Wheelchair wheels

Hello all, especially fellow wheelers,

I’d really like to know how everyone keeps their inside/outside (ie. multipurpose) wheelchair wheels clean? Especially in the Winter.

Every time I leave the house I have to clean the wheels when I get home to avoid tracking dirt throughout the house. What I generally do is to wheel into the bathroom, transfer to the shower chair and use wipes to clean the wheels. Luckily my lovely OH, a) every so often takes the chair outside and cleans it with a power washer and b) cleans the porch, hall, kitchen and bathroom floors pretty frequently so the inevitable tracks left by the wheels, especially when coming in from outside, are cleaned off. Obviously I avoid the beige living room carpet until the wheels are cleaned.

I mentioned this problem once to my local Wheelchair Services. The woman I spoke to seemed to think I was unusual, she said something like “if you want to clean your wheels”, like it was an option that only someone really house proud and nit picky would do. (And while I like to live in a reasonably clean house, nit picky I am not!)

A secondary question will only apply to women, like myself, with long hair that falls out all over the place. The front castors of the wheelchair (as well as the shower chair castors incidentally) collect hair that is impossible to get out. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you get rid of hair that just winds itself around anywhere it can get? This may be a problem only for the very few people like myself that have mental thick, curly, long hair that falls out so much I can never believe how much is left on my head!!

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.



yes a very real problem! currently i enter my back door into kitchen and leave to leave my powerchair there.

i hope to be moving soon and dunno how i am going to manage! a shed to leave chair in? how do i then get from shed to house? same as now-leave chair in kitchen? dunno yet if there will be enough room. leave manual chair in shed to use to get to house? i cant self propel.

ach-i dunno! will work something out-no option to do otherwise!

re washing wheels-throw a jug of water over them? (i know thats not easy but wipes makes the dog crap worse!)


ellie x

Only women have long…??? :wink:

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Sorry Carraboy, of course I am being utterly ridiculous. Many chaps have long hair too. (In fact one of my brothers has hair that’s longer than mine!) Apologies for arrant sexism, hairism and anti-metalism too!!

I keep my eyes peeled when out for dog poo. Selfish b**stards who don’t pick it up really get my goat!! There is truly nothing worse than dog sh*t in the treads of ones wheels. OH is also quite aware of the problem when pushing along the sea front, round town etc. Probably knows who gets to clean it off when we get home!

Who was it wanted to invent something to make our lives easier? A devise to clean wheels outside the door, kind of like a car wash, but one that wouldn’t affect the person inhabiting the chair would be a wonderful thing. Preferably with some kind of roof so rain wouldn’t be a problem. And of course it would have to dry them too.


If it’s a manual chair I’d have a second pair of wheels and swap them over and a set of wheelchair slippers for the beige carpet, very fortunate that we found this house, with hardwood floors when we moved, so easy clean ups, whatever mishap occurs!

Mmm, you`e making me feel mucky now!

My way in to the house is via the back patio doors and into the conservatory…we have a dark brown defender mat and then a brown carpet…which takes the majority of the dirt off my wheels.

Then I wheel through our bedroom, which also has a dark brown carpet. The dining room sees me next and yes, it has a light coloured carpet which needs shampooing often.

If my wheels ever look dirtier than usual…and yes, I have dallied with dog poo occassionally…hubby jet washes them outside.

I would love to replace all our floors with a mid/dark coloured wood boards.


I’ve thought of this, but the problem is where to keep the second chair / where to do the swap from inside to outside chair (& vice versa). I can’t actually walk more than a few metres, and that’s with a walker and the FES. So there is nowhere to do the swap where two chairs could be side by side. I don’t know how people manage with inside and outside chairs. Unless they have a car port or garage in a handy position that is. And I don’t.

The beige carpet isn’t really much of an issue, since I do manage to pretty much keep the wheels clean ish. It’s stain resistant anyway. And the only other carpet in the house is a fairly utilitarian ‘cat sick’ brown carpet in our bedroom (chosen specifically because if the cat is sick it’s always in there) which doesn’t show dirt!!

Basically I manage at the moment with the problem, I just wondered if anyone had any miraculous tips that would help.


