Travel can be pretty draining and stressing, especially when it comes to the safety of kids. Given that kids are particularly messy, the stains and grime on the baby gear may stress you out.
Cleanliness is one thing that can ensure some peace of mind. Baby prams are one of the baby gear that is used extensively and proper maintenance is quintessential to make sure they are safe for the baby. Dirty strollers can be breeding ground for harmful germs that may impact the health of the baby.
Also, there are bound to be dirt and stains in your stroller because the baby will eat, drink and likely poo and pee too in the stroller.
Hygiene is very important to make sure that your child stays safe and healthy. Many parents commit the mistake of investing in a very high-end stroller but not focusing on the cleanliness. This can cause long term issues such as breathing troubles due to dirt and lint or infections due to bacterial infestation. Some areas may also be conducive to the breeding of bed bugs. Ensure that the stroller is not infested. It is also a good idea to follow the complete cleaning procedure before putting your baby into a pre-owned stroller. You do not know how the other person treats their stuff, so it is better to be safe.
Also Read: How To Choose a Baby Stroller For Your Baby
Here is how you can keep the stroller clean before travelling:
- Find a place away from the baby, where you can clean the stroller as it involves dust and lint. Outdoor or in the garage is an ideal choice. You must avoid carpeted areas for cleaning.
- Refer to the product manual to look for instructions on cleaning individual parts.
- Do not wash the entire stroller to avoid corrosion of the metal parts.
- The metal parts can be wiped with a damp cloth.
- Carefully remove the fabric elements to clean them.
- The smallest attachment in a vacuum cleaner is ideal to remove lint and dust from the small creases of the fabric. Once the dust is sucked out from crevices, it is easier to wash the fabric.
- Separate the foam and fabric elements and clean them separately. Most strollers offer the ability to separate the fabric. Do not toss the foam into the washing machine as it may wear out.
- Soak the fabric in warm water for nearly 15 mins to loosen stubborn dust and stains and wash it off later.
- Check the manufacturer instructions to find out if the fabric is machine washable. If it is not, scrub it lightly with your hands or a scrubber to remove any stains. Washing a delicate fabric in the washer will weaken the fabric may also shrink and not fit on the foam again. Baking soda and warm water soak are ideal for stubborn stains.
- Be patient with the cleaning and drying of stroller fabric. Do not put it in the dryer or spin dry repeatedly. Air dry it to ensure that you do not damage it.
- The wheels carry the maximum amount of dirt and grime as they touch the ground. Use a soap solution to clean the grime stuck in the wheels and scrub it off with an old toothbrush. Make sure the wheels are completely dirt-free before you assemble them back on.
- A soft cloth dipped in mild oil is the best to clean the metal parts of the stroller. It will also prevent the metal from losing its shine. You can also use coconut oil to clean. Take care not to use a very viscous oil like castor.
- Plastic parts of the stroller are the easiest to clean as they can be washed directly in water and wiped clean. They do not corrode and it is easier to get rid of the dirt as compared to fabric and metal parts of the stroller.
- Once everything is cleaned, it is time to assemble it back. Remember to put the fabric only once it is dried in order to prevent mould formation. Also, put back the screws and plastic parts if you had taken them off. Check if you have put each and every screw in and fasten all of them securely.
- When putting the fabric on, make sure it is absolutely dry. Do not put a damp fabric on foam to prevent irreparable damage.
- Do not overdo the detergent or fabric softener as it can cause irritation to the delicate skin of the baby. A smell check can help rule of the strong odours by washing again.
- Put the foam into the fabric and ensure that it looks like before.
- If you disassemble the stroller completely, make sure you enlist the parts you take out and count them back as you reassemble. If a crucial part goes missing, it can be very dangerous. Recheck several times to make sure if everything is just as it was.
- Grease the wheels and check for safety locks before placing the baby in the stroller.
- Test the stroller completely before using it with a weight similar to the weight of your child.
It is also important to not overdo the cleaning. You cannot keep washing the fabric every week. A quick vacuuming periodically will help maintain it longer. Overdoing will not only damage it but you will have to stay without the stroller for that period. Do not use any disinfectants, sanitizers or alcohol-based cleaners on the stroller fabric as they will only breed super germs that you do not want around your little munchkin.