How to Clean (& Sanitize) a Baby Stroller

sit and stand triple stroller

Top tips on how to clean a Baby Stroller. Because strollers are used outdoors, and used by babies, its obvious for them to get dirty, kids eat in them, sleep in them, soil their diapers in them, spilled milk, cookie crumbs, mashed fruit, leaky diapers can stain the fabric and also get into the corners and crevices of your baby’s stroller. Here we take a look at the tools, strategies, and steps that you should take to clean a dirty stroller. Time to make a pit stop for a deep cleaning.

Take Time to Clean It

Baby Stroller are meant to be used outdoors, and its the place where you feed your baby (when outdoors). Over time, its dirt and crumbs (from the snacks) get accumulated in the stroller (which is not visible from a distance). Most medical studies suggest that strollers need to be cleaned and disinfect every week, to ensure good health of your child.

Regular cleaning also helps to keep your baby stroller look spic-and-span.

So in case you had missed out on this aspect, read these suggestions on how to clean your stroller.

Hand Tools to do the Cleaning

Here are the tools that will help you do the cleaning:

  • Hand vacuum or dust brush
  • Terry-cloth towels (2 to 3)
  • Large bowl or bucket. Warm water
  • Mild dish or laundry soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Wooden grilling skewers
  • Air compressor
  • Steam cleaner

How to Proceed

To prevent spills from spreading all over, it’s best to clean them up immediately.

For wet messes (yogurt, baby food, apple sauce), use a plastic knife or spoon to remove (scoop up) the bulk of the spill. Its better at cleaning than trying to wipe with paper towels, which can spread the spill into the fabric of your stroller.

Its better to use each of the tools (from the cleaning kit) one at a time on the entire stroller, and also avoid cleaning one section at a time. The only exception being the wheels, which you can do towards the end.

Remove Crumbs With a Hand Vac
You may use a dust brush as well, but a hand vacuum is easier to use and effective at sucking up all the miscellaneous crumbs from the stroller. The Shark Pet Perfect II SV780, is a good hand vacuum option; you can even use the upholstery attachment of a full-size vacuum.

Detach the Removable Parts
There are lot of removable parts, fabric, accessories on every stroller. Its easier to clean parts like storage trays, cup holders, and even fabric seats when removed from the frame of the stroller. Check the manual to see which, if any, parts can be put in a washing machine or dishwasher. That’s much easier than cleaning them by hand. If you’re not good at DIY stuff, you can take photos of all the things that you remove, in the right sequence, so that you know how to put them back (re-attach) later.

Use the Toothbrush to Get into Crevices
Once the stroller is free of bigger sized crumbs, its time to use a toothbrush dipped in warm, soapy water to scrub any caked-on messy substance from the various corners of the fabric seats. A toothbrush also works great for spot cleaning any stains.

For fine cracks and creases, like those in the harness buckle, wooden grilling skewers work better. The points easily get into those tight spots, and skewers are also stronger than toothpicks.

Scrub Fabric With a Terry-Cloth Towel
What if the fabric seat cannot be removed from the stroller? In that case use a terry-cloth towel dipped in warm water with mild soap to scrub the stroller down (beginning at the top of the stroller), wiping away all the debris and gunk.

Use a soap that is recommended by the manufacturer in the manual or that is mentioned on the tag under the fabric seat. If there is no recommendation, use mild dish soap or laundry detergent. Make sure you test the soap first (before beginning the cleaning) on some inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn’t stain the fabric.

Clean and Lubricate the Wheels
Last is to clean the plastic or rubber wheels. Most of the time, you will find them dirtier than the rest of the stroller, obviously because they come in contact with the ground. And you don’t want that dirt coming in contact with the other parts of the stroller, especially where your child sits.

Let the wheels fully dry. Check if the manual recommends periodically lubricating the wheel bearings. Depending on that, you may need to use the recommended lubricant, or spray liquid lubricant at the point where the wheel attaches to the frame.


