Taking care of any equipment or device may lengthen its lifetime and maintain an excellent working capability. The same thing goes for a wheelchair. You can use a wheelchair for a long time by cleaning, caring, and checking its components on a regular basis. Wipe down your wheelchair with a damp cloth as the first step. Wipe down the wheelchair on a weekly basis to remove the dirt and grime. It will result in better performance and more efficient brake system.
Using a multipurpose cleaner such as Pro 44 Concentrated Biological Multi-Purpose Cleaner can help you remove the tougher spots and sticky marks. This cleaner can be applied on hard surfaces, carpets, soft furnishings, and fabrics. Biological cleaning has several benefits than the artificial ones. The microbes present in the cleaner continuously degenerates the living matters after removing the initial soiling. The degeneration process does not stop until the overall cleaning process is complete. It takes long time to finish the process.
Wipe down your wheelchair on a regular basis so that dirt or mud cannot build-up on its surface. However, regularity of cleaning depends on how frequently you use it. If you are not a regular user, clean the wheelchair every couple of days or once a week. Cleaning the wheelchair will make it operate efficiently and prevent the dirt build-ups. It is also good for the break and other components as well. So, let us find out the effective ways to clean you wheelchair!
Cleaning Wheelchair Wheels
If you use the wheelchair outdoors, the wheels will attract a huge amount of dirt and mud and get dirty almost every time you take it outside. The wheels get dirty even when the chair is used indoors only! In this case, you can use bicycle tire cleaner on your wheelchair tires.
Some people use two individual wheelchairs, one for outdoor and another for indoor use. It is an effective way to keep the indoor flooring clean. However, not everyone can afford two wheelchairs. In that case, use wheel covers so that the dirt picked up from outside cannot transfer indoors.
The wheels need to wipe down every time you get back home from outdoors. Use good brand cleansers for this purpose to avoid any dirt mark on the indoor flooring. If you keep the wheels clean, your hands will not get dirty while pushing it forward or backward.
Cleaning the Wheelchair Cushion
The wheelchair cushion also gets dirty and leaves bad odor if it is not washed regularly. The smell may come from the user’s adult diaper or problems related to incontinence. Sweating or spills also cause stinks. Therefore, cleaning the wheelchair cushion is necessary because the waterproof ones also absorb moisture or liquids, which result in bad odors.
The most suitable time to clean the wheelchair cushion is the night. It is the time when the user leaves the wheelchair and go to bed for a long time. Therefore, you will get enough time to clean the cushion and unfurl it to dry out. Use baking soda or vinegar as the cleanser. Pet accident cleaners also work well on cushions. Do not use the bleach for the cleaning purpose because it degrades the strength of cushion material and leaves bleach stains.
Spills on Wheelchairs
You can easily wipe off most of the spills on wheelchairs and remove the stains. For example, milk leaves bad odors if not cleaned up quickly. So, it is better to wash the cushion before it absorbs the liquid and starts to stink. To avoid spills on wheelchairs, push it under the table at the time of eating.
Use bibs or clothes protectors to drape over the wheelchair. Using towels or plastics is also a good idea to cover the exposed wheelchair parts.
Wheelchair Brakes and Locks
Wipe down the wheels with damp clothes and keep them clean. It will result in the better performance of chair brakes and locks. Clean wheels ensure more effective working order.
Bonus Maintenance Tips
When a car or any other vehicles go through regular maintenance and caring, they last longer than those kept unattended do. It also reduces repair cost. Here, we have enlisted some maintenance tips that will enhance the performance and reliability of your wheelchair many folds.
- Check your wheelchair for any loose nuts or bolts at least once in a month.
- Check the removable parts of your wheelchair on a regular basis. If the wheelchair contains removable leg rests, footrests, armrests, and backrests, make sure you can remove them smoothly. Also, check if the reclining backs or tilt mechanisms are working correctly or not.
- Check the axles, wheels, casters, and tires of the wheelchair carefully. If you find any accumulation of hair, string or other items in the wheel axle or caster bearing hampering the rotation of the wheels, remove them using a sharp tool or pick. Make sure the tire pressure and tread are sufficient.
- Check the wheelchair frame to see if there is any crack or break in the metal. Areas such as the cross-brace of a folding wheelchair or the caster housing withstand more stress than other parts. So, check them first and report to your wheelchair dealer if the frame needs to repair.
- Check the locks of your wheelchair. You do not have to put excessive pressure to engage or release the locks if they are in a good condition. Make sure they do not rub against the tire.
- Make sure the folding wheelchair opens and folds quickly and does not make any disturbing sound. Folding chairs require lubrication at least once a year. More lubrication is necessary for higher humidity.
- Check the ball bearings and lubricate them if necessary. The manual wheelchairs contain sealed bearings or wipers to protect them from water or dirt. Try to hire a trainer specialist to take proper care of the ball bearings.
- Check if the wheels are aligned properly at least once in a month. If your wheelchair tries to change its direction at the time of coasting, there is a huge chance that the wheels are out of alignment. Repair the wheels in case they are damaged and adjust their alignment.
- Try to clean, inspect and fix the damaged parts of your wheelchair on a regular basis and make sure the seating system is functioning well.
You can do most of the maintenance works at home. Some special parts or components require specialists for servicing. Do whatever is necessary to keep the wheelchair in a good working condition. Maintenance of your wheelchair will depend on some