Baby strollers are an important piece of gear for families. Odds are you use yours almost every day. Whether running errands or heading to the park, the best strollers help us go about our day-to-day lives while keeping our little ones comfortable.
That’s why it’s important to keep your stroller clean. Not only can a dirty stroller be unpleasant for your kiddos, it can also be uncomfortable for you. So, whether your stroller is caked with mud and throw up or you’re looking to resell it with us, it’s smart to clean your stroller about once a month.
Our Wingmoms clean and inspect every item that comes through our warehouse. So, we've compiled their top tips on how to clean a stroller to make the process feel less daunting.
Step 1: Check Your Instruction Packet
First and foremost, you should check your stoller’s manual to see if there are any model-specific instructions for disassembling or cleaning your stroller. The manual may also provide diagrams or step-by-step instructions for taking parts of the stroller apart, which can help you make sure you don’t break it during the cleaning process.
Step 2: Machine Wash the Fabric
Remove the seat fabric from your stroller based on the instruction manual and wash it in your washing machine on a cold water cycle. When the wash cycle is finished, don’t put it in the dryer. Put the fabric immediately back onto the stroller frame to let it dry.
If it’s a sunny day, put the stroller outside in the sunlight to speed up the drying process, as it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to dry completely.
Step 2A Alternate: Vacuum the Fabric
If there aren’t any major stains on the fabric and you don’t want to go through the process of removing your stroller’s fabric and washing it, get out your vacuum. Vacuum the crevices of your seat to remove crumbs or other debris.
Step 3: Vacuum the Basket
Stroller baskets can accumulate snack crumbs, beach sand, mud and more after fun travels with your family. If you have time during the cleaning process, vacuum it out to make sure it’s ready for more adventures.
Step 4: Tackle Any Tougher Stains
Tougher stains may build up over time. Things like sunscreen, food, spit-up and more might linger even after you’ve wiped them off. While cleaning your stroller, identify areas that might need a deeper clean and tackle them with baby-safe cleaning products.
A few cleaning solutions for spot-cleaning may include:
- Baby-safe cleaning spray (think all-natural sprays that are free from harsh chemicals)
- Castile soap mixed with water
- Dish soap mixed with water
Step 5: Wipe Down the Frame
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You’ve made it to the easy part. The easiest way to clean the stroller frame is with disinfectant wipes, but you can also use an all-purpose cleaning spray to wipe it down.
Step 6: Reassemble the Stroller
Once each individual stroller part is clean, reassemble the stroller and leave it to air dry. Don’t use artificial heat (like hair dryers) to make the stroller dry faster—this could burn the fabric and potentially break your stroller.
How to Clean Stroller Wheels
Wheels don’t need to be cleaned every time you clean your stroller, but over time debris like sticks, rocks or glass might get stuck and make it harder to maneuver your stroller. The wheels may also get caked in mud if you’ve taken your stroller out after the rain.
If you notice your stroller wheels are dirty, do the following:
- See if the wheels can detach—if they can, remove them from the stroller
- Remove any bigger debris using a brush, tweezers or your fingers
- Scrub the wheels with warm, soapy water
- Rinse off the soapy water
- Let the wheels air dry before reattaching them to the stroller
How to Clean Stains Out of A Stroller
With little ones in tow, accidents are bound to happen. Here’s how to clean common stains out of your stroller's fabric.
Vomit can be tricky to clean—especially if you find a lingering odor after you’ve already wiped it up.
If you find vomit in your stroller, the following steps should get it back to normal:
- Wipe up any liquid or solid chunks with an absorbent towel
- Wipe your stroller down with a warm, damp cloth
- Scrub the fabric with a mixture of dish soap and water
- Spray the entire stroller with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
- Let the stroller air dry
- Use a plug-in or handheld vacuum to vacuum up any chunks you might have missed
Mildew and Mold
If a stroller has gotten wet or had food stuck in its fabric for too long, it might develop mold or mildew.
If you find mold or mildew on your stroller, take the following steps to clean it:
- Brush away the mold or mildew with a brush or toothbrush
- Mix warm water and baking soda in a spray bottle and spray the stroller fabric
- Let it sit for a few minutes to dry
Urine is another smell that might linger on your stroller after you’ve already cleaned up the stain itself. That’s why it’s important to use an odor-killing mixture to make sure your stroller not only looks clean, but smells clean too.
Follow these steps if you find urine stains on your stroller:
- Blot up the urine with an absorbent towel
- Make a 1:1 mixture of distilled white vinegar and water
- Spray the mixture where you found the urine stain
- Let the stroller air dry
If you’re out and about with your kiddo, there’s always the possibility of a blowout. But even the worst stains can be taken care of with a little care.
Here’s how to clean poop out of your stroller:
- Use an absorbent towel to clean up as much of the poop as you can
- Mix two tablespoons of kid-friendly laundry detergent—like Babyganics—into a quarter cup of cold water
- Dip a cloth into the mixture and apply it to the stain
- Let the stroller air dry
6 Stroller Cleaning Tips
The intensity of your stroller cleaning depends on the severity of the stain situation (and smell!) and the amount of time you’ve got to work on it. But whether you’ve got all day or just 20 minutes in a public park, here are some good tips to reference when thinking about cleaning your stroller.
- Tip #1: Check your stroller’s manual for model-specific things you need to know before you start cleaning your stroller.
- Tip #2: Try to remove as many stroller parts as possible to make cleaning easier and to ensure you get those hard-to-reach spots.
- Tip #3: See if any parts like seat fabric or cupholders can be removed and placed in your laundry or dish cycle to save yourself some time.
- Tip #4: Consider investing in a stroller liner to make cleaning even easier.
- Tip #5: A toothbrush can help you get into those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies to scrub in cleaning solutions and remove debris—just make sure you keep it separate from your household toothbrushes.
- Tip #6: It’s best to avoid harsh chemicals like bleach when cleaning your baby’s stroller. Opt for natural kitchen ingredients like vinegar or baking soda, or kid-friendly brands like Babyganics or Dr. Bronner’s.
How Often Should Strollers Be Washed?
A good general rule is that you should deep clean your stroller once per month, regardless of whether it’s stained or not. However, your stroller cleaning regimen will really depend on how often you use your stroller and where you go with it. A family that makes frequent park outings with their kiddos will most likely need to clean it more than a family who rarely uses it.
Can You Wash a Stroller With a Hose?
Yes, you can clean a stroller with a hose. Just make sure you let it completely dry to avoid it growing mildew. Leaving it outside to dry is best, but you can also air dry it inside.
Cleaning your stroller really boils down to: wiping, disinfecting and drying. A well-cared-for stroller can be with a family for years, even carrying multiple little ones through their first stages of life.
Here at Goodbuy Gear, safety and cleanliness are our top priorities. That means making sure every item on our site is in clean, working condition. Our team of experts quality-check and clean each item, so everything you add to your cart will be safe and checked with love.