Cleaning seat belts? No we haven’t gone mad but let’s face it ice cream, sticky rock /sweets, sand the odd pasty have all been loving enjoyed over the holidays and the kids have no doubt shared theirs with their seat belts as much as their clothes. Even if your car isn’t the family adventure truck you’re probably guilty of oily fingers and grubby shirts from scrubbing around in the dirt all smearing onto the seat belts not to mention those who wade rivers, up to your belly buttons in who knows what.
Seriously when was the last time you paid any attention to your seat belts? They don’t really warrant much thought; we put them on automatically and don’t give them a second glance unless we’re involved in an accident or discover a dirty mark on our clothes rubbed off from the belt. Such a serious bit of life saving kit but seat belts never appear on the maintenance list.
So here are a couple of tips on the best way to clean them.
Most of the belt remains hidden when not in use so first pull them out as far as you need to then apply a bulldog clip to the top to stop them disappearing back into the roller.
Any crusty residue and dust can be gently brushed of with a soft brush preferably in line with the thread to avoid chaffing of the fabric.
Don’t soak them, seat belts are a thick fabric so it’s best not to or they will take forever to dry leaving damp patches on your clothes and worse it can cause the roller mechanism to rust if allowed to retract before completely dry.
Most marks will come of with a damp cloth, use a fabric based cleaner such as a drop of your clothes washing powder diluted in water or washing up liquid if the stains have a greasy nature.
For oily marks try Wd40 or vinegar applied directly to a dry belt, which ever dirt remover you use try to keep any intense wiping motion in line with the direction of thread again to avoid any fluffing of the belts fibres.
In general grasp a section of belt in one hand to aid tension then with the other hand wrap a damp cloth around the belt to cover both front and back and run it firmly down the belts length. Repeat this action with a dry towel once dirt has been removed to soak up any excess moisture.
Leave the belts to fully dry before removing the bulldog clip to avoid rust in the roller.