How Do I Keep My Wheelchair Clean and Hygienic?

Sep 16, 2018

Anonymous asks, quote:

I am new to using a chair full‐time and am wondering if you have any tips to keep it clean and hygienic.

end quote.

There’s really no good way to keep your chair clean while you’re using it. When you’re outside, the ground is touching your wheels and the wheels are touching your hands. But, there are ways to keep yourself clean while you are in the chair.

Wear Gloves

Generally speaking, city streets are pretty gross. Whatever touches your wheels also touches your hands, so it’s important that you wear a good pair of gloves. These will keep your hands clean while you’re using the chair.

Be Aware of What You’re Rolling Through

When you’re out and about, pay attention to what’s on the ground and what your chair is rolling through. Avoid anything that looks wet or sticky since that’s going to be picked up by your wheels.

Carry Hand Sanitizer

Keep a bottle of travel‐size hand sanitizer with you when you go out. Use it when you get to your destination, especially before eating. It’s not as thorough as washing your hands, but that’s not always an option.

Keep Your Hands and Wheels Dry

When your hands or wheels get wet, you’re more likely to transfer dirt from your wheels to the floor. Keep your hands and wheels dry so dirt stays trapped in your tires and doesn’t transfer to the floor.

Keep Your Seat Pad Clean

The dirtiest part of your wheelchair is going to be the seat cushion. After sitting, sweating, and—let’s be honest—farting into your chair cushion all day, it’s gonna get pretty gross. Depending on what kind of cushion you’re sitting on, they can be hard to clean. I recommend you take time each day to transfer out of your chair and spot‐clean any stains or spills. If your seat cushion gets too damaged or dirty, replace it.

Perform Regular Maintenance

At least once a month, take apart the front casters of your chair and remove any debris from the bearings. Also, check your tire pressure and inspect your chair for any signs of damage.