When you buy your new pushchair you might be poorer, but you have this new shiny thing to push your little one around every day. Everything works; the wheels run smoothly, the brakes come on easily, it folds nice and flat and it is lovely and clean. A few outings with rain showers, puddles, muddy paths, the beach, the park's sand pit and not to mention toddler snacks and it isn't so shiny and new any more.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your pushchair working as you hoped it would when you first bought it.
Storing your pushchair
Pushchairs are made of metal, plastic and cloth. Damp can cause rust and mechanisms to seize up and cloth to go mouldy. Severe temperature changes and strong light can cause plastic to become brittle, affect air tyre pressure and cloth to fade. So thinking about where you are going to store your pushchair is a good idea. For the most part it will be fine in a car boot or shed where it doesn't take up space, but if it isn't getting used for a while, you might want to store it in a loft space or somewhere dark and dry.
If your pushchair gets wet whilst you are out, it is better to dry it off before you put it away. Rather than fold it, leave it open somewhere where it can dry out in the air. This is better for the mechanisms and the fabrics.
Cleaning your pushchair
For everyday purposes, a regular wipe of the frame with a soft cloth and warm soapy water, and the fabrics with a damp cloth will suffice. All removable fabrics are machine washable. However, if wheels and mechanisms get clogged with mud or sand it is important to clean the mechanisms and crevices thoroughly. An old toothbrush and soap can be useful to get into difficult to reach places. Don't forget to allow your pushchair to dry thoroughly before you store it away.
Maintaining the working parts of your pushchair
Whilst it's nice to keep your pushchair looking shiny and clean, it's actually the mechanisms which need the most care and attention. Your pushchair will be useless to you if the wheels stop turning or the brakes fail. Along side keeping them clean (as mentioned above) they also need regular lubrication. A squirt from a dry silicon spray lubricant into moving parts every four to six weeks will protect them from rust and keep them from seizing up. Don't forget to pay attention to wheels, brakes, recline and folding mechanisms.
If you find a part becoming stiff then squirt some lubricant into it and work it in by moving the part repeatedly until it starts to move smoothly again. In the showroom we use GT 85 lubricant and cleaner that you can buy from any good bike shop and standard bike oil or washing up liquid.
Wheels and Tyres
If you have air tyres, check the manufactures instruction book to find the tyre pressure and make sure this is maintained for best performance. The correct pressure as well as the tyre size will also be written on the side of the tyre (useful if you want to buy spare inner tubes). Just like bikes you can also use products like Slime and Nutrak which seal your pushchair inner tubes from within and can help prevent you getting any punctures. Most pushchairs will still make it home with a flat tyre though.
So to sum up, like anything in life, if you look after your pushchair, it will last you and do what you need it to do.