How to Clean an Office Chair – Comprehensive Guide

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Whether you are working from home or from a corporate office, you probably understand the importance of using a reliable ergonomic office chair.

However, the inevitable accident with food, ink, or drink is going to happen, and you’ll surely have to clean it up. If you have chosen to invest in a high-quality office chair, the upholstery might need general cleaning as well. Making sure the wheels stay clean is also part of taking care of your furniture.

In this article, we are going to show you how to clean an office chair. This guide was written to help you clean the most common types of office chairs, including upholstered office chairs, protecting your investment and helping to keep your office companion in tip-top shape.

Get to Know Your Furniture Type

The first thing you need to do before cleaning your office chair is to check your furniture for tags that may have cleaning instructions on them. If you haven’t done so already, look for an upholstery tag on your office chair.

Because different office chairs are made of different materials, most office chairs on the market will come with an upholstery tag. They are also known as a care tag or care label.

The tag or label provides instructions from the manufacturer on how to clean the office chair. This tag will help you to determine the best and most effective way to clean them.

Once you have located the tag, check for the cleaning code. Here’s a breakdown of the most common codes and their respective meaning:

  • W - This means you should clean the furniture with water or water-based cleaning products.
  • S - This means you should clean the furniture with a solvent (water-free products).
  • WS or SW - This means you can use either water-based or a dry-cleaning product.
  • X - This means the item should be professionally cleaned. This can also mean that the furniture should be cleaned by vacuuming or brushing only.

If your office chair does not have an upholstery tag, you can look for the information inside the user manual. Most of the time, the cleaning and maintenance instructions can be found in the manual.

As a general rule of thumb, vacuuming your office chair on a regular basis will help remove the bulk of the dirt and grime, regardless of what type of material its made of. By vacuuming the dust and debris on a regular basis, you’ll be sure to extend your furniture’s life.

With that being said, let’s go over the three most common office furniture types to take care of:

How to Clean Fabric Office Chairs

The most common office chair materials are fabric as they are very affordable. However, dust and dirt are very attracted to the fabric. It is also prone to soak up any liquid that you might spill on your chair.

You can start by vacuuming your furniture. The next step is to apply a cleaning foam that’s safe for fabric. If there are noticeable stains, use a brush to scrub away the dirt. Most cleaning foams will come with easy-to-follow instructions.

Be sure to let the chair dry for at least 15 minutes after scrubbing. If your office is relatively humid, you can let it rest for a longer period of time. To finish cleaning up, use the vacuum again to remove all the dirt attached to the foam.

How to Clean Leather Office Chairs

Leather furniture is more expensive than its fabric or mesh​ counterparts. If you have a leather office chair, it’s important to properly maintain them to prevent it from drying out. They can also get dirty from regular use, especially from sweat and grime.

Because leather chairs tend to be more pricey than most chairs, we recommend you to inspect the furniture tag or manual to see if any specific instructions are recommended.

As we’ve mentioned before, regularly vacuuming leather chairs is a good way to start. Just be sure that the suction power is not too strong as to damage the leather. You can then use Weiman Leather Wipes, formulated specifically for leather material to properly clean the furniture.

To maintain leather furniture and to prevent them from drying out, it’s important to apply the right leather conditioner. Leather conditioners are designed to condition and rejuvenate leather. They contain water, as well as other ingredients that hydrate and protect the leather from dryness.

How to Clean Mesh Office Chairs

Mesh ergonomic office chairs are all the rage these days thanks to their modern aesthetics and useful features. Sadly, many people have no idea how to clean and maintain them properly because of the unique materials.

The good thing about these chairs is that mesh promotes airflow and breathability, resulting in less sweat compared to fabric and leather chairs. Mesh is also a very durable material, therefore, you can apply more force when scrubbing it.

Mesh is fairly simple to clean. Just like fabric and leather office chairs, you can start by vacuuming the mesh material. From there, you can apply soap and water to remove stains or dirt. For general cleaning, you can also use wet wipes to clean the whole chair from top to bottom.

How to Clean Office Chair Wheels and Parts

While cleaning the backrest and seat of the chair is important, you cannot forget to clean the rest of the chair, especially the bottom half. You can wipe the plastic or metal parts with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe them with a cloth.

If your office chair has wheels and casters, you will also need to clean and lubricate them to keep them as good as new. Lots of dust and hair tend to build up and clog up the wheels, and it’s a good idea to clean and remove them.

You would want to flip the chair over to inspect and clean them regularly. If the wheels are too old, it’s a good idea to remove and replace them. After cleaning the caster wheels, apply a lubricant like WD-40 to make sure that your office chair can roll smoothly.

Another thing to keep in check is the chair gas cylinder. If the gas cylinder of your office chair is faulty or leaking, you will not be able to raise it and will immediately sink after you sit down. You can easily replace most gas cylinders.

Final Thoughts

Based on our humble opinion, it’s better to get into the habit of cleaning your office chair once every six months, as it’s much easier to take care of your furniture on a regular basis rather than waiting for years and dealing with a big mess all at once.

If you need to clean a lot of office chairs at once, or you are simply too lazy to maintain them regularly, it’s best to leave it up to the professionals and hire a cleaner. 

Remember to follow the comprehensive we have made on how to clean an office chair. Doing so will make sure that your investment of an ergonomic office chair is worth it. A piece of well-groomed furniture will make sure that you will enjoy a pleasant day in the office. 🙂