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I did mean just the wheels, not the whole chair,the wheels come off easily, garden chair with arms to sit on and do it, I’ve had a chair from wheelchair services and very easy to take the wheels off and swap for indoor ones, so glad we don’t have carpet, not had it for years now but do need to replace the rug! Did have the indoor/outdoor power version but could not get on with it,so pretty happy that this manual one is smaller than the previous one I had.


I have wooden floors, which can be mopped with a long dark coloured hall runner, which is the first thing I go on to.

Totally agree about the dog poop though, very annoying, it only takes a couple of seconds for owners to pick up.

Pam x

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Wondering if a strip of Astro-turf would be of any use? A runway of it, red carpet style, might help take some of the dirt off. Probably wouldn’t help much with ingrained dog poo though… Just a thought.

Hi Sue,

I’m not a wheelie person…yet.

However, I do have hair that sounds just like yours, and whilst it does not get caught in wheelchair wheels, it does get caught and wound round lots else - notably my robot vacuum cleaner (Roomba) that I’ve mentioned here before.

The Roomba comes with a little tool for unpicking stuff (hair, threads etc.) that get wound around the wheels, so…lateral thinking time…I wonder if one would help for getting hair out of your wheelie wheels?

Fortunately, you DON’T have to buy the whole vacuum cleaner: I saw this:

(Sorry about the appallingly long URL - I don’t think we can do embedded links here, can we?)

It’s essentially the same gadget that came with the original Roomba (mine happens to be blue, but otherwise, it looks pretty much the same).

Yeah, basically, it’s a comb, with a sort of prong for picking at tough knots, so it’s still quite a fiddly job, but the secret weapon is there’s actually a cutting blade down inside the prong part (pretty impossible to cut yourself on it - I’ve never managed it yet, and I’m clumsy - well, I have MS - 'nuff said). That means you can use the blade to just cut through the hair, making it easier to unpick, instead of trying to unravel it intact, or get in there with the nail scissors.

Just a thought. It crossed my mind: “Sue needs something similar to my Roomba grooming tool”, but then thought: “Why only ‘similar to’? Why not get the same gizmo?”



Oh how brilliant you are. That sort of tool looks like it would help in so many places with the dratted hair. The other day my cleaner unwound what looked like a rat from the vacuum cleaner!! And there are so many places it would help. I will try and get one. I’ve also just thought about the small tool I used to use to unpick sewing. I don’t know if my sausage fingers will work it but that would do the same thing in small places (eg the castors on the shower chair). I wonder if I can persuade the old man to do it!! (He describes himself as a domestic goddess. I don’t know if he really gets the idea about what a goddess is!)

Thanks T

Sue x

How about a gazebo outside the back door (assuming you can get round the back?) that you can wheel under and transfer to an alternative chair either clean the wheels or swop to another chair. I’ve had a gazebo in the back garden now for about 8 years. First one (a real cheapie from Wilko) lasted about 5 years, out in all weather. This one is sturdier and looks like it will last longer (cost about £90). Alternatively, can you have an open porch built on the front so you could do the same there? A gazebo would need to be fixed to the ground, and probably would need wind braces to make it sturdy in high winds. I also thought of a long carpet ‘runner’. The rubber backed ones with a longish pile, but might not work well if it’s dry…

Ha ha !!I You’re forgiven !! :wink:

(My dad’s been trying to get me to cut it for years…!!!)

I hate this time of year because piles of wet leaves hide the dog poo! Dog poo in the treads of my chair wheels is just the last word in luxury!

I don’t have helpers so any solution has to be something I can do for myself. I have a large mat at the door which will soak up the wet if I ride backwards and forwards a couple of times. My hall has a laminate floor so I pause there before hitting carpet. If my wheels are muddy then it’s straight into the wetroom where I can shower them. I have a long handle, duck taped to a washing up brush so I can scrub without bending down (or while sitting in the chair) The casters are easy to clean but the treads in my large central wheels are more challenging. You might think I go off roading to get so dirty but city pavements are often filthy. It’s such a chore, especially when I’ve been out in the evening and all I want to do is go to bed but there’s no way I could take dog poo wheels on my bedroom carpet!


Thanks for all thoughts and suggestions. Wheels are a flippin’ nuisance. (Thoughtless dog owners are even more so!) Especially in wet weather. It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t occur to most non-wheelchair users. Life is so much easier in the summer…