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Does Goodwill Take Car Seats – Donation Guide

Picture this: Your little one has outgrown their car seat faster than you anticipated, leaving you with a barely used, perfectly good car seat. The thought of tossing it in the trash doesn’t sit well with you, considering the environmental implications and the fact that someone else might need it.

Now you’re wondering, “Does Goodwill take car seats?” This question is more common than you think, and the answer lies in the mission of Goodwill and the importance of responsible disposal of car seats.

Goodwill, a non-profit organization, is a renowned name in the donation industry, primarily focused on enhancing the dignity and quality of life for individuals and families. Its mission is to eliminate barriers to opportunity and help people reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.

Meanwhile, car seats, vital for child safety, are items that most families use but often struggle to dispose of responsibly when they’re no longer needed. So, could donating to Goodwill be a viable option?

Factors to Consider Before Donating Car Seats

Before you load that car seat into your trunk and head to Goodwill, there are important considerations to bear in mind, primarily revolving around safety standards and regulations for car seats. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics emphasized the importance of car seat safety, citing that correctly used car seats could reduce the risk of death by as much as 71% for infants.

Firstly, check the age, condition, and expiration dates of the car seat. Just like perishable food items, car seats too have an expiration date, typically around six to ten years from the date of manufacture. This is due to the degradation of plastic over time and possible changes in safety standards.

Secondly, it’s crucial to be aware of any recalls or safety concerns related to the specific car seat model. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a regularly updated list of recalled car seats, which is a valuable resource for this information.

Researching Local Goodwill Centers

Now that you’ve inspected your car seat, the next step is to find your nearest Goodwill center. Goodwill’s website offers a locator tool to find stores and donation centers. But before you make the trip, it’s a good idea to call ahead and inquire if they accept car seat donations.

If your local Goodwill doesn’t accept car seats, don’t be disheartened. There are numerous alternative options for car seat donation, from other charitable organizations to local nonprofits focused on child safety.

Car Seat Type Accepted by Goodwill?
Infant Car Seat Depends on local store policy
Convertible Car Seat Depends on local store policy
Booster Seat Depends on local store policy
Car Seat Bases Depends on local store policy
Expired Car Seats Not Accepted
Recalled Car Seats Not Accepted

Car Seat Donation Alternatives

Organizations such as Safe Kids Worldwide and Baby2Baby accept car seat donations, provided they meet safety standards. Similarly, local organizations and nonprofits often welcome these donations to support families in need.

Online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or Freecycle are also options. They allow you to sell or give away used car seats to individuals in your local community.

Preparing Car Seats for Donation

Once you’ve found a suitable place to donate, prepare the car seat by cleaning and sanitizing it thoroughly. Remove any personal information and accessories that aren’t integral to the seat.

Ensure that all parts are intact, the car seat is functional, and the instruction manual is included, if available. This will help the new owner understand how to install and use the car seat safely.

Tips for Donating Car Seats Responsibly

As you prepare to pass on your car seat to its new owner, bear in mind the importance of adhering to local regulations and guidelines for car seat donations. Always be transparent and share accurate information about the car seat’s condition, including its age, any accidents it’s been involved in, and if it’s ever been recalled.

Donating within the recommended timeframe—before the seat reaches its expiration date—is also key to maximize its usefulness and safety for the next child.


The process of donating car seats responsibly is more than just clearing out your storage—it’s about making a difference in someone’s life while minimizing environmental impact. Remember, whether it’s Goodwill or another organization, your thoughtful action contributes to a safer and more sustainable world.

Now that you understand the ins and outs of donating car seats, including the precautions to take and the alternatives if Goodwill doesn’t accept them, you are empowered to make informed decisions. Be that change-maker who promotes safety, shares resources, and makes a positive impact through thoughtful donation.


What do I do with old car seats near me?

Consider donating them to local charities, nonprofits focused on child safety, or online platforms for giving away used items. Always ensure the car seats meet safety standards before donating.

What can I do with old car seats in California?

In California, you can donate car seats to local charities like Baby2Baby or use online platforms to give them away. Recycling programs are also available in certain municipalities.

How long is a car seat good for?

Typically, a car seat is good for six to ten years from the date of manufacture. This varies by brand and model, so always check the seat for its specific expiration date.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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