How to Dispose of an Expired Carseat: The Right Way

Smiling mom and her cute daughter preparing to go for a ride

Did you know car seats expire after 6 years of the manufacture date? Well, they do! Here we’ve got the answers to how you should dispose of your expired car seat.

Take expired car seats to recycling plants or trade-in centers to dispose of them. Properly recycling or throwing away expired car seats is considered okay. Always take the padding off of the car seat when recycling or throwing it away so it can be disposed of more easily.

There is a lot to know about how to properly get rid of an expired car seat. Here we have all the information you need to know. Keep reading to know just exactly how to dispose of an old car seat.

Recycling Plants

Some cities have recycling plants that allow you to bring your expired car seat. First, you should make sure your car seat is expired. Then you should go to the website “Where do I Recycle my Expired Car Seat” and find the nearest recycling plant that allows you to bring in your car seat.

Next, you need to bring your car seat to the recycling plant. Some recycling plants have fees or want you to take the padding off of the car seat so it’s easier to scrap the pieces of metal. This option is easy and quick and gets the car seat out of your hands.

Trade it In

Three children in car safety seat – family, transport, safety, road trip and people concept

Many stores located nationwide accept expired car seats and give you store credit for them. One well-known example is Target.

Target’s Car Seat Trade-In Plan

Another great option for you to get rid of your expired car seat is to take it to a trade-in program. Target has an amazing trade-in program that is here for your benefit. If your car seat is expired, old, or damaged, you can bring your car seat to Target and receive a 20% off coupon for a new car seat, car seat base, travel system, stroller, and even baby home gear.

Target allows many different kinds of car seats like convertible car seats, infant car seats, car seat bases, and harness or booster seats. They can be expired or damaged, it doesn’t matter, Target will take them! This is an easy, great way for you to get rid of your expired car seats. If you have errands to run at Target, take your expired car seats along with you and just drop them off!

Recycling and Trash


If you want to recycle your expired car seat yourself, you can as long as you do it correctly. First, you should take it apart completely. Someone might see it in the recycling bin and take it out, which would be bad because it’s expired. Take anything that isn’t recyclable off of the car seat, including the padding. If you have to, even destroy the metal and plastic. Then, throw it in the recycling bin!

Throwing a Car Seat Away

If you plan on throwing it out, you should also destroy all of the pieces that aren’t recyclable. Take scissors and cut up the straps, fabric, or anything that you are throwing away. Doing this will make sure that if anyone comes to find the car seats in the trash, they won’t be able to use any part of it.

Do everything you can to make it undesirable. You could even write all over it saying “expired,” do not use.” Put it in a big, black plastic trash bag. It would be very dangerous to use an expired car seat. You may be potentially hurting a little child, which we never want! Be smart and do the right thing!

Dangers of Using an Expired Car Seat

Using an expired car seat is never okay. Car seats begin to break down as the years go on and it’s exposed to different temperatures, making the materials on the car seat not as sturdy or safe as they originally were. The seats also go through normal wear and tear as the years go on. If the car seat is expired, it probably won’t meet the year’s current safety standards. Lastly, it may be missing a part that makes it so the car seat no longer keeps your child safe.

Expiration dates are on the sticker of the car seats of the plastic part on the seat. You have to make sure you pay attention to the expiration date and that you know exactly when it’s not usable anymore.

If your car seat is not up to protocol and if it’s not expired, you should never use it. Using an expired car seat is so dangerous for your children. If you get in an accident and your child is in an expired car seat, it may cause your child to not be secure. Stay safe, happy, and healthy by staying up to date with your car seats and making sure nobody else uses your expired ones.

What to do With Car Seat After Accident

Close Up Of Two Cars Damaged In Road Traffic Accident

If you got in a moderate or severe car accident, you have to get rid of your car seat. There are usually specific instructions from the manufacturer that explain how to get rid of your car seat after the accident. Even if your child wasn’t in the car seat when you got in an accident, you still need to get rid of it. Car accidents can bend or break car seats, making them unsafe. Even if it looks fine, you have to get rid of it.

To get rid of an expired car seat, you should just destroy it and get a new one. If you are unsure of how to do it, call your car seat’s manufacturer and ask them to explain how to dispose of your unusable car seat.

We all want our children to be happy, and that’s why you need to make sure you are 100% aware of your car seat’s expiration date, and how to dispose of your car seat if it’s expired or if you get into a crash. These are steps you just can’t skip. Following the correct guidelines and steps will help keep your and other children safe and potentially save their lives in dangerous situations. Take the few extra steps to safety and do what you need to do to be safe. A safe child is a happy child!

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