Strollers are quite the investment, and they should last for years. Proper care and maintenance will extend the life of your stroller, so you’ll only need to purchase one.
Strollers go through the mud, rain, and dust, so they need regular care, just like your car. Jogging strollers do require more maintenance and care than a stroller that you primarily use for shopping. Jogging strollers are subjected to more abuse, and they go over uneven, rough terrains.
Even if you aren’t jogging over dusty trails with your stroller and baby, a stroller needs to be cleaned just like any other baby gear. Crumbs, dirt, juice, and bodily fluids will end up in the nooks and crannies of the stroller. For whatever reason, strollers have a lot of those crannies!
Are you ready to learn how to keep your stroller looking brand new? Keep on reading!
10 tips for keeping your stroller clean
1. Read the owner's Manual
Before you do anything, you should check out your user’s manual. Every brand has different recommendations. For example, some brands have specific steps to remove the fabric and how you should wash it, while others don’t let you remove the fabric at all.
Not following the steps properly could damage your stroller or void your warranty. If you don’t have a copy of your owner’s manual, that’s okay! Almost every manufacturer posts their owner’s manual online. Just search for the make and model that you have on Google.
2. Get rid of the crumbs
Kids love to munch and snack as they stroll around with their parents. Who can blame them? It must be nice to eat snacks while someone else gets you to your final destination!
The best way to get rid of the crumbs in your stroller is to use a handheld vacuum or the nozzle attachment on your regular vacuum. Use that to suck up as much of the crumbs as possible.
Pay special attention to the area where the back of the stroller seat means the bottom of the seat, which is behind your child’s butt. That area tends to accumulate the most crumbs. You may have to try to move some fabric around to get everything out.
3. Take care of the fabric
If your stroller allows you to take off the fabric and machine wash it, that’s the best way to get the stroller squeaky clean. Typically, the recommendations are to use a gentle cycle with cold water. They typically recommend using a fragrance-free detergent because the perfumes and dyes could interact with the fabric on the stroller.
In many cases, the fabric on your stroller is not removable. So, use cold water with mild dish soap to scrub the entire fabric seating area and canopy. Some areas, like the seat, may have extra strains. Use a toothbrush to scrub those areas since they need more attention.
After you scrub down the fabric, use a dry towel to wipe away as much of the excess water as possible. Let the stroller air fry. Don’t fold it up until the stroller is totally dry because it could cause mildew to grow!
4. Clean the frame sometimes
You won’t believe how dirt the frame of your stroller can be! It’s important to not forgot those metal and plastic components of the stroller. The frame of the stroller is quite important because it holds all of the parts of the stroller together. It’s also quite costly to replace, so always inspect it for parts that need to be repaired.
First, take a look at the parking brake to make sure the wheels secure properly. Sometimes, leaves or rocks get trapped in parking brake, so keeping it free of debris is important.
Then, wipe down the rest of the frame with warm, soapy water. You don’t want to use any strong chemicals while cleaning the frame because it could scratch or weaken the plastic. Some chemicals cause corrosion on metal surfaces. Just use mild soap and water.
If you want to clean the frame fast, try using baby wipes or disinfectant wipes! They’re handy to take with you places. Always dry off the metal frames when you’re finished drying. Lingering moisture can lead to rust formation. So, you have two rounds of wiping – one with the cleaning wipe and one with a dry cloth.
5. Clean the Snack Tray
Make sure you remove the snack tray, if possible, and wash well with water. Sometimes, you aren’t able to remove them fully, but if you can, it’s best to do so because it gives you more access to scrub them. Snack trays can become filthy, and they need to be cleaned since your child eats off of them!
6. Wash the Wheels
The wheels on the stroller are probably the dirtiest area. That’s what drives over all of the mud and dust. When you’re cleaning the wheels, you always want to check for damage first. Ordering new wheels for your stroller is easy, so look for damage. Also, if you have a stroller with pneumatic tires, check the air pressure to make sure they’re properly inflated.
You can remove the stroller wheels, if you want, to give you better cleaning access. If you can’t figure out how to remove the wheels, the user manual should tell you. It’s typically a simple release button on or around the wheel.
If you do drive through mud, try spraying the stroller’s wheels down with a hose and wiping dry with a clean cloth. That helps to dislodge mud. You don’t want to bring a dirty stroller into your house, nor do you want to store a stroller caked in mud.
7. Don't forget the storage areas
The storage areas accumulate junk easily, especially pockets. First, you want to empty all of the pockets, storage compartments, baskets, and cupholders. You wouldn’t believe the crumbs and things that can gather in there!
Use the handheld vacuum or attachment for your vacuum to clean out those crumbs from the pockets and storage basket. You can wipe down the inside of your storage basket with a warm, soapy rag, and you should do use inside of the cupholders as well.
8. Make sure that you store your stroller properly
You spent all of this time cleaning your stroller, so you want it to stay looking brand new. Never store your stroller when its wet. If you fold it up when its wet or damp, rust or mold could appear, and no one wants that to happen!
You should also store the stroller away from extreme heat to prevent any types of damage to the plastic parts. Always remove any car seat adapters before folding because they can damage the stroller, but not all strollers need those!
Believe it or not, your garage may not be the best solution if its damp. The frame will rust, and the fabric will grow mold. The best place is to keep the stroller in your house in a closet.
9. Lubricate moving parts
If you notice that your stroller is struggling to close or it’s not moving as smoothly as before, you may need to lubricate the moving parts with a silicone spray. The bearings, axles, and moving brake parts are where you should focus your attention.
10. Got Mold? don't fret
Sometimes, things happen and mold grows, even if you’re cautious. You can get rid of mold, so don’t panic yet. It’s best to do mold cleaning outside to avoid inhaling any mold spores.
First, scrub away the mold that might be on the foam or fabric. Foam handles harbor mold easily. Make sure you scrub the area well with soap and water, then rinse well and let air dry.
Now, if the mold still is hanging out, wet the area with the mold with lemon juice. Sprinkle liberally with salt and let it dry in the sun. Another method for large mold stains is to mix three parts white vinegar and two parts water. Spray until its saturated!
If you happen to have a light or white colored stroller, you can try two or three tablespoons of chlorine bleach to one quart of water.
Keeping your stroller looking fresh
Your stroller is one of the most expensive investments you’ll make on a baby gear item, so it’s wise to take good care of it! Make sure you store your stroller in the right area to be sure it lasts for as long as possible.
Periodically vacuum and clean out the storage areas, and then plan cleanings as needed to make sure your stroller always looks brand new.