Can You Use Citric Acid for Cleaning Wheelchairs?

Now that we are marketing our citric-acid-based cleaning solutions on, we are being asked questions about them we had not expected.

For example, a purchaser recently asked if our cleaning solutions, sanitizers, and disinfectants can be used to clean wheelchairs.

One of our engineers answered the question, and the answer was a resounding yes.

But she added that we should know a few more things about cleaning and disinfecting wheelchairs, starting with this: if more than one person uses the wheelchair, it should not be sanitized. Instead, it should be disinfected.

Here’s the reasoning: while sanitizers are designed to reduce the number of pathogens on a surface to safe levels, when it comes to wheelchairs, most pathogens and microorganisms must be eliminated. It’s one of the many things we have learned from the pandemic to help stop the spread of bacteria, germs, and viruses.

Here are some additional suggestions we provided our Amazon customer:

•         Remember that cleaning and disinfecting are different. Clean first, then disinfect.

•         Store-bought disinfectant wipes are often used to clean wheelchairs. But remember, many contain alcohol that can cause skin irritations and rashes. This problem is intensified because someone using a wheelchair often uses it for a prolonged period of time.

•         When using a citric-acid-based disinfectant, let it remain wet on the surface for about ten minutes. If it dries before wiping, re-apply.

•         The most critical surfaces to disinfect on a wheelchair are the armrests, handles, frequently touched components, and surfaces caregiver’s touch.

•         Some wheelchairs now come with a joystick. To disinfect, apply the citric-acid-based disinfectant to the cleaning cloth first, then clean and wipe. Do not apply directly on the joystick. Any cleaning solution or liquid applied directly to the joystick can damage the device.

•         Avoid using bleach, solvents, synthetic detergents, or other cleaning solutions on wheelchairs. These chemicals can have a variety of negative consequences for the user.

We also suggested the following:

Frequency. The wheelchair should be cleaned and disinfected every day. However, if used by different people, it should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

The wheels. Often overlooked, the wheels on wheelchairs regularly encounter germs and bacteria as they are rolled over floors. This means cleaning and disinfecting the wheels should be performed as frequently as possible, if not daily. Do not overlook them. Both the front and rear wheels can become seriously contaminated.  These contaminants can spread as the wheelchair is used, not only to the user, but to other floor surfaces.

The cushion. Wheelchair cushions can accumulate and spread bacteria if not cleaned and disinfected regularly. If used by many people, they must be cleaned after every use. Most wheelchair cushions are made of vinyl, and because vinyl is non-porous, it means citric-acid-based disinfectants are safe and effective to use.

Odor issues. Some cleaning and disinfecting solutions used on wheelchairs cause odors and skin irritations and are made from non-renewable ingredients. LEXX brand citric-acid-based disinfectants are made from 100 percent FDA-approved food ingredients. Effectively use, they do not leave odors or cause skin irritations or harm the wheelchair user or the environment.

The why. It is estimated that more than 100 million people around the world use wheelchairs. For most of these people, wheelchairs provide not only mobility but independence. They allow people to participate in everyday activities, from working and going to school to socializing.

Using citric acid-based cleaners and disinfectants keeps the user not only physically healthy but emotionally healthy as well. When used on wheelchairs, citric-acid-based disinfectants allow users to participate in virtually all social activities.

Pronatural Brands cleaning, sanitizing & disinfecting products are made from 100% naturally derived, FDA approved food additive ingredients. They are just as powerful as leading chemical-based solutions – just safer.  For more information, contact us here.


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