How to Clean a Stroller

posted by Andrea | 08/6/2014
Print pageEmail page

how to clean a stroller

It is no secret that almost everything I buy is used — usually from Craigslist.

I have no shame in buying used items, but I do want to make sure my used items are in nice condition and VERY clean. I will not buy anything from a smoking home and I usually won’t buy anything from a home with shedding pets. If they try to hide something from me, my ultra-sensitive nose will call their bluff almost 100% of the time šŸ™‚

That said, any time I buy something used, I take it home and wash it before using it. I’m not a germ-a-phobe, but if I don’t know where something has been, I definitely want to wash it up well before using it myself — or letting my kids use it.

Washing our second-hand treasures is usually pretty easy. I throw clothing and other fabric items in the washing machine, I wipe down cardboard books and puzzles with vinegar spray, andĀ Ā I wash toys and other plastic items with soap (or bleach) and HOT water.

However, when it comes to washing larger items (like strollers, pack n’ plays, bike trailers, baby swings, etc.) I have another approach… it’s relatively simple and it has always helpedĀ our new-to-us treasures look brand new again.

(these photos have not been edited in any way!)

stroller before and after

How to Clean a Stroller (or other large fabric items):

NOTE: I titled this post “how to clean a stroller” but this technique should work well for most large fabric items that can not be put in the washing machine.

STEP 1:Ā Disassemble and remove as many parts as you can.

With strollers, you can usually remove the sun shade, the basket, and the straps — sometimes you can also remove the seat fabric. I throw any small fabric items in the wash and wash more “ridged” items in my large kitchen sink.

The more you can remove and clean separately, the better your resultsĀ — just remember to pay attention to how you disassembleĀ the itemĀ so you can put it all back together again!

bike pads

stroller stuf

.

STEP 2: Spray the items with a hose.

This is a really fun step for kids to help with! Just hose it down really well so it’s nice and wet.

.

STEP 3: Scrub fabric with hot soapy water.

I use 2 T. of my homemade laundry detergent dissolved in 1 gallon of VERY hot water. OxiClean also works very well — and I’m assuming most laundry detergents would work fine as well.

Scrub with a soft sponge or rag — making sure to constantly rinse it out and get more hot, soapy water on the fabric.

cleaning a stroller

Remember to also wipe down all the hard surfaces too (including the wheels which often get extremely dirty).

NOTE: It helps to have a cute side-kickĀ standing by šŸ™‚

.

STEP 4: Spray with hose to remove soap residue.

You might need to keep spraying for a while to remove all the soap. If the fabric is very thick, you canĀ press down on the fabric with your hands to squeeze the extra water out and then keep spraying until all the soap is washed away.

.

STEP 5: Let the items air dry in the sun.

I try to pick a sunny, breezy day to clean these items as they will dry much faster. Some of my items are totally dry within the hour — others take all day to fully dry.

STEP 6: Fine-tuning…

Use WD-40 on squeaky wheels or brakes. Rub a bar of soap on sticky zippers or tough snaps. Take note of any loose, missing, or broken parts and check online to see if you can find replacement parts (it’s amazing what you can find on the product websites!)

.

STEP 7:Ā ReassembleĀ theĀ piecesĀ and enjoy your much cleaner strollersĀ (or whatever you were cleaning)

clean stroller

stroller before and after

I should mention that I also use this method when selling these items again.

Just last week, I sold our single jogging stroller for over TWICEĀ what we paid for itĀ 2 yearsĀ ago. I cleaned it up exceptionally well when we bought it — and then scrubbed it downĀ again last week before selling it. The new owners couldn’t believe how clean it was — and how “low” the price was!

In general, I think you can get A LOT more life out of your things (new or used) if you keep them clean and in good condition. I spent less than 2 hours cleaning 2 strollers and a bike trailer (and playing in the water with Nora). Definitely worth theĀ time in my opinion!

Do you have any other tips for cleaning strollers, outdoor gear, or other larger items?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: HomeCleaning

 
 

Leave a comment

19 comments

  1. Lynette

    05/27/2015

    Thanks for this. I’ve just started tackling a quinny I got from a friend. Quick question though, the straps have black mildew spots (it’s been sitting in their shed for a year) and I can’t detach them to put in the washing machine. Any tips on scrubbing the mildew off?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    honestly, I’m not sure. I’d say bleach — but I’m not sure if it would stain anything.

