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Cleaning Your Power Wheelchair


After the COVID-19 pandemic, frequently cleaning and disinfecting your power wheelchair is essential for keeping yourself and your family safe and healthy.

Cleaning and sanitizing your power chair helps reduce the risk of infections and the spread of germs and bacteria. Person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 poses a much greater risk than transmission via surfaces. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it recommends cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces at least once a day, even if you’re not leaving the house. 

Below are some tips and information on keeping your power wheelchair clean and preventing the spread of germs and bacteria.

Power wheelchairs do carry bacteria and germs by picking it up at various places you visit while using your mobility equipment. A visit to a grocery store or using a public restroom allows bacteria to attach to your wheelchair. The germs and bacteria can remain on the wheelchair's surface and can quickly spread to the user. If your electric wheelchair is not cleaned and properly sanitized, the bacteria and germs can also spread to family members and caretakers who come in contact with your wheelchair.

Why you should keep your power wheelchair clean:

  • Helps reduce the spread of COVID-19, bacteria and germs spreading to other areas of the wheelchair
  • Removes dirt, foreign debris, and any harmful particles
  • Helps reduce the risk of the user or caretaker from coming into contact with any harmful bacteria
  • Keeps your equipment in top shape and helps identify equipment problems as they arise

Items You Will Need

  • Soap
  • Disinfectant spray (Lysol, Windex or 409)
  • Vinegar 
  • Dish soap or regular soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Wiping cloth
  • Paper towels

Instructions for Cleaning a Power Wheelchair

Before cleaning your power wheelchair, it’s important to read the manufacturer's owner's manual for any cleaning instructions. 

  1. Unplug and disconnect the power wheelchair from the power source
  2. Remove the battery from the power chair.
  3. Dust and blow off any dirt or debris from your power chair.
  4. Spray disinfectants such as Lysol, Windex, 409, vinegar or dish soap onto the power chair, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Do not spray electrical areas, wires, and any power cords. 
  5. After 10 minutes, wipe the power wheelchair with a cloth or a paper towel.
  6. Use a toothbrush to scrub the joystick controller or a microfiber cloth. Be careful not to wet and use too much cleaner near the electrical areas.
  7. Remove the seat cushion and vacuum the seat cushion thoroughly. For vinyl seat cushions, wash it with mild soap or dish detergent with warm water. For leather cushions, spray with a leather cleaner or vinegar solution with water onto the surface and wipe with a clean cloth or a paper towel. For fabric cushions, use a mix of hot water and dish soap to clean the surface. Use a rag or a cleaning brush to rub the solution into the seat to remove dirt and old stains.
  8. Spray the base and all of the wheelchair parts once more with the compressed air can or cleaning solution to remove any leftover dust, dirt, and debris.

With the above cleaning instructions and tips, you can keep your power wheelchair clean and sanitizes to avoid health risks. Best of all, with regularly cleaning your power wheelchair, you can keep your mobility equipment running in top shape, help maintain yourself and your family safe and healthy.