Can You Pressure Wash Car Seat Belts – Is It Safe?


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car seat belts

If you have decided to clean your car seat belts with a high-pressure washer. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, be sure to keep reading because I have prepared a few useful tips that you need to know before you go into action.

You should never wash car seat belts with a high-pressure washer. Washing them with a pressure washer is very dangerous since the seat belt webbings may start to fall apart and even break in the case of a car accident.

That was the short answer, but let’s dive into this topic and see the exact reasons why you should avoid washing your car seat belts with a pressure washer.

Why You Should Never Wash Seat Belts With a Pressure Washer

The main reason why you should never wash car seat belts with a pressure washer is passenger’s safety.

Seat belts are made to save our lives in case of an accident, and if we treat them in a way that could destroy them, we jeopardize our own safety.

Pressure washers use high-pressure to wash things out. They are great for cleaning some things, such as the car exterior. However, when it comes to seat belt cleaning, you should stay away from pressure washers.

Washing seat belts with a high-pressure may cause several damages to the seat belt webbings. If you do that, you’ll oversaturate the material, and the safety belt webbings will lose their properties, firmness, and flexibility.

With time, weakened material will start to fall apart, and may even brake in the case of a car accident.

What Are Safety Belt Webbings Made Of?

Seat belt webbings are mostly made of polyester or a nylon. These materials are extremely durable and resistant.

Polyester webbings are better for those who need superior strength and little stretch.

Nylon webbings are better if you want high value. They are resistant to mold, mildew, and rot. However, they tend to stretch a little with time.

Even though both of these materials are great, they aren’t made to be pressure washed.

All the webbings are made for spot cleaning and light cleaning. So, with that said, you should never use a pressure washer to clean car seat belts.

How Does Pressure Washing Destroys Seat Belt Webbings?

By using a high-pressure washer, you may destroy both nylon and polyester webbings.

Even though the seat belt webbing fibers are extremely strong and can hold a lot of force, they aren’t resistant to direct high water pressure.

Water from a pressure washer (especially from a close distance) will go between nylon or polyester fibers, stretch and split them, and reduce their firmness, flexibility, and In the end, durability.

Also, using a pressure washer will over-saturate webbings, which will also weaken them with time.

How To Clean Car Seat Belts

To clean your seat belts, all you really need is a degreaser, magic sponge or brush, and a microfiber cloth.

If you have not cleaned them for a long time, then you will need a lot of time to clean it complete.

Related: How To Clean Dirty Car Seat Belts Without Destroying Them

To safely clean dirty car seat belts, you should:

  • Pull the seat belt all the way out and lock it with a clip
  • Spray the seat belt with a degreaser
  • Scrub the seat belt with the magic eraser or a brush
  • Wipe off the seat belt with a clean microfiber towel
  • Apply fabric protectant on the seat belts

Trust me. It’s the only proper way to clean seat belts. Using a pressure washer will make the whole process quicker and easier, but you don’t want to ruin the seat belt webbing material.

The Older The Material, The Worse The Properties!

Also, the older the material, the worse properties. Accordingly, if you are a proud owner of an older vehicle or possibly an old-timer, you need to think carefully about your vehicle’s condition, which needs to be cleaned.

Safety belt webbings, if they’re very old, are already weakened. Washing them only once with a pressure washer will weaken them even more, if not destroy them.

So, if you thought of a quick method for washing old seat belts – there isn’t one. Take your time, and clean safety belts in a safe way that won’t destroy them.

Safety Before Cleanliness

car safety belts

Even though we all like it when everything is clean and appealing, with seat belts, the thing is different. Safety should always be in the first place, not the cleanliness.

If your safety belts are very dirty, there’s a big chance that you won’t be able to completely clean them.

The only way you could clean them is by using a pressure washer, but as I said, you should never do that.

If you really want nice looking seat belts, my advice for you is to buy new seat belt webbings.

That way, you’ll get nice-looking seat belts but also a new set of webbings that are strong, flexible, durable, that won’t break in the case of force braking or an accident.

Conclusion

In any case, my recommendation is not to use a high-pressure cleaner to clean seat belts, as it can do more harm than good.

I think that in this article, I gave you all the justified reasons why using a pressure washer isn’t the smart option when it comes to safety belt cleaning.

I always vote for handwashing them since it’s the safest way out there. Nobody wants their seat belts to break in situations when we really need them to protect us.

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