Enjoy 10% Discount For Pension Card Holders!!  **Shop Now**

How to Clean A Wheelchair In A Hospital

Wheelchair In A Hospital

In a hospital setting, cleanliness and hygiene are crucial to ensure patients’ and healthcare professionals’ safety and well-being. Cleaning and disinfection of medical equipment other than hospital areas is also essential for maintaining cleanliness. 

Patients with limited mobility use wheelchairs and are more susceptible to contamination and the spread of infections. So cleaning a wheelchair not only helps in its longevity but also following the disinfection process after cleaning contributes to avoiding the transmission of viruses and bacteria. 

Let’s learn the best practices for cleaning a wheelchair in a hospital, ensuring a safe and sanitized environment for everyone.

Why Cleaning Wheelchairs Is Important

Wheelchairs are an essential tool for patients dealing with mobility issues. They provide them with independence and mobility. However, due to its constant use and exposure to various environments, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens

Regular cleaning and disinfection of wheelchairs are crucial to prevent the spread of infections within the hospital premises. This process significantly helps control the spread of viral germs and promotes the safety of patients. 

Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfection

First, it is important to have a difference between the cleaning and disinfection processes before getting into the step-by-step guide for cleaning wheelchairs in a hospital. Because most of us consider them the same and apply the same approach. But they are not the same. 

Cleaning involves the removal of dirt and germs and avoiding the breeding of these pathogens. The cleaning process can not thoroughly eliminate the microorganisms. While disinfecting process helps us to kill and eliminate these germs from the surface of the wheelchair. 

Following the cleaning and disinfection processes you can easily control the growth and breeding of germs but also avoid the spread of these microorganisms. 

Cleaning can done with the help of detergent or soap solution but for disinfection, you need a special sanitizer. Bactericidal and virucidal products are available in the market that chemicals effective for killing the germs. 

I strictly suggest you read the wheelchair manual before applying any cleaning and disinfection solution to avoid damaging the wheelchair. Follow the manufacturer’s guide to learn what solvent is favorable for what part of the wheelchair.

The Wheelchair Cleaning Process: Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning a wheelchair in a hospital requires a systematic approach to ensure thorough disinfection. Here is a step-by-step guide to cleaning a wheelchair effectively:

1. Gather the Necessary Supplies

The cleaning process becomes smoother and easier if you have already all the necessary supplies at hand. So, here are a few important supplies that you must need while starting the process;

  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable wipes or cleaning cloths
  • Mild detergent or soap solution
  • Disinfectant solution
  • Spray bottle
  • Brush or sponge
  • Paper towels or disposable absorbent materials
  • Trash bags for disposal of contaminated materials

2. Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Then you must have already prepared cleaning solutions. You can make a solution by diluting the detergent or mild soap water solutions but make sure you do it following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Further, your solution must be effective against the broad spectrum of pathogens and must be safe to use on the surface of a wheelchair. You can damage the wheelchairs by using harsh solvents like bleach, wax, and solvents. 

3. Put on Disposable Gloves

Your safety is most important while cleaning the wheelchair. So, put on a pair of disposable gloves to protect yourself from exposure and contamination. Remove and dispose of these gloves after cleaning important for preventing the spread of infection. 

4. Remove Loose Debris and Contaminants

Now start the cleaning process by first removing the loose debris and contaminants such as dirt, dust, or food particles. You can use a brush or sponge to get rid of these substances. Further, the brush can help you to clean hard-to-reach areas to wipe them thoroughly. 

5. Clean the Frame and Surfaces

Next, you need to bring your cleaning solution near the wheelchair and start cleaning the frame and surface of the wheelchair. You should give more attention to high-touch areas such as armrests, handrails, and footrests because these are most dirtiest and contaminated.

Use a cloth or disposable wipe to soak in the cleaning solution and gently wipe these surfaces. Don’t forget to reach to crevices and hard-to-reach areas throughout the cleaning process. 

6. Disinfect the Wheelchair

After thoroughly cleaning the wheelchair, now it’s time to kill the germs. But before applying the disinfectant dry the wheelchair for its effectiveness. 

Use a disinfectant solution recommended by the manufacturer, follow the instructions, and apply it to all surfaces. Make sure you are using it on the frame, seat, armrests, joystick, and footrests because these surfaces are most contaminated as they are the most exposed areas of wheelchairs. 

Keep the disinfectant for 15 minutes before cleaning it again or follow the recommended contact time for effectiveness. 

7. Wipe Down and Dry

Use an aseptic cloth or disposable wipe and thoroughly wipe down the wheelchair to remove any excess cleaning or disinfectant solution. This step helps prevent residue buildup and ensures the wheelchair is safe and comfortable for the next user. Additionally, allow the wheelchair to dry completely before it is used again.

8. Dispose of Contaminated Materials Properly

Lastly, you will dispose of all the cleaning materials, gloves, and other disposable items. Use hospital trash bags to prevent the transmission of the virus. Follow the hospital’s waste management protocols to ensure proper disposal of contaminated materials.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. How often should wheelchairs be cleaned in a hospital?

You should clean your wheelchair once a day. But for a thorough cleaning process, you can follow a 15-day or monthly routine.

Deep cleaning will involve cleaning and disinfection of wheelchairs for their maintenance and the safety of patients. Further, the cleaning process can be frequent if the wheelchair person is dealing with a viral disease for keeping hygiene. 

Q2. Can I use bleach to disinfect a wheelchair?

While bleach is an effective disinfectant, it may cause discoloration or damage to certain wheelchair materials. I will never recommend using bleach, abrasives, solvents, and wax enamels without proper guidance and manufacturer’s instructions.

I will suggest you use a disinfectant solution specifically formulated for healthcare settings and approved for use on medical equipment.

Q3. What are the potential risks of inadequate wheelchair cleaning?

Inadequate wheelchair cleaning can lead to the accumulation of harmful pathogens, increasing the risk of infections.

Patients using contaminated wheelchairs may be at a higher risk of contracting infections, and the pathogens can also spread to other surfaces and individuals within the hospital.


Knowing how to clean a wheelchair in a hospital and disinfect it to prevent viral disease transmission plays a vital role in maintaining a safe and hygienic environment. It is not only helpful for patients but also necessary for the health of professionals and attendees. 

Follow the step-by-step guide outlined in this article to learn the cleaning and sanitization process of wheelchairs. Having cleaning education in healthcare facilities is essential and helpful for a more safe and secure environment.