In today’s world, you can’t be too careful when it comes to contamination and infectious disease. That’s why it makes good sense to clean your mobility aids- from grab bars to stairlifts- regularly. There are tips and tricks to make the job effective and efficient, though it is always prudent to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific aid that you are cleaning and disinfecting to be safe.
Do you use or rely upon mobility aids of any kind? Play it safe and make sure to disinfect; when bacteria and viruses lurk on the surfaces around the home, even your trusted mobility device is vulnerable. For example, infectious coronavirus can be debilitating even deadly for those with compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions. Don’t risk your wellbeing; disinfect your devices, aids, and implements periodically.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that consumers disinfect all high-traffic surfaces in the home from viral bacteria, like COVID-19. Some of these surfaces include your phone, doorknobs, light switches, and the handles to a wheelchair, if applicable. It is suggested that you wear disposable gloves when cleaning with household cleaning and disinfecting products, and then toss out the gloves when you are done. The key is to first remove germs by cleaning the surface thoroughly and follow up with disinfecting which means applying chemicals to the surface after. Always follow the directions on the label of your cleaning products and don’t mix chemicals that could result in toxic reactions.
Want a cheap disinfecting cleaning solvent that you likely have in your home? Combine five tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of regular tap water for a topical disinfectant that costs pennies per application.
Wheelchairs and Scooters
Cleaning a wheelchair thoroughly may be challenging as the primary user could have some mobility challenges that make getting the key areas difficult. Wheelchairs are prone to germs as they are regularly handled and touched widely. Make sure that you clean your own hands well before and after working on your wheelchair- as well as any time that you come in from being outdoors or away from the home.
You may find it interesting that COVID-19, Coronavirus, lives on hard surfaces for up to three days; use a solution of at least 70% alcohol to wipe down and disinfect the spots that are most handled, like the grips, arms, and wheels. Spray with the bleach solution mentioned above, but never use baby wipes or personal cleansing wipes to clean these surfaces.
Some spots to pay close attention to when cleaning a wheelchair or scooter include:
- Mouth controls
- Side guards
- Wheelchair Back
- Handles and grips
Beyond your wheelchair, other frequently touched equipment and medical supplies should also be disinfected. These include:
- Any supplies or devices that are in contact with your mouth
- Oxygen tanks
- Steering wheel and door handles on vehicles
- Transfer seats
Share this information with caregivers and loved ones that assist you or that regularly visit your home.
It is easy to overlook disinfecting a stairlift, but don’t. These surfaces get touched frequently by many people, besides the primary user, so it warrants special attention. Dust and wipe down the lift periodically; plus, regular cleaning extends the life of your lift. Be careful using wet solutions to the power lift, and always disconnect power before cleaning the device. A damp cloth should be ample for wiping down the seat and track, followed by a disinfecting solution of bleach and water.
When it comes to the rail of your lift, vacuuming is the most effective and easy way to rid it of the dust and debris that can accumulate and impact the performance of the aid.
Other Tips to Stay Safe
There are other surfaces and spots that merit attention and special cleaning to prevent illness or transmission of germs, such as Coronavirus. Some of these other tips include:
- Make a habit to carry and wear plastic disposable gloves any time you leave home. Invest in a box from a medical supply vendor or online.
- Avoid touching your face as much as possible when out and about.
- Never touch any metal surfaces when in a communal vehicle or public trans, if possible.
- Encourage caretakers to wash hands and use sanitizer.
- Always wash your hands before using sanitizer. Sanitizing with an alcohol-based product doesn’t clean the germs away, and the two habits need to go hand in hand. If you are not near a sink, then sanitizer is the next best thing until you are able to properly wash up.
- Wash and sanitize things like your car or house key fob regularly.
Use these tips to create a healthier environment with cleaner mobility aids and devices. Talk to the experts at Pacific Mobility to learn more about how mobility aids can improve your quality of life today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)