You probably see a stroller as a product that will be a part of your (and your baby's) life for a certain period of time. However, it's much more than that. It's an investment you should make wisely and eventually – you’ll need to keep your stroller in good condition.
To keep your stroller in a good condition, you will need to: clean and oil the wheels, brakes and the frame of your stroller; clean the fabric and seat; and inspect the stroller often so you can monitor and improve its condition.
There are plenty of benefits to maintaining your stroller that you may not have considered up until this point. Let’s begin by discussing those, so you see what’s in it for you.
- 1 Benefits of Keeping Your Stroller Clean
- 2 Tips for Keeping Your Stroller in Good Condition
- 3 Find the User's Manual
- 4 Cleaning the Canopy and Seat Fabric
- 5 Cleaning the Frame
- 6 Cleaning and Changing Your Tires and Wheels
- 7 Bonus Tips
- 8 Conclusion
Benefits of Keeping Your Stroller Clean
A stroller should be seen as a long-term investment, and if you play your cards right. You’ll be able to keep it for quite some time. You could always reuse the stroller, sell it on eBay, or give it away as a gift.
Of course, these are just some of the most common and obvious benefits. Even if you don't plan to sell the stroller afterward, keeping a stroller clean while your baby is using it is important.
A dirty stroller can impact your little one’s health, especially when you consider all the things the stroller picks up coming in and out of your home.
A clean and maintained stroller is a positive thing for the parents. You want the wheels of your stroller to roll as smoothly as possible, right? Otherwise, you’re using more energy than you need to, and we all know how precious energy is to us parents!
Now, let's get into tips and tricks that will help you save time and energy while keeping your stroller in good working condition.
Tips for Keeping Your Stroller in Good Condition
Here are the most helpful tips to keep your stroller in good condition, starting today:
Get to know the stroller model (find a manual)
Use safe fabric cleaner products
Properly inspect and clean the frame
Properly inspect, clean and replace your wheels and tires
Find the User's Manual
Before doing any cleaning, maintenance, or replacement on your stroller, you will have to find the user's manual to get to know the stroller.
If you have lost your user's manual, you should contact the shop or the manufacturer of the stroller. However, we highly recommend checking their website as most manufacturers keep free-to-download user manuals on their websites.
Cleaning the Canopy and Seat Fabric
Once you’ve taken the time to better understand your stroller model through the manual, you will have learned how to remove the wheels and fabric (if they’re removable). Some manufacturers will also include the material type used for the canopy and the seat of your stroller.
Cleaning the Canopy
To clean the stroller canopy, you will want to first remove it from the frame. Then, you have easier access to brush away any debris, vacuum the crevices, and even wash the canopy.
Most stroller canopies are removable, which means they're also washable. In some cases, you can also remove the small frame that holds a canopy fabric. In that case, you can wash the fabric in a washing machine on a gentle cycle.
If you can't find the recommended setting inside the user's manual, we highly recommend washing the stroller canopy by hand.
If your stroller canopy can't be washed with a washing machine, mostly because of the small frame that can’t be removed, use a soft towel and lukewarm water with soap to hand wash the fabrics. You can also use a soft brush with a stain remover like OxiClean Max Force.
In case your stroller canopy isn't detachable, you can still wash it by hand. Don't be afraid to help yourself out by using a hose or small brush to remove mold.
Once you're sure you've cleaned the canopy thoroughly, let it air dry in the sun.
Cleaning the Seat
To clean your stroller seat fabric, you will have to remove it from the frame but only if that is recommended from the manufacturer (see your manual). If not, you can still clean it with a soft towel or brush and lukewarm water with soap, just like the canopy.
If you decide to remove the fabric from the frame anyway, be careful. If you forget to put back screws or any other part, it can be dangerous for your child and you could end up ruining your warranty.
If the fabrics are easily removable there will be no screws at all. Start from the back of your stroller’s seat and find the points where the fabric is attached to the frame. If the fabric is attached with buttons, pull gently to remove it from the frame and find the next one.
If you have an umbrella stroller, you will need a screwdriver because most umbrella stroller fabrics are directly screwed to the frame. Just like with buttons, unscrew one screw and then move to the next one.
In most cases, you will find a small piece of plastic between the fabric and the screws that have to be removed. When all screws are removed you can remove your seat fabric.
Seat fabric can be washed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle or by the hand exactly like the canopy. Dry your seat fabric in the sun and attach it back to the frame.
Cleaning the Frame
We start with the stroller canopy and seat for a reason. In case your canopy and seat fabrics are detachable, you can clean them and let them dry while you disassemble the frame with easier access.
To clean the stroller frame, you should disassemble the canopy, seat and any remaining accessories. Once you have a clear view of the frame, closely inspect its components to make sure they're working properly and that there is no additional wear and tear.
When you make sure that the frame is completely safe and is working properly, you can get to cleaning. Help yourself with a wet rag, toothbrush, and soapy lukewarm water to clean the frame from debris, dust, and dirt.
After you've done this, wipe down the frame gently. When you finish the drying everything, check to make sure there is no moisture left on the frame. If you don’t do this carefully, your stroller will probably begin to rust.
