A jogging stroller is a must-have piece of gear for every dedicated runner who is also a new parent.
Of course, if you are a dedicated runner and are out there pushing the stroller through miles every day, it is going to get dirty. Keeping your stroller in tip-top shape will both make it last longer and perform better.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to keep a jogging stroller clean!
It’s not an intensive process, but it will require some time. So, every couple of months set aside a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday to clean your jogging stroller. Believe me. The payoff is worth it!
Why Should I Keep My Jogging Stroller Clean?
As a mom or dad, you already have a lot on your plate, and keeping a stroller clean probably isn’t high on your priority list.
But it should be. There are two ways your stroller needs to be clean: clean from all the grime and dirt it picks up from sidewalks and trails, and clean from all the accumulated mess babies and small children leave behind. While you’re enjoying your easy 5-miler, your kid might be wiping half-chewed crackers on the stroller’s inner workings or amusing themselves by shaking their sippy cup upside down and watching it drip. Leaving that uncleaned is a no-no. Strollers can carry a lot of germs, and babies and kids have lower immunity. To keep your kids as healthy as possible, keep your stroller as clean as possible.
Taking good care of your stroller will also help prolong the life of your stroller and make it easier to use. If you want to be able to use it for several years, you need to baby it a little bit by keeping moving parts clean.
Finally, it will just make the stroller look good, and that always feels good. This can also help if you plan to sell it at some point. You’ll get a much higher price for a clean, well-maintained stroller than one that hasn’t been taken care of as much.
How Often Should I Clean My Jogging Stroller?
Do a deep clean of your stroller at least once every 1-2 months. This means that tops you’ll have to clean your stroller 12 times a year or a minimum of 6 times a year. That’s pretty manageable.
In addition, you’ll want to do smaller tasks like brushing the dirt off the wheels, removing crumbs from the fabric, and so forth at least once a week. You could also make it easier on yourself and remove dirt and crumbs whenever they occur so it definitely gets done.
What Items Do I Need to Clean It?
You’ll need a variety of items to clean your jogging stroller.
First, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner to get all the dirt and crumbs. A microfiber soft cloth, soft toothbrush, or soft fabric brush also helps if you’re planning to wash the fabric by hand.
Next, you’ll need some warm water, baby-safe soap (or baking soda if you prefer that as a cleaning agent), dishwashing soap, and disinfecting baby-safe wipes, which you’ll also use for cleaning the fabric.
Finally, it’s helpful to have a sponge with a scourer and WD-40 or other solvent recommended by the manufacturer for cleaning the frame. Don’t confuse WD-40 for a lubricant; it’s not. If you need to lubricate the wheels or the folding mechanisms, check the owner’s manual for recommended products. Most wax-based or silicone lubricants will be fine. Avoid oil-based compounds, as they can cause rubber components to break down. Avoid using products with chlorine in them as well.
What Should I Do First?
The first step is not to start cleaning actually. You need to start with the basics and read the owner’s manual. Doing this first will ensure that you don’t do anything while cleaning that will damage the stroller.
So get out those manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your stroller to see what things you need to do. In some cases, you can remove the fabric and place it in the washing machine, but for other strollers, you’ll need to clean the fabric without removing it from the frame.
Also, as a word to the wise, make sure that you empty the stroller before you start cleaning.
Check for any remnants of food, especially before you throw the fabric in the washer. It’s better to deal with dry crumbs than with ones that have gotten wet!
How Do I Handle the Specific Components of the Stroller?
Be methodical in your cleaning so that you don’t miss any spots. The process that we list below will help you get from start to finish in a smooth fashion!
First, you need to take the stroller outside. Make sure that you don’t breathe in anything bad like spores. You’ll want to address any mold issues first. It’s most common for mold to appear when it’s hot and damp outside.
Simply brush off any mold. If it’s not been there for a while, you should be able to do that. However, if there is still remaining mold, you can use lemon juice and sprinkle it with salt to remove it.
Another option is to use a spray bottle filled with two parts water to three parts white vinegar. If there’s still mold after these two options, just use soapy water to wash it off and a paper towel or a rag that you don’t mind throwing away.
Move to the Fabric
Once you’ve removed any mold, next direct your attention to the fabric. Begin by vacuum cleaning any loose crumbs and debris. Ideally, this shouldn’t take too much time if you’ve been regularly cleaning the fabric once a week.
Next, you’ll want to clean the fabric. Check your manufacturer’s instructions to see how the fabric on your particular jogging stroller needs to be cleaned. But no matter which way you clean the fabric, it’s ideal to dry it outside in the sun to help kill germs and bacteria.
Fabric by Hand
If you need to clean by hand, start first with some soapy water and gently clean the fabric that way. If there are still marks that won’t leave, use a soft toothbrush or fabric brush to remove them.
If you have excess soap on the fabric, simply remove it by gently wiping it over. As a finishing touch, use a disinfectant wipe that is safe for infants and children to leave your jogging stroller germ-free.
Repeat the same process for the canopy, hood, or sunshade: soapy water first, soft brush, and disinfectant wipe for the end.
Fabric by Machine
It will be slightly easier if you’re able to wash the fabric in a washing machine as this will save you some time. If they are detachable and the manufacturer’s instructions permit you, machine wash the seat and canopy, always using the gentle cycle.
Clean the Frame
Once you’ve taken care of the fabric, you can clean the frame. Use a sponge and warm water mixed with dishwashing soap to wipe the frame and remove any dirt or marks. If there is any soapy residue, you can use a cloth to wipe it away.
Finally, as with the fabric, use a disinfectant wipe at the end to keep everything germ-free. Just make sure that you dry the frame or leave it out in the sun to dry before storing the stroller again.
Clean the Wheels and Brakes
While this might seem a little extra, also make sure that you clean the wheels and brakes. You can get debris like stones or even bits of glass in the wheels and/or around the brake area, so check them regularly.
If possible, remove the wheels from the stroller. This will make them easier to clean. Start by using a brush to remove any debris, dirt, sand, etc. from the wheels and the rims. Also, do so with the brakes.
If there are still remnants of dirt or sand, use warm water to remove that hard-to-get debris. If the sand isn’t coming out, something like baby powder might work. If there is any excess soap, rinse it off.
It’s definitely less necessary than the fabric and the frame, but you can always use a disinfectant wipe on the wheels and brakes if desired to make it extra clean.
Finally, if you’re dealing with squeaky wheels or sticky brakes, use a manufacturer-recommended lubricant. Believe me. It’s a miracle worker. You’ll feel so much better when your stroller stops making that annoying squeaking noise and runs smoothly! You might even be more likely to go out for runs.
Make It Smell Good
As a final touch, you can always make the stroller smell good and not like you just cleaned it. You can try mixing several drops of essential oil with one cup of water. Just spray it all over and your stroller should smell nice and fresh!
Although cleaning your jogging stroller means that you have an extra task once every month or two, it’s well worth it because you’re keeping it in good condition. Not only that, but you’re also helping to keep your kids healthy.
If possible, consider rotating who gets to clean the stroller if you live with a significant other/spouse, especially if he or she also runs as well. Then you both can enjoy the benefit of running with a clean stroller and only have to do the actual cleaning 3-6 times a year!