How To Clean And Sanitize Wheelchairs. The importance of cleaning and sanitizing your wheelchair is about more than just appearance. If left unattended, your wheelchair can quickly gather dirt and grime. Not only will this start to damage the components of the chair. It can also rapidly become a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Which is dangerous for the elderly utilizing it.
In the article, we will give you all the tips you need to ensure your wheels remain in tip-top condition. Most importantly, the guidance will help keep you and those around you safe. If followed correctly, it will also help limit the need for repairs.
At the outset, we must determine the difference between what we mean by cleaning versus sanitizing. Both are essential but have important differences to be aware of. Cleaning is the process by which surface dirt and germs are removed.
While the surface may look clean and sparkling, this process alone cannot remove infectious viruses. To ensure the wheelchair is virus-free, it is key that the chair is also sanitized to kill harmful bacteria.
To a degree, the answer to this question will depend on how often your chair is in use. However, if you use them daily, it is suggested to clean the frame after each use.
If you take the chair into public places and come into contact with other people, you should always sanitize the surfaces. When taking the wheelchair off-road or picking up noticeable dirt and grime, the chair should also be washed down.
Remember to always use a sanitizer with an alcohol solution of 70% or more. Once applied, the sanitizer must stay on the surface for at least 15 minutes to ensure all bacteria are eradicated.
The most important point to draw your attention to is to always check the manual. While in this article we will provide you with the key guidance for an optimal routine, each wheelchair is slightly different.
You will need to familiarize yourself with how to dismantle the chair and how to care for delicate areas such as the controls. As a rule, it is important to never apply any harsh chemicals or bleaches when cleaning your chair that could damage it or become harmful to yourself.
The first step is to give your wheelchair a thorough cleaning using warm water and soap. This is to ensure you remove all the surface dirt. Once complete, you should then rinse down your chair using clean water and a fresh cloth. Following this, it is important to then dry your wheelchair thoroughly with another clean cloth.
It is key that your wheelchair is completely dry before moving on to sanitize it. Sanitization is the final step of the process. When choosing a sanitizer, make sure it is labeled as bactericidal and viricidal and that it contains the crucial 70% alcohol solution. The disinfectant solution should be applied all over the frame and left to dry for approximately 15 minutes.
As well as following the basic process outlined above, it’s important to draw your attention to some of the key parts of the wheelchair. These should be given particular attention. This is due to their likelihood of being exposed to dirt and bacteria.
Given that the wheels of your chair are in close contact with the ground, it is unsurprising that these are going to quickly get dirty once taken outside. It is recommended to clean the wheels after every use. This is even more important if you propel your wheelchair with your hands.
If you regularly come into contact with the wheels, the chances of transferring bacteria and developing a potential infection are increased. On certain models, you will be able to remove the wheels. If this is possible, it allows for much deeper and more thorough cleaning.
Due to the regularity with which a user or support aid touches them, the handles are one of the most common areas where an infection can be transmitted.
In this instance, as well as regular cleaning, it is important to regularly sanitize. We would encourage you to always carry some sanitizing wipes. This will allow you to reduce your risk of infection when you are out for extended periods. For greater precaution, the handles should be sanitized between different people touching them.
Although likely to be touched primarily by the user, the armrests are another area that will come into regular physical contact. It is recommended that you sanitize this area daily.
While only applicable to electric wheelchairs, this component is similar to the hand wheels on a manual chair. It is an item that will come into constant contact with hands, making it a common breeding ground for viruses. Keeping the area well-sanitized is a must to ensure a germ-free wheelchair.
Lastly, we turn our focus to the cushions. Given the regularity with which these are in contact with our bodies, they are quick to build up dirt and potentially harmful bacteria. Very often, the cushions and lining can be removed. If this is the case, you will be able to gently hand wash the items for a deeper clean.
How To Clean And Sanitize Wheelchairs As you can see, cleaning and caring for your wheelchair doesn’t have to be complicated, but it is important.
Not only will this level of care ensure your wheelchair has a longer lifespan, but it will also ensure it is always kept hygienic. Build this routine into your lifestyle, and you will be able to travel with peace of mind. Knowing that your wheelchair is both safe for you and those around you.