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How to Keep Your Office Chair in a Pristine Condition
Dec 23, 2021
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A comfortable office desk and chair are the basic building blocks of any office. Keeping them free of clutter and grime is the best way to enhance productivity.

Office workers spend upwards of 8 hours nestled in their office chairs. This means the ideal chair needs to be comfortable, have support, and be highly adjustable. But stains and spills affect their durability and aesthetic appeal, which could affect your desire to keep or toss the chair.

Many people opt to take their lunch or coffee breaks at their desks, which is not the only thing that creates problems. Office supplies like toner cartridges also cause permanent stains. Eventually, dirt, dust, moisture, and the accumulation of debris can damage the advanced adjustment controls that give your chair a higher ergonomic value.

Which begs the question –How often should you clean your office chair? Today, we'll explore how to keep various materials used to make an office chair in pristine condition. We'll also look at the cleaning materials you need to complete said task.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to rise to the challenge and possibly enhance the service life of your treasured office chair.

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Chair

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Chair?

Cleaning your office chair seems like a mundane task that falls under the care of your office’s janitorial staff. But, your cleaning crew may have too many floors to clean to give your chair the detailing it deserves.

And there’s also the case of remote workers or start-ups that don’t have the funds to hire a janitor.

No matter how you look at it –knowing how to clean your office chair is important.

Here are a few factors to motivate you:

Aesthetics

Let's cut to a flashback of the first time you laid eyes on your brand new office chair. Do you remember the color, smell, or texture? Odds are your chair looked perfect and even motivated you to sit for longer periods and get more work done.

Flash-forward to how it currently looks. If your office chair is a shabby form of its previous self, then you may feel less motivated to sit and work all day. The problem is ergonomic office chairs don't come "a dime a dozen." You've probably developed some attachment to it by now.

So casting it aside cannot be easy.

Health Factors

As mentioned earlier, office chairs are dirt and debris magnets. We tend to clean the spills we can see, but most people are not thorough enough, and there's also the nooks and crevices we can't reach.

The problem is such filth provides an ideal feeding and breeding ground for microorganisms. Just because you can't see bacteria, mold, and fungi doesn't mean they don't exist. Or they can't harm you. Hence, sanitizing your office chair can save you from frequent hospital visits or days off work.

Enhanced Focus and Comfort

The comfort level of a chair correlates to its cleanliness. Dirt and grime degrade the fiber quality of the upholstery and functionality of the adjustment mechanisms.

Once you have layers of grime, then the seat becomes stiffer, more abrasive, and uncomfortable to sit on. This effectively lowers your desire to sit on it and focus for extended periods. Therefore, it’s better to keep your seat clean.

How Often Should You Clean Your Office Chair?

It would be wise to give your chair a gentle wipe with a cloth or brush every day. This measure helps you prevent a substantial build-up of dust, crumbs, or other bits of residue.

It would help if you also considered wiping your chair as soon as you spill something. A weekly foam cleaning can also help you keep your office chair in pristine condition.

However, with time the build-up of dirt can be substantial even with these routine maintenance practices. You can prevent such an occurrence by giving your chair proper detailing every 1-3 months. Or as you see fit.

What Tools, Detergents, And Other Reