With kids, life happens. Sippy cups spill. Diapers leak. Baby food pouches explode. And sometimes, despite your best efforts, these mishaps happen in your child’s stroller.
Cleaning a stroller is actually easier than you think. Even if the stroller isn’t visibly dirty but you want to wash it because kids and germs are a lethal combination, we want to help. Our baby gear expert broke down the steps to clean a stroller at home.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Clean a Stroller
Before you set out to scrub your stroller, you should consult your manufacturer’s guide for stroller-specific instructions or other pertinent information. If you no longer have the stroller’s manual, don’t fret. Google the make and model of your stroller and you should have the manual at your fingertips.
Before You Start:
- Grab the stroller and head outdoors. It is easier to clean the stroller outside because you won’t worry about spilled water or soap and will be able to see dirty spots more easily.
- Snap a photo of your stroller exactly the way it is, especially if you’ve never taken it apart before. This way, if you do start to take pieces apart or undo snaps or zippers, you can easily reassemble the stroller from your photo.
- Grab a vacuum, several wash cloths or rags, a bucket of water, a scrub brush and a mild soap. Make sure the soap you use to clean your stroller is baby-safe. Because your baby or child’s skin will likely touch the stroller at some point, you will want to make sure you don’t use any products with harsh chemicals that could possibly irritate their skin.
Start cleaning your stroller by using the vacuum first. Run it over the storage basket under the stroller as well as in the seat or bassinet, carefully using the nozzle attachment to suck up any crumbs or debris in the cracks and crevices of the seat and storage basket.
If you have any stroller covers, strap covers or extra fabric pieces that are safe to toss in the laundry, remove them and launder. Be sure to use a mild detergent.
3. Wash & Scrub
Start by cleaning the fabric of your stroller or bassinet seat with a sponge or washcloth that is wet but not soaking. Dip it in water and ring it out, and then apply a small amount of soap to the cloth. Gently clean the fabric, rewetting the cloth as necessary.
If you come across any particularly dirty spots or stains, or have areas where food is caked on, you will want to use a scrub brush. Be mindful that you don’t scrub too hard and potentially damage the fabric. If the stains are small, you might consider using a toothbrush to remove the stain, as it will be gentler on the fabric.
Be sure to remove all excess soap from the fabric with water before moving onto the next step.
After you have washed the fabric areas of the stroller, including the seat, canopy and storage basket, take your wet rag and wipe down all of the plastic and metal surfaces of the stroller. If you are worried about germs, you can also use a disinfectant wipe to go over these surfaces, as they won’t have much contact with your child’s skin. Be sure to wipe down the stroller frame, cup holders, buckles, wheels and so on. If you have something stuck to the handlebar or wheels that you are having a hard time removing, you may consider grabbing a razorblade and carefully using it to scrape the debris off these pieces.
Once you have successfully cleaned your stroller, removing as many stains and spots as you are able to, let the stroller dry in the sun for several hours (or even a day).
6. Reassemble the stroller
After everything is clean and dried to your liking, reassemble any pieces you took apart to clean, such as buckles, straps and covers. Then you are all set to get strolling!
More Tips for Cleaning Your Stroller
- If you are having trouble cleaning it when it is assembled, try removing any pieces you are able to. If you can remove the wheels and soak them in soapy water to clean them, that might be a good option. Remove the seat and the canopy if you are able for easier cleaning.
- Check the care label of your stroller. Some strollers have machine-washable fabric seats, which will save a ton of time if you don’t have to wash by hand.
- Some cup and snack holders can be totally removed and placed in a dishwasher for easy cleaning. Check if you are able to do this with yours to save time.
- If you are wanting an easier option for stroller cleaning going forward, you may consider using a stroller liner. Not only do covers allow you to add a custom touch to your baby gear, they can be easily removed and tossed in the wash to be clean. They are also much cheaper to replace if they get stained beyond repair than a stroller.