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If you have just returned from a day outside in the sun with your child, there’s a good chance you have a dirty stroller on your hands.
A well-used stroller can easily get covered in dirt and grime, but never fear! All you have to do is clean the fabric and frame of your stroller thoroughly so your child will be safe and healthy and your stroller will run smoothly.
Cleaning the Fabric
Disassemble the fabric. If the canopy or padded portions are easy-on, easy-off, detach them by hand.
Use a screwdriver to remove bolts that hold the fabric down. Put the pieces aside to clean later.
Brush away any debris.
Use your hand to wipe away any crumbs or twigs that have collected on the seat.
Look for larger pieces of food or dried leaves.
For smaller crumbs that you can’t brush away by hand, use a vacuum.
Vacuum up all loose dirt.
Use a handheld vacuum or the flexible nozzle attachment from your standard household vacuum.
Suck up all remaining crumbs or loose dirt from the fabric surfaces.
Run the vacuum multiple times over all the pockets and storage areas.
Pay extra attention to the spot where the back of the stroller meets the seat because that tends to be the dirtiest spot with the most crumbs.
Use soap and water to hand wash the seat and canopy if they are not detachable.
Soak a soft towel with lukewarm water and soap and run the towel over all the fabric surfaces.
Only use gentle, baby-safe soaps.
Rub the foam handlebar with soap and water.
Just as you did with the larger fabric pieces, use a towel on the foam handlebar.
Use lukewarm water and the same baby-safe soaps.
Hose down the seat and canopy
Bring the stroller to a spot outside where it is okay to make a mess.
Use a hose to wet the entire stroller and rinse off soap residue.
If you don’t have access to a hose, use a bucket to dump the water over everything.
Treat spots with a smaller brush.
If stains or soiled spots still remain after the overall cleaning, apply a soft fabric brush or toothbrush to the area.
Wet the spot thoroughly.
Use a stain removing spray to target the spot directly.
Strollers are made to withstand the elements so don’t be afraid to scrub as needed.
Scrub away any mold.
Check all foam and fabric on the stroller, thoroughly, for mold.
Bring it outside to clean it so you don’t inhale the spores.
Scrub the moldy area with soap and water.
Rinse it well and let it dry for several hours.
To remove any mold that still remains after the first wash, wet the area with lemon juice, sprinkle it with salt, and let it dry in the sun.
To remove larger mold stains, mix three parts white vinegar and two parts water in a spray bottle.
Spray over the area until it is fully saturated.
To remove mold from light or white fabrics, use 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach and 1 quart of water.
Air dry everything in the sun. Use a dry towel to wipe away excess water and soap.
Hang any loose pieces of fabric up to dry.
On a nice day, leave everything under the warm sun for a few hours.
Cleaning the Frame
Disassemble the frame. Remove the bassinet or seat, first.
Next, take off any remaining accessories.
Cup holders and food trays are easily detachable and can be cleaned more thoroughly once they are separated from the larger frame.
Inspect the parts. Check all the components to make sure they are in good working order.
Confirm that all the moving parts or car seat adapters are fully functioning.
Check for sticky spots or stuck levers that might need extra attention.
Brush away any crumbs or debris.
Check the nooks and crannies.
Clean snack trays the same way you would clean any surface that you eat on.
Scrub vigorously with nontoxic cleaners.
Wipe down the surfaces with a gentle all-purpose cleaner.
Using a baby-safe all purpose cleaner, wipe down the frame of the stroller with a soft towel.
Make sure to use warm water.
Wipe down detached metal or plastic parts as well.
Check the brake.
Make sure the brake locks both wheels in place.
Wipe away any dirt or debris that might be stuck in the brake.
For squeaky or sticky brakes, spray WD-40 to keep the stroller running smoothly.
Wash the wheels with disinfectant.
Find your wheel release mechanism and remove the stroller wheels.
Clean the rims with a gentle disinfectant.
Use a small brush to remove sand and dirt from the tires.
If your stroller has pneumatic tires, check the air pressure in the wheels to make sure they are inflated correctly.
For tires without air, check the tread and make sure there aren’t any holes or other issues that would stop the wheels from working.
Maintaining and Storing Your Stroller
Reassemble the pieces.
Once everything is clean and dry, reattach the fabric pieces to the frame.
Use screws or tools if needed, otherwise just snap the parts into place.
Reattach the cup holders, trays, and all other accessories.
Spray the stroller with a disinfectant.
Give the fabric and frame a once over with disinfectant spray.
Next, deodorize everything with a pleasant smelling spray to keep it fresh and new.
Protect the frame.
To prevent rust or mold, wait until the stroller is dry before you fold it.
Remove car seat adapters before folding it.
Store the stroller at room temperature to preserve any plastic pieces that are at risk of morphing or melting.
Avoid stacking other items on top of it.
Pick a safe spot.
If your stroller is near a window, cover it to protect from dust build-up or sunlight that will fade the colors on the fabric.
Avoid putting it on a dirty garage or basement floor.
Consider utility hooks to lift the stroller up and away from debris.