a safe place to store your child’s car seats, the garage is an excellent choice.
To store car seats in the garage, you should start by cleaning the seats before sealing them individually in plastic bags. Next, review the area that they’ll be stored, ensuring that it’s elevated and off of the ground. Moisture, direct light, mice, and other nuisances can take a toll on car seats.
Throughout this post, you should learn the following info:
- Step-by-step details to store your car seats in the garage
- How you can keep them safe from mice and bugs
- Tips to prevent mildew, mold, and long-term wear and tear
1. Thoroughly Clean Car Seats Before Storing Them
No matter how you choose to store your child’s car seats in your garage, it’s important to give them a good cleaning beforehand.
This can be as simple as using a damp cloth to scrub down the whole surface. If your car seat is made of a vinyl or “leather-look” material, you should use a moisturizer like Meguiar’s Leather Care as well.
Older car seats might need a bit more attention to remove any dust that may have accumulated over the years. If you have a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, vacuum the car seat thoroughly to get as much dust out as possible.
Even though this process could take some time, it’s important not to skimp here.
Simply putting your child’s car seats on a shelf and neglecting them could lead to mildew, mold, foul odors, or other issues.
2. Individually Seal Each Car Seat in a Separate Container
According to recommendations from CSFTL, it’s best to individually sealing each car seat in a protective bag.
This helps prevent mice and other pests from getting in and making them their new home. Don’t be afraid to double-up on each bag for extra security and pest prevention.
The specific type of container isn’t as important, as long as it’s air-tight. You can choose trash bags, plastic tubs, or any other option with an airtight and water-tight seal.
Not only do we have to deal with potential pests in Florida, but the high humidity can allow moisture to seep in and cause mold and mildew to grow. For more information on how to keep moisture out of your storage totes, check out this handy guide that I created and share some tips I’ve discovered over the years.
3. Keep Them Out of Direct Light
Much like moisture, storing your child’s car seats in direct sunlight can be bad for them.
Even a small amount of direct sunlight coming in through the windows will weaken the fabric or leather. Since colors fade in light, you’ll quickly start to notice severe discoloration and whitening of the material.
We’ve all seen faded posters that have been in direct sunlight for too long. Your black or dark grey car seats can start to turn lighter with increased exposure.
By storing car seats in bags or containers, you help protect them from fading. You can take the extra step of storing them in cabinets, under shelves, or anywhere else that isn’t touched by light.
4. Store Car Seats Off of the Ground
Always store your car seats off of the ground, especially if you’re storing them in your garage.
Your garage floor gets affected by temperature changes much quicker and more severely than anywhere else in the room. Mice and bugs usually enter your garage from ground level and then look for someplace to nest.
By keeping your car seats off the floor, you make it that much harder for critters to use them as a nest.
Storing your car seats on shelves, counters or on top of cabinets are all good choices. If you have some overhead storage racks, they’ll be your best option.
5. Rotate and Clean the Car Seats Once per Month
These steps will help keep your car seats will be safe from light sources, pests, and moisture. But letting them sit in one place for too long can also damage them.
Eventually the plastic and fabric in the seat will start to warp and compact to whatever it’s pressing against.
To illustrate, if you leave your car seat leaned up against a wall, it’ll slowly start to flatten where it hits the wall.
To help prevent such issues from occurring, remove the seat and put it in a new bag once per month. When you put is back where you store it, change the position up so that it’s not resting on the same area that it was before.
You could also take this time to give it a quick wipe-down and help keep it clean and well-protected.
Other Things to Consider
While those are the most important things to think about when you’re storing your child’s car seats, they’re not the only things.
Here are a couple of other ideas:
Inspect the Area First
Before storing your sealed car seats in your garage, it’s important to inspect the area first.
Look for cracks or fragile spots that might not withstand the weight of the car seats. Keep an eye out for ants, cockroaches, mice feces, and so on.
You could also try to use bug spray about 24 to 48 hours before you put the seats there.
Consider Using a Dehumidifier
Whether your car seats are made of fabric or leather, moisture and humidity can ruin them quite quickly. The leather starts to harden and crack when there’s too much humidity. The stitching in fabric starts to loosen, especially along the seams that hold the seats together.
Silica Gel Packets are a great option to limit moisture. Toss a couple of these small packets into the bag or container with your car seats. They’ll prevent moisture from penetrating the fabric or leather, keeping moisture away from your car seats.
If you live in an area with lots of humidity, silica packets may not be enough. Here in Florida, I have a dehumidifier specifically for my garage to help keep the humidity at a manageable level. You can find out more details, including which dehumidifier I recommend, in the article linked above.
Watch Out For Mice
Some houses are more prone to mouse invasions than others. If you know that your area has a pest problem, consider leaving mouse traps throughout your garage.
Mice love to tear through plastic, but it’s their feces that you should be worried about. It can be toxic and dangerous.
Traps should be close to where you store the car seats to create a barrier. However, don’t use too many or they’ll be obvious.
Now that you’ve seen these simple steps to store your car seats in the garage, you’ll be able to keep them there for many years to come. The most important thing to remember is that your seats shouldn’t have humidity, heat, or pests nearby.
Here’s a quick recap of the post:
- Clean your seats monthly and change the storage bag each time.
- Use dehumidifiers, mouse traps, and bug spray to keep the problems away.
- Keep the car seats elevated off of the garage floor.