Strollers are one of the most essential and enjoyable baby products. They allow families to do and see more!
However, all parents know that with all of the fun and exciting places they use their stroller, it will inevitably get dirty and grimy.
Dirtier Than You Think
Because they get taken out so often and go to so many different places, strollers tend to pick up tons of dirt and germs.
It gets used at parks, zoos, and on streets. Kids eat snacks in their stroller, spill drinks and other liquids on the fabric, and hop in after playing.
All of these activities result in crumby crevices, bacteria on the surfaces, and stains on the fabric seating.
Now and then, it is essential to give your stroller a deep clean so that your child is comfortable and safe in it for future uses.
You may have been gifted or purchased a used stroller that needs a major cleaning before getting used. Eventually, all strollers will need a thorough cleaning to get rid of the dirt, grime, and bacteria that builds up with use.
Benefits of Deep Cleaning
There are numerous benefits to deep cleaning. It will help prevent your child from coming in contact with bacteria, germs, mold, and mildew, all of which can contribute to various health issues.
You will feel better about taking the stroller on outings when you know your child will be riding in a safe environment.
If you are looking to sell your stroller, giving it a deep clean first can allow you to up your asking price.
While there are some stroller and car seat cleaning services, there is no need to pay money to give yours a refresh.
This article provides a guide for how to give your stroller a deep, lasting DIY clean.
Before Cleaning Begins
Before cleaning your stroller, check the owner’s manual or the product website for any specific cleaning instructions.
The manual will also inform you how to remove various parts of the stroller for cleaning.
Take out anything from the cup holders and storage areas such as toys, sunglasses, or bottles.
Needed materials: Bucket, washcloth or soft fabric brush, mild soap, water, cleaning toothbrush, and a vacuum
Optional materials, depending on your needs: Vinegar, lemon juice, disinfectant, lubricant
Step 1: Vacuum
Per your owner’s manual, detach any easily removable parts of the stroller. Depending on which type and brand of stroller you have, this may include the wheels, seat, cup holders, tray, or canopy.
Next, vacuum all parts of the stroller, including the detached pieces. The easiest way to do so is with a handheld vacuum. If you don’t have a handheld vacuum, you can use the hose attachment on your vacuum.
Make sure to go over the seat a few times to get all the crumbs that could be hiding. Don’t forget to vacuum the pockets and storage areas.
Step 2: Wash Removable Parts
In your bucket, combine lukewarm water with a small amount of mild soap. The best soap to use is one that is pH neutral. Mild soaps often have a “baby safe” label.
Submerge your washcloth or brush in the soapy water, then wipe down all of the removable parts. If the removable parts are small, you might choose to clean them in your kitchen sink.
While cleaning the stroller wheels, do not submerge them in water. Doing so can damage the mechanics and the wheels’ lubrication. If the wheels are incredibly muddy from riding on sand or dirt, scrub them firmly with your damp cloth or brush to clean them. Check for small stones or sticks that can get lodged in the wheels too.
Step 3: Clean the Hard Frame
Clean the metal and plastic frame of your stroller next, and any metal or plastic parts that are not detachable. With your soapy washcloth, wipe down all the hard surfaces.
Pay extra attention to the food tray, the handlebar, and any other places you or your baby touch frequently. You might even want to wipe down these parts with a disinfectant.
Disinfectants kill germs instead of washing them away as soap does. If you or your baby has been sick recently, it might be a good idea to disinfect the frequently touched parts to get rid of all germs.
Step 4: Clean the Crevices
Dip the cleaning toothbrush into your bucket of soapy water. Scrub the inside parts of your stroller that are tight and hard to reach with the washcloth. Bacteria and grime can hide inside its nooks and crannies.
Step 5: Clean the Fabric
The fabric parts of your stroller are most likely the seat and the canopy. Check back with the stroller manual to see if any of the fabric parts can be removed and cleaned in the washing machine.
If machine washing the stroller’s fabric is an option, great! Throw it in with a baby-safe detergent on a gentle cycle. Using a regular cycle or one that is more aggressive may cause the material to be damaged.
Do not put them in the dryer because the fabric can shrink. We will dry all parts of the stroller in Step 8!
If the fabric parts cannot be machine washed, no worries! You can still get the fabric fresh and clean. Dunk your washcloth or your soft brush in the soapy water. Squeeze out the excess water, and scrub the fabric seat and the canopy.
Give any areas with stains a tougher rub to get them out. You should be able to remove most stains with the soapy water and some elbow grease.
Step 6: Remove Mold and Mildew
Next, you want to examine the fabric for mold and mildew. Mildew appears white or gray and has a powdery texture. Mold is green or black. If you see no mold or mildew, you can skip to Step 7!
If you do see mold or mildew, it’s essential to remove it to avoid health complications like allergies.
In your bucket, combine equal parts of vinegar and lemon juice. Stir in a small amount of baking soda. Dip your washcloth or brush into the mixture, and scrub down the stroller part where mold or mildew is visible.
Vinegar and lemon juice are excellent nontoxic cleaners because their acidity cuts through mold and other buildups. The baking soda makes the baby safe mixture more abrasive and gets rid of odors.
If you have any fabric stains that would not lift with the soapy water, you can also try using this mixture on the stains to remove them.
It is not recommended to use household cleaners or bleach on the stroller because the ingredients can be toxic and can cause lightening on the fabric.
Step 7: Rinse
You might need to give your stroller a rinse to get all the leftover soap off. With your hose, spray down the stroller, focusing on the fabric. Continue rinsing until all soap is gone.
If you cannot rinse the stroller with a garden hose, you can use your washcloth. Wring it out to get all of the soapy water out, then soak it with plain water.
Next, wipe down all of the soapy parts of the stroller until all soap is gone.
Step 8: Drying
Now that your stroller has been deep cleaned, it’s time to dry! Set all of the stroller parts out to dry in the sun for a few hours. All of the pieces must be completely dry before reattaching any removable parts and storing your stroller.
For reassembly instructions, check your owner’s manual. Rust or mold may be the result of putting the stroller away while it is still wet.
If you can’t dry the stroller in the sun due to weather, let it air dry in an open area. You can also try using a space heater or a fan to quicken the drying.
Step 9: Storage and Maintenance
Store your stroller in a cool and dry environment. Humid environments are more likely to develop mold or mildew.
If you are storing your stroller for a long time, try to avoid direct sunlight and use a cover to protect it from dust.
Every so often, take the stroller out of storage and clean it to keep it fresh. If your wheels are sticking or squeaking, you can spray them with a silicone lubricant, such as Teflon.
Also, if you notice any parts have been broken or are worn, replace the parts before using for safety.
Maintenance is KEY for Long Lasting Strollers
You will need to complete this DIY deep clean on your stroller every so often. However, cleaning up spills when they occur and wiping down the stroller frequently will help minimize the need for frequent deep cleans.
Baby strollers are a major investment! Regular deep cleans and proper storage will help prolong their life.
Now that your stroller is spotless and fresh, enjoy your next outing! Your little one will appreciate their clean ride.