How to Get Mold Out of Fabric in Strollers: Maintenance 101

Jess Vega
By Jess Vega / January 31, 2020
how to get mold out of fabric in stroller
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As a parent, you want the best for your baby, which means that everything needs to be sanitary and clean.

If you’re doing a routine inspection on your baby’s stroller and find molds, you may immediately worry about their safety and health while cringing.

It is essential to learn how to get mold out of fabric in strollers, as this ensures that you can protect your child and continue using this expensive piece of equipment.

What Is Mold?

The first thing we need to do is find out what mold is and why it is dangerous.

Mold is a fungus found almost everywhere, and there are many varieties, including white, black, green, orange, and purple.

The fungus is important because it can break down dead plants, trees, and leaves.

Everyone is exposed to mold each day, including your children, and in small amounts, it is usually harmless.

However, if it starts growing or spreading, the spores can get released into the air.

Some people do have a mold sensitivity, which can cause health problems if they breathe in the mold spores.

Babies tend to have weaker immune systems and lungs, so it is best to check the fabrics of your stroller often to ensure that they are clean and mold-free.

Why There Might Be Mold on the Stroller

Though many parents use their strollers every day, there may be times when you need to store it.

Your baby might have outgrown it, but now you have another baby.

Sometimes, you may only need it during the summer months when you’re outside and active more often.

In those cases, you are likely to put it somewhere out of the way such as the basement and a closet.

If the area is damp and dark, mold is likely to form, but you may still use the stroller frequently and notice mold forming.

That can happen when your baby spills formula or moist food, and it isn’t cleaned up quickly and thoroughly.

Luckily, mold is often easy to clean, and there are many methods you can try to remove it.

Most of them do not require the use of harsh chemicals, so it is pet- and child-friendly.

How to Get Mold Out of Fabric in Strollers

The first step is to remove the stroller from the damp, moist location; just carefully take it out of the house and into the sunlight.

  • Brush

Now, you can safely brush away any mold growth you find by using a toothbrush.

You can use a new one, but make sure that you throw it away after you’re finished with it.

That way, you don’t risk brushing your teeth with a molded toothbrush.

While doing that, make sure that you don’t inhale any spores.

You may want to wear protective gloves and a face mask to be safe.

It’s also ideal to ensure that no one is around you while you work, ensuring that they don’t inhale anything, either.

  • Soap and Water

Now, you should scrub down the entire piece of fabric with soap and water.

It is ideal to do this outside so that any missed mold growth doesn’t end up in your house.

  1. Use a bucket and fill it with soapy water.
  2. Make sure that you rinse the fabric thoroughly; you can use a hose or have a bucket of clean water nearby.
  3. Leave your stroller in the hot sun for many hours to let it air dry.

Alternatively, you can remove the fabric from the stroller if possible.

  1. Carefully take it inside and launder it, according to the label.
  2. If there is no label, use the hottest water that your washing machine offers because hot water kills mold better than cold water, and it can also remove the allergens and spores, as well.
  3. Once you’ve laundered the item by itself, let it air dry.
  4. You may also want to run bleach through the washing machine to sanitize it before washing other clothes, just in case.
  • Lemon Juice

If you’ve followed the instructions above, the mold might be all gone; however, there may be a few significantly stained spots.

When that happens, you can try lemon juice on the area.

  1. Dampen the entire mold-stained area with lemon juice and then sprinkle salt on top of it.
  2. Leave it in the sunlight to dry completely.
  3. Once done, rinse it out well using your garden hose or a bucket of clean water.

Just be careful because if the stroller fabric is a dark or bright color, the lemon juice could fade it.

Consider testing a small, inconspicuous spot first to make sure it isn’t going to do any damage.

Lemon juice works because of its high acid concentration; it can break down the mold, which removes it from the surface.

  • Vinegar

By now, your stroller fabric should be clean and might be mold-free, but if you still have large mold stains or you didn’t try the other methods, consider vinegar.

Make sure to use two parts of water and three parts of distilled white vinegar.

  1. Put it all in a spray bottle and wet down the entire area of mold.
  2. Let the mixture sit on the fabric for a full hour in the hot sunlight.
  3. Then, rinse it thoroughly using the garden hose.
  4. You may find that vinegar has a pungent smell, but leaving it out in the sun for a few hours should help the strong scent dissipate.
  5. If the mold isn’t gone yet, you can continue working through the methods, as long as the smell doesn’t bother you.
  • Bleach

When all else fails, bleach might be your only alternative, but keep in mind that bleach is very strong.

It could damage colored items, so be very careful where you apply it.

If your stroller fabric is a bright or dark color, you may want to try color-safe bleach, but it might not be strong enough to remove the mold.

