stroller maintenance

Stroller Maintenance & Cleaning Tips

Despite the fact we live in a throwaway society, there are many of us who still try to maintain and keep what we have, and that includes your baby stroller.  If you look after it, one can easily get your child through till they are no longer in need, and may even work for a second or third child.  And while strollers can be found at great deals, I think it’s still a great idea to take the time to properly maintain the one you have now.

Having said that, keeping your baby stroller in optimal condition may be a little bit harder than you think.  You do have the option of taking your stroller to so-called “stroller spas,” which are sort of like the garage for your stroller, or learning how to do the maintenance work yourself.  Which is where we come in.  There are a number of things that you can do to ensure that your stroller remains in working order, and we’ll detail them for you here.

Before we do that however, I’d like to make a recommendation.  Before you get to the point of having a stroller that you need to maintain, you need to buy a stroller.  And we’ve gone to a lot of work here in order to help you make a wise choice.  I understand that everybody has different budgetary constraints, but don’t just go out and buy a cheap stroller, assuming that’s the better bargain.  Because when it falls apart, you’re going to have to buy another stroller.  If you have a solid foundation to work with, meaning a well built, sturdy stroller, you will end up further ahead.  Of course, if you can find a cheap stroller that is also sturdy and well built, you truly have yourself a deal.  Just make sure that whatever you choose is well constructed, and that all parts are fully compliant, and meet the highest safety standards.

The flipside of buying a cheap stroller, is buying an expensive one with all kinds of fancy features and options.  If those features and options don’t work as they should, they are just pointless.  So before purchasing, do a test run to make sure that all the add-ons, truly add on to the usability of your baby stroller.

Even if you buy a stroller that has been built to meet the highest standards for reliability and safety, you still need to take the time to properly maintain each part of it.  This will ensure that you are able to keep the stroller in good working condition for as long as possible.

So with that in mind, let’s talk about the basic components of each stroller, and what type of care and maintenance each of these components requires.  There are four components, and they are the frame, the wheels, the tires, and the fabric.

The Frame

While most modern strollers are now manufactured with aluminum alloy frames, you will find that some of them still have metal parts — and those parts can rust.   So if you live near the ocean, or if you push the stroller along winter sidewalks that have been treated with salt, make sure the frame is wiped down with clean tap water as soon as possible to avoid corrosion.  Once you’ve done so, use a cloth and dry off the frame immediately.  You can also clean the frame using a mild detergent, but make sure it is nonabrasive.  Again, dry immediately.

The Wheels

It’s quite likely that the wheels, spokes, and axles are also made of metal.  So the above directions for the frame will also apply here.  You may also want to use some sort of rust inhibitor as well.

Every few months, make sure you lubricate the axles.  It’s probably better to select a silicone-based lubricant instead of an oil-based type, since the oil-based products have a greater tendency to grind down the axles.

The Tires

If you’ve ever had to care for a car or a bicycle, you know that tires need to be maintained and/or replaced.  So you need to keep an eye on your stroller tires as well, as they can wear out or get punctured.  If you have the above mentioned bicycle, you may already own a bicycle kit, which you can also use on your strollers tires.  Some strollers also come with a tire pump and patches.

The Fabric

Obviously, baby strollers don’t come with some sort of delicate fabric — they have durable fabric.  Fabric that will hold up to not only to the abuse that your child might give it, but also things like exposure to rain and direct sunlight.  Having said that, the fabric is not going to be indestructible.  Make sure you pay attention to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, including what kind of detergents to use or not use.  Some covers may be hand washable only, while others may be machine washable.  Make sure your stroller is completely dry before folding and storing it.  In between washings, lightly brushing or wiping off spots and stains is a good idea.  When storing your stroller, don’t store it somewhere in direct sunlight, as this will cause the fabric to fade.

These are just a few basic guidelines, and for any cleaning needs specific to your stroller, make sure you refer to the manufacturer’s owner’s or care guide.  As with anything, if you take care of it, it should last a long time.