How to Clean Your Office Chair

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You use your office chair everyday, so of course it must get dirty at one point or another. Sweat, oils, and dust can accumulate deep within your chair and cause it to get musty. Even without looking like it’s covered in dust, your office chair is actually building up a layer of grime that can harbour bacteria that can make you sick.

Moisture, too, is a big problem for chairs in the office as mold and mildew can thrive in moist locations. To clean the chairs in your workplace, you will need a cleaning solution safe for most materials, which can be made using a few drops of mild, liquid soap and some water. A dry cleaning powder can be made from baking soda, which can remove foul odors from most chairs. 

Before doing any sort of cleaning, you should check for the care and cleaning instructions of your chair, which should be printed or engraved in an inconspicuous part of the chair. You can check for the limitations of how the chair can be cleaned, like if the material can be exposed to moisture, heat, or mild soap. 

Man sitting in office chair looking out the window
Fabric chairs are difficult to clean due to their plush.

How to Clean Fabric Chairs

Fabric chairs are notoriously difficult to clean, as they absorb a lot of sweat, oils, and moisture from the air. Fabric chairs are also a pain to dry, so we recommend using a wet vacuum for this type of chair material. 

For fabric chair cleaning, take some soap solution and a wet cloth. Scrub the stained and dirty areas with the solution, and allow the mixture to penetrate deep into the fabric and plush of the chair. Use a vacuum cleaner on the wet function to suction excess moisture, and rinse as needed. Air dry the fabric chair, preferably under direct sunlight, before using.

Wet vacuuming not enticing for you, or do you need a quick fix to clean your fabric chair? Use some baking or bicarbonate soda and essential oil for the ultimate dry cleaning solvent! The soda acts to deodorize the fabric, and the essential oils act as a catalyst to attract the dirt to the soda particles. Use a brush to rub the powder in while providing a gentle scrubbing action.

How to Clean Chair Cushions

For surface cleaning, take a damp cloth and apply some soap solution to the cloth. Lightly but firmly scrub the surface of the chair cushions, making sure to focus on the stained spots. Use another damp cloth that has been wet with water, and do another sweep of the chair cushion to remove any remaining soap residue.

For a full, deep clean of your chair cushions, use a laundry machine to wash the chair cushions thoroughly. Toss your cushions into a washing machine, and let the machine cycle until the cushion is clean. Place in the tumble dryer with a clean cloth or two to balance out the machine, and let the chair cushions cycle in the dryer. Hang the cushions up to dry afterwards.

How to Clean Leather Chairs

Genuine leather, vegan leather, and artificial leather are all used as surfaces for office furniture, but their care differs based on the material used. Genuine leather, made from the skin of animals, will need to get an application of leather conditioner every 6 months to keep it supple, while vegan leather will need a stronger moisturizer due to its less porous nature.

For all types of leather office chairs, using a mild solution of liquid soap and water will get most of the grime out, and keep the leather looking vibrant and clean. Take a soft, lint-free cloth, and dampen it with the cleaning mixture before cleaning your chair in circular motions. Wipe with a dry cloth, and ensure the chair is fully air dried before using. 

Helpful Tip: Do not use a heat source to dry the chair as the leather may crack.

How to Clean Mesh Chairs

While mesh office chairs seem like they track less dirt and dust, they still need to be cleaned like any other chair in the office. A mesh chair typically has mesh backing which allows for cool air ventilation, but a plush seat, and washing both parts is essential in cleaning your chair.

Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any loose debris from your chair before cleaning any grimey spots with a cleaning solution of a little dish soap and water. Mesh chairs can typically be air dried, but the wet function of your vacuum cleaner can do a better job in drying out the fabric areas. 

Laptop on plastic chair
Plastic chairs are easy to clean.

How to Clean Plastic Chairs

Plastic chairs may not be the most comfortable option for the office, but they are certainly the easiest to clean. Simply take a clean cloth, dampened with some water, or disinfecting solution like rubbing alcohol for a sanitizing clean. Wipe the chair with the cloth, and focus on scrubbing out any grimey areas, as well as deep within the textured surface. 

Use a dry cloth to dry the chair before using, and repeat the process daily to prevent dust from settling into your plastic chair. Be sure to give the legs and bottom of the chair a good wipe down as well for a full-on cleaning.

For office chairs with metal frames, use some quick-drying solution to ensure that the material does not rust. Rubbing alcohol wipes and commercial disinfecting wipes work well to clean the chair, and adding a few drops of oil on the dry metal frame helps to keep moisture away from the material.

Let the Professionals Handle It

With so much on your plate, you may not have the time to clean your own chair in the office, much less the chairs of your coworkers. Instead, reach for our email or website, and give us a call so we can tackle that office cleaning job for you!

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