It might be best to go ahead and use the bleach, ruining the colors.

That way, at least, your stroller is going to be safe and mold-free.

  1. To use this method (and cautiously), mix one quart of water with two tablespoons of bleach.
  2. Add it to a clean and labeled spray bottle.
  3. Spray the bleach mixture onto the area of mold.
  4. Scrub it well to ensure that the bleach solution gets into the fibers.
  5. Then, rinse the area with clean water, such as from your garden hose.

Check Other Areas

Yes, the fabric is one of the most important areas because it is where your baby sits, but you should also check the foam and plastic parts of your baby stroller, too.

Keep in mind that mold can hide inside cracks and beneath straps.

  1. Lift everything that can be lifted, look underneath things, and investigate all cracks with a flashlight.
  2. If you see mold growth or evidence of such, you must disinfect it and remove the mold.
  3. Foam can often be put in a hot soapy water solution and washed.
  4. Make sure to follow the directions from the manufacturer.
  5. Then, you can rinse it and let it air dry in the sun.
  6. You can disinfect plastic and foam with vinegar or bleach, using the solution ratios above; this should work to kill most of the molds you’re likely to encounter.
how to get mold out of fabric in stroller

What if You Can’t Remove the Fabric?

Most manufacturers know that cleanliness and sanitation are essential with a baby; therefore, they make strollers with detachable fabric inlays.

Still, you may have an older stroller or one from a manufacturer that didn’t think things through properly.

If that happens, you can still clean the mold out of the fabric.

It is going to take a little more time, but consider using all of the steps listed above.

You may have to apply the cleaning solutions with a washcloth or Q-tip.

It is also essential that you let the fabric dry out completely, which could take a bit longer.

Still, you may worry about the underside of the fabric being contaminated with mold, so if it is possible, raise the material from the seat as much as you can and inspect it with a flashlight.

You may want to get rid of that stroller and buy a new one since you can’t be sure the mold is eradicated from underneath, it could be dangerous to your baby’s health. Consider the tips for preventing molds below so that you don’t have to throw any other strollers away.

How to Prevent Mold from Returning

Now that you have a sanitary, clean stroller again, you want to ensure that you don’t have to go through the process anymore.

It is best to prevent mold from growing on the stroller and its fabric by doing the following:

  • Make sure you wipe down the stroller frequently and consider doing it after every use.
  • If you plan to store the stroller, check it once a week and wipe it down, letting it air dry in the sun.
  • When your baby spills food or formula, clean it up immediately; just keep baby-safe wipes with you in the car, ensuring that you can tackle the mess even if you’re on the go.

You must watch for the regrowth of mold, as well.

You already know that your stroller is susceptible to it.

In some cases, your treatment plan isn’t successful, and you may have to repeat the process.

Extra Helpful Tips

This is likely a stressful time for you, especially since it’s not every day that you see mold growing on something that your baby sits in, plays on, and possibly chews on.

Therefore, make sure that you take your time and follow all of the steps.

In all honesty, it might take a few days to eradicate the mold completely, so make sure you have a few sunny days in the forecast.

That way, you won’t have to do it inside and risk spreading the mold spores.

It’s a good idea to check every inch of the stroller when searching for mold or mold regrowth.

That is is a lengthy process, but if you don’t get it all the first time, it is going to come back.

Therefore, check the seams of the fabric, straps, and any other "hidden" areas.

Disinfecting the Stroller

Yes, we did talk about this earlier, and you can use bleach or vinegar to do the job, but still, some people don’t believe something is sanitized or clean unless chemicals are used.

If you’re one of those people, don’t worry!

You can use commercial sprays to disinfect your baby’s stroller.

Products like Lysol are well-known for killing a variety of germs, but you need to make sure that it can kill mold.

Also, it is important to follow all of the directions for use. Many of these products are designed to be sprayed on and allowed to dry, and then you wipe it down with a clean, wet cloth to remove any residue.

It is best to look for products designed for use around babies.

They are available, but most people prefer to make all-natural cleaning and sanitizing solutions.

That allows you to control what is put on the items your baby uses and gives you peace of mind.

Conclusion

Most parents worry about their babies every second of the day.

If you’ve noticed mold growing on a stored or frequently used stroller, it is time to take action!

It is important to protect your baby from mold because, while it is unlikely to cause significant problems, your baby’s lungs and their immune system might not be strong enough to handle it.

We talked about how to get mold out of fabric in strollers, and you've seen that the process is lengthy.

That said, it is well worth it to protect your infant and your investment.

Strollers are expensive, so consider the tips and steps listed here to get rid of it efficiently.

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