How to Clean the Wheels of a Rolling Office Chair

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The wheels of your office chairs need cleaning from time to time as dirt, debris, and hair gets stuck in it. Cleaning the wheels keeps your chair rolling smoothly, and prevents damage to the caster wheels. The cleaning process is simple, albeit time consuming as you would need to remove the wheels in order to clean out the stuck debris properly.

Here's how you can clean your rolling office chair from top to bottom!

What Are the Different Types of Office Chair Wheels?

Most standard office chairs come with 2 inch to 2.5 inch wheels, but 3 inch models also exist. The larger the wheel, the less resistance you would get while gliding along soft and hard office floors. When looking for replacements for the wheels of your office chair, measure the diameter for better accuracy.

Types of Caster Wheels

Caster wheels are the removable parts of office chairs where you can find the wheels sticking out. They can often accumulate dust, debris, and hair which can interrupt the smooth rolling mechanism. Most chairs have either soft or hard caster wheels depending on the type of chair model.

Soft Caster Wheels

Soft caster wheels are made with a silicone or rubber material. It is often the preferred choice of wheels as the soft material glides easily through most types of flooring, and the soft, rubbery surface reduces noise and vibrations.

Hard Caster Wheels

On the other hand, hard caster wheels were made for carpeted floors. The plastic wheels are made with PVC, resin, or other hard material, and were made to provide a smoother glide on carpets and rugs. These are the standard office chair casters, and are relatively inexpensive compared to soft caster wheels.

What You’ll Need

  • Old towel, blanket, or cloth
  • Butter knife or other flat-head tool
  • Duct tape
  • Scrub brush
  • Soapy water solution: 1 cup of water with 2-3 drops of dish soap
  • Disinfectant: rubbing alcohol
  • Spray lubricant or silicone lubricant (optional)

How to Clean Office Chair Wheels: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Place a Towel on the Floor and Place Chair Upside Down

Prepare your cleaning area by placing a large towel, blanket, or other piece of cloth on the floor. This is to ensure your chair remains clean even after turning it upside down. The towel also helps prevent your chair from rolling away or tumbling down as you clean it.

Gently turn the chair upside down until you can comfortably work on the wheels of the chair. You may need to use a screwdriver, butter knife, or another flat-headed tool to remove the wheels. Check the manufacturer's guide whenever possible, and see if there are any screws that need removing.

Step 2: Remove the Wheels

Remove the wheels carefully. Start working on one wheel at a time, and use a tool to help you remove the wheels without damaging them or hurting yourself. Most office chairs have wheels that can be twisted out, so check the brand and model of your office chair if this is the case.

Otherwise, use a flat tool to pry the wheels out. Be sure to remove any screws if the wheels are battened down. Keep the screws in a separate compartment or container while you work so you don't lose them.

Step 3: Clean the Chair Leg

Don't forget to clean the chair leg as well as the wheels! Remove hair and other debris from the chair leg. There is most likely some debris on the leg itself, so it is best to remove these as they may cause blockage to the wheels afterwards. Disinfect the chair legs with alcohol as well.

Step 4: Clean the Wheels

Now it's time to work on the wheels. remove any visible dirt and debris by pulling out any large pieces. A crochet needle or a hooked tool should help remove dirt. You can also opt to use a brush to remove the pieces of debris wedged between the wheels.

Cut a small piece of duct tape, and wedge it around the wheel. This should pick up any small pieces of debris from the caster wheel. Get in and around the wheel cover, as well as between the two wheels if that is the case.

Use the soapy solution to clean the wheels. Scrub the solution right onto the wheels until you see the dirt is completely gone. Twist the wheel around while you work so you can get through the entire diameter of the wheel. Disinfect with a mild sanitizer like rubbing alcohol.

Step 5: Place the Wheels Back Onto the Office Chair Casters

Wipe the wheels dry, and place them back onto your office chair. Screw the wheels back into the chair, or push it back in until you hear a clicking sound. Test the movement of the wheels by turning your chair right side up, and testing how smooth the wheels glide on the floor.

How to Properly Maintain Office Chair Wheels

Wheels keep getting clogged? Here's how to maintain your caster wheels to prevent interruptions as you glide with your chair:

  • Use a chair mat to keep the wheels clean.
  • Sweep up any dirt and debris immediately.
  • Put your hair up in a ponytail to prevent falling hair.
  • Clean the wheels twice a month for best results.

Clean your space the right way with our how-to guides! Check out our other articles that will teach you how to deep clean your office.

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