Cleaning and Changing Your Tires and Wheels
When the frame is finished, before jumping to the wheels and tires, you want to test the brake and make sure it's working properly. It's one of the most important safety features, and you don't want it to fail when you need it the most. Make sure the brake locks in place and simply wipe down any debris or dirt around the brake to ensure it doesn't get stuck.
To clean the wheels and tires, remove them from the frame in order to wash the wheels with disinfectant. The reason you want to use disinfectant is because wheels are the main component that touches the ground during use, so you’ll want to clean them from time to time to ensure your home stays clean.
Almost all wheels come with a quick-release mechanism that gives you easy access whether you want to clean the wheels or replace them with a new set of wheels. Make sure to clean the rims, and to do so, you can use a small soft brush. This will help you get the small sand and dirt from the tires.
Once your wheels and tires are clean, check the air pressure on both and make sure they're inflated correctly.
However, if your stroller has tires without air, be sure there are no holes or issues that would prevent the wheel and tires from rolling.
If you are replacing the tires, you have to make sure to get the correct size. Ideally, you’ll find some that are the same size as those you used previously. This will ensure that the new set of wheels fit perfectly and don’t cause any problems with movement.
This bonus tip section is full of extra tricks to help you overcome any additional questions that might come up during the cleaning process of your stroller.
Drying the Stroller
To prevent rust or mold, never fold and transport the stroller while it's wet. With the proper technique, mold is removable, but it’s better to avoid it altogether.
To dry the stroller properly, always allow it to air dry, preferably in the sun. Even if you have a stroller with a removable canopy and seat, just leave it to air dry in the sun, separate from the frame.
The stroller frame and wheels can be left to dry just like the stroller canopy and seat. However, we highly recommend wiping down the frame and wheels since – it’s fairly easy to do.
Once you fully clean the stroller and successfully dry it, you can store it anywhere in the house, preferably at room temperature.
You’ll want to maintain the cleanliness of your baby stroller by regularly inspecting the stroller (especially the fabrics) and removing any mold and stains. You can also buy a seat liner to protect your stroller’s fabric.
For safety purposes, we also recommend inspecting the frame as a whole.
Oiling and Lubrication
Since strollers rely on wheels, they can either make or break portability. Therefore, you should oil and lubricate the wheels, especially the swivel mechanism, to ensure the smoothest performance.
To oil and lubricate your stroller’s swivel mechanism, first find the proper lubricant. You would want to use either oil or silicone lubricant. We highly recommend trying out any non-stick Teflon type lubricant or a WD 40 which does the job without attracting dust.
You want to locate wheel bearings and lubricate the moving parts. Ideally, you would remove the wheels before lubrication but this isn’t necessary on some models.
Depending on the type of lubricant, you will want to clean the stroller wheels a bit more often if you've visited the beach or dusty areas. Some lubricants attract dust, and sand, which is especially known for slowing down the swivel mechanism.
Even the combination of salt and sand (which is common on the beach) can damage the wheels. Sometimes, wheel replacement might not help because the swivel mechanism is too badly damaged. Therefore, when you're inspecting wheels, you should always inspect all moving mechanisms.
You should always check the loading weight instead of relying on the age group or child's height. If you overload your stroller often you will damage the wheels and the frame and your stroller will not be usable.
Loading weight can be found inside the user's manual or simply try and find a label on the stroller. Usually, a stroller’s loading weight is from 33 to 48 pounds for the child seat plus a few pounds for the storage basket under the seat.
Full-sized and double strollers are capable of handling more weight than a lightweight, compact or umbrella strollers.
A rule of thumb is the heavier the stroller, the more weight it can handle. You will be able to find strollers that weigh as little as 11 pounds, all the way up to the strollers that weigh 35 pounds.
Some strollers come with a clear label that includes the loading weight. The loading weight should include both the maximum weight of a child with the weight you can add to the storage compartments.
Depending on the type of stroller and manufacturer, you will find that storage compartment vary.
The storage limit is different for every stroller. The stroller storage basket can hold from 2 to 13 pounds. If your manual doesn’t declare the storage maximum capacity, you can calculate it on your own.
The best way to understand how much weight you can add to your stroller with your child seated inside is to know the loading weight. Then, subtract your child's weight from that number. That will give you the approximate storage limit number.
You can fill up all available storage compartments, but you must know how heavy your stroller will be afterward. Putting clothes or a couple of shopping bags doesn’t have the same effect.
For highest efficiency, we recommend primarily storing lightweight objects. And if you're missing compartments, you can always purchase additional shopping bag hooks or a cover that attaches to the stroller and increases the number of pockets.
Keeping stroller in a good condition isn't solely beneficial to you – it prioritizes your child’s wellbeing and hygiene as well.
It doesn't take much time to fully clean your stroller and get it back to new condition. When your child outgrows the stroller, you’ll have plenty of options to choose, from selling to gifting.
However, we highly recommend you perform regular checks as this is your baby’s first vehicle that will be used often and go almost everywhere.