    [Reply]

  2. Grace

    05/20/2015

    This is so great! I’ve been looking for a thorough guide in cleaning strollers. I love the details in here and you make cleaning strollers easy. I’ll be sharing this great tips to my other mom friends!

    [Reply]

  3. Rebecca

    08/27/2014

    Thanks for this post. It motivated me to clean our stroller! Everything looks great except the handle bars. They smooth but not plastic or sponge- neoprene maybe? They have started to get little holes in them that come off in small bits. I thought about conditioning them with coconut oil. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  4. Elise @frugalfarmwife.com

    08/06/2014

    Thank you so much for this! I just bought a used stroller that was a little grungy. The price was right, so I knew there just *had* to be a way to get it clean.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — I love those bargains! happy cleaning!

    [Reply]

  5. Rebecca G

    08/06/2014

    This is a great idea for fabrics! My biggest problem has been with cleaning plastic outdoor toys, like toddler slides and swing seats. I am so tempted to throw them out because I can’t get them cleaned well enough and they get filled with dirty rain water, spider webs/sacs and who knows what else…

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I usually just use bleach water or vinegar water, scrub it down and let it dry in the sun. This seems to work for our plastic toys

    [Reply]

  6. Debbie Walyus

    08/06/2014

    Thank you so much for this article! I just received a jogging stroller from our community freecycle and I was still trying to figure out how to clean it. I managed to get part of it in the wash. Now if I can figure out how to collapse the stroller, I will be set! Thanks again!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — collapsing stroller can actually be a huge pain! I can’t believe you got a FREE jogging stroller. That’s fabulous!

    [Reply]

  7. Kristin

    08/06/2014

    Excellent timing! Our jogging stroller (same as yours) has been living in our garage for close to 6 months and in desperate need of a good cleaning. I may even try to sell it after cleaning since my 4 year old is in the “I walk now” stage. I’ll keep one umbrella stroller handy.

    [Reply]

  8. Jacqueline

    08/06/2014

    I just did this yesterday with a double stroller our neighbors THREW OUT TO THE ROAD!!! šŸ™‚ Looks amazing and it was free!!!

    [Reply]

  9. Lori

    08/06/2014

    Another tip when buying something used (particularly baby products) – check with the manufacturer to research any product recalls. Years ago, I purchased a baby swing second-hand checked with graco.com – turns out there was a recall on the safety strap. Graco sent me a new strap (free of charge!)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes! We’ve gotten free accessories and attachments because of recalls too!

    [Reply]

  10. Abby

    08/06/2014

    Hello! Would you clean car seats the same way? Mine are yuck, and need some attention. šŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Abby,
    Actually, carseats are much easier to clean — just remove the fabric covering and wash it in the washing machine. I do this frequently (and then wipe out the plastic shell) and it works well every time. I also disassemble the straps and wash those as well (they get tons of drool on them!)

    [Reply]

    Tara Reply:

    Just a note since you recently posted how important car seat safety is to you, it ‘s my understanding that it’s not advised to wash baby/kid car seat belts by submerging or soaking them through. Only ever wipe them with a damp cloth.

    For example this excerpt from a Graco carseat manual: http://www.gracobaby.com/instruction%20manuals/archive/413.pdf

    “11. Cleaning and Maintenance
    @ TO REMOVE AND WASH SAFETY SEAT PAD, see following pages.
    @ SAFETY SEAT METAL AND PLASTIC PARTS may be cleaned by wiping with a mild soap and water solution. DO NOT USE BLEACH. Use of bleach may weaken plastic parts.
    @ HARNESS STRAPS may be spot cleaned or replaced. DO NOT IMMERSE THE HARNESS STRAPS IN WATER. Doing so may weaken the harness straps.
    @ BUCKLE may be cleaned with a damp cloth. @ DO NOT LUBRICATE the buckle.”

    This may differ between brands, but the safest thing is to check the manual or contact the company of the seat you have.

    Just thought I’d throw that out there!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    interesting — never knew that. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  11. Jamie

    08/06/2014

    Good timing! This project was on my list for today!

    [Reply]