Organization & Cleaning, Parenting

How To Clean A Stroller The Right Way

If having a sparkling clean stroller 100% of the time is an ambition of yours, I’d suggest you lower your expectations slightly.

I, too, was once that starry-eyed expecting parent determined to keep every gadget and gizmo I owned completely clean. How messy can one child be? I would say.

I still use that phrase a lot: How messy can one child be? But now it’s less of a genuine question than a statement of exasperation.

Smushed food, sticky fingers, drink spills, and ‘accidents’ are to name just a few of the perils you’ll face not even on a daily basis but an hourly one.

Our babies’ strollers will definitely take the brunt of most of that mess, so an occasional deep clean is essential. Especially on double strollers, double the mess!

I understood this but didn’t quite understand how to go about it, so I rallied my parent friends to ask for a demonstration, and I consulted the manufacturer of my stroller for advice.

Read on for the exact steps to get that stroller sparkling again and to protect your young one from nasty bacteria.

Before You Begin: The Stroller Manual 

Before you get knee-deep in cleaning products, it’s worth taking the time to give your stroller manual a quick read.

This is because it’ll let you know how to remove certain fabrics, detach elements of the stroller, and general advice for cleaning your specific stroller.

If you too are as disorganized as I am and lost your manual the second you set up the stroller for the first time, you can find versions online.

Just give your make and model a quick google, or find your way to the manufacturer’s website and it should be available to read.

Once you’re up-to-date with your stroller, the cleaning process can begin. Oh goodie, right?

Step-By-Step Guide To Stroller Cleaning

Step 1: Vacuum

So the first thing you need to do is start vacuuming up all those stray crumbs and bits that are lingering in your stroller, especially if you have a trip coming up.

We’re going to go with the top-to-bottom method and we’re going to get all those stubborn hiding snack crumbs too.

If you can remove the fabric cover from your stroller, it’ll make this section a little easier.

You’re going to place your stroller seat flat so that everything is opened and exposed so we don’t miss a singular crumb. Vacuum and make sure that you get every last inch.

Pay attention to the seams, move all the straps and buckles, and anything else that may be obstructing the suction.

You can use a standard hoover, but my preference is this Hoover OnePWR handheld model, partly because it has insane suction for its size and partly because it has an onboard crevice tool that helps you reach all the nooks and crannies of your stroller.

Other options on the market come with plenty of attachments, but with toys already cluttering up the place, I thought an integrated augmentation was a smarter option.

Once you’ve hoovered, with a Q-tip or a toothbrush, you can get into all those little crevices that no hoover attachment could reach. You’ll be surprised at just how much junk and gunk you’ll find, trust me.

Step 2: Wash

For this part, you’ll need sponges, brushes, cloths, and the likes. And a particularly strong stomach, but that’s beside the fact.

When it comes to washing the stroller you want to use a fairly mild detergent and water solution. We’re using something mild to keep our little ones safe from harsh chemicals.

More of a when, rather than an if you find a fairly stubborn stain that the detergent and water can’t budge, you’ll want to use a baby-safe stain remover or enzyme cleaner.

You’ll want to scrub away at the stain with that Goldilocks-style strength. Not too light or it won’t come out. Not too hard or it’ll damage the fabric. You have to scrub it just right.

My recommendation on the stain removal front is this Oxi-Clean tub as it’s absolutely magic.

It contains no artificial scents or dyes, it’s completely chlorine-free and color-safe, and it can be used for hand or machine washing, yet it’s super effective!

But if you’re looking for a spot cleaner you can take out and about with you, I can’t speak highly enough of Hate Stains Co. stain remover.

The spray cap makes application a total breeze, and it’s got all the hallmarks of a baby-first product — pH neutral, water-based, suitable for colorfast fabrics, and certified by the appropriate safety committees.

My baby and I never leave the house without it.

How To Clean A Stroller The Right Way

Step 3: Sanitize

Germs. As a parent do you also feel like you’re forever in a battle with germs?

I spend my whole life defending my child from germs. And the best way to destroy those germs is without a doubt sanitizing basically everything that exists, including the car seat!

There are a couple of ways you can do this. Soap and water will help, as well as hot water or steam, thoroughly washing your stroller helps too.

Essentially, you’re just trying to get rid of the bacteria, fungi, viruses, feces, vomit, grease, and all other manners of harmful substances that like to harbor in your stroller.

My personal preference for sanitization is this Conair handheld steamer. Honestly, if you don’t already have one, get one. They’re a real godsend.

They’re so easy to use, kill 99.9% of residual germs, and they get the job done pretty quickly.

Step 4: Dry

Okay, so I’ve tried my fair share of quick fixes when it comes to drying your stroller, and please do not make the same mistake as me.

Do not pop the fabric of your stroller in the dryer. Bad idea, really bad. It will completely ruin the safety, shape, and fit of your stroller.

Air drying alone isn’t a great idea either. Not unless you want to really stress yourself out. Air drying leaves these horrible water spots.

And I don’t know about you but I’m not spending all this time cleaning to still have a messy stroller at the end of it.

What I do is grab one of these cheap microfiber cloths first and mop up as much moisture as you can before you leave it to air dry to avoid these watermarks. I use these so much in my stroller when we are on the go!

Step 5: Reassemble 

Now most of the hard work is done and there’s just one final battle left to fight against. And that’s putting the stroller back together again safely.

Ensure to take many deep breaths during this section. Failure to do so may lead to great frustration – you have been warned.

This is where having your instruction manual handy can also help you to escape the very likely potential for a headache. Can you tell I hate putting strollers back together?

Once everything is back in place you’re all done!

At least until our little one makes such a mess again, which will be far, far, too soon for my liking.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean My Baby’s Stroller?

In the event of a calamitous accident, you’ll need to take immediate action, whether it be the 1st or 10th time it’s happened that week, but otherwise, you can keep your stroller deep clean to once a week, perhaps even once a fortnight if your baby is on a clean streak!

Why Do Strollers Get Moldy?

If – for whatever reason – your stroller has been out of action for a while, there’s a good chance that some form of mold will take hold of certain areas.

The cause is no different from any other instance of mold growth – dampness and a lack of airflow.

You can reduce the chances of mold growth by storing your stroller somewhere warm with good air circulation.

Final Thoughts

And just like that you have a lovely clean stroller again, I hope yours stays cleaner a little while longer than mine ever seems to! But feel free to return here again for the next deep-clean!

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