Watch: How to Clean a Stroller | Consumer Reports

This is what it takes to clean a stroller. The following para’s go into the detail of some of the steps mentioned above.

Vacuum the Material (Fabric) Used on the Stroller

You will need to put that vacuum cleaner to use.

  • You will need to get out your vacuum so that you can vacuum the part of the stroller that is made of fabric.
  • You will start off by vacuuming loose debris and any crumbs that you discover on the stroller seat and other parts.
  • It is a good idea to use a handheld vacuum that allows you the comfort of using an adjustable nozzle so that you can do a truly thorough cleaning in the various crevices, corners and even pockets of the stroller.

Vacuum the Seat and Back Support

  • It is important to note that the dirtiest area of the stroller will most likely be the part of the stroller where the seat part connects to the back support of the stroller since this is where the crumbs tend to slide to and collect there.
  • It is a good idea to pass your vacuum cleaner over that area several times in order to be sure that all the crumbs are now gone.

Remove the Material/Fabric of the Stroller (If Possible)

For better results, remove the fabric from the frame.

  • Check your user manual to see if the fabric comes of the stroller, so that you can clean thoroughly. Most strollers are designed where its easy to remove the covering material. However, some strollers don’t allow the fabric to be removed.
  • Once you are able to remove the fabric, follow the instructions about machine washing or hand washing the fabric.
  • Avoid putting the washed fabric/material of the stroller into the dryer as it could cause the material to shrink. You should hang it to dry.

If the fabric Cannot be Removed, Clean the stroller Outside

Take it out of the house.

  • You will clean the fabric of the baby stroller outside if the fabric cannot be removed from the frame of the stroller.
  • You will turn on the hose and use it to wet the whole stroller in order to give it a thorough rinse.
  • It is okay to wet the stroller like and to scrub the material since stroller are made to be very durable in order to stand up to the different types of weather conditions.

Drying the Stroller

  • Let the stroller dry well outside (depending on the weather, else you may have to dry it indoors)
  • If you are drying your stroller inside, you can use a small heater since this will make the process of drying it to go much more quickly.

Remove all the Detachable Plastic Parts (Including Accessories)

You should also clean the plastic parts, including the stroller accessories.

  • You will want to make sure that you remove, wash and disinfect the detachable plastic parts of the baby stroller. These are items such as the holder for cups or tray for snacks.
  • Use a disinfectant that is labelled as baby friendly.
  • A mild dish soap will get the grime off.

Check & Wash the Wheels

More than washing, you need to check if its working fine.

  • You can use a scrub brush and disinfectant to get the grime off.
  • Lubricate the wheels if they are squeaking and are not turning well.
  • Check to see if the tires need more air in them. If they do, fill them up.


Watch: How to clean a Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller

Watch: How to clean the City Select Stroller

The Easiest Strollers to Clean

Looking for a new stroller, there are a few key things to look for that will reduce the time you’ll spend cleaning the stroller.

  • Consider an infant car seat carrier for your baby’s first year – the frames are typically all-plastic which can be easily wiped down (Chicco KeyFit Caddy, Chicco KeyFit are good options).
  • If possible, avoid models with piping or ruffles on the seat.
  • Look carefully at the various crevices in snack trays, handles, and baskets, this is where dirt typically collects. The fewer such crevices, the better for you in terms of cleaning.
  • Consider models in darker colors which helps conceal the stains/dirt between cleanings.

To Conclude

Its only when you get down to clean your baby stroller, you realize how much dirt and crumbs were hidden in your baby stroller. So do make it a point to regularly clean (and even disinfect) your stroller so that your baby stays away from all the germs. It also gives you the opportunity to take a closer look at your stroller, in case certain parts have worn out (and in the process is compromising the safety) and needs to be replaced. This way you will have peace of mind and your child will continue enjoying the stroller.

Updated: November 17, 2017 — 12:45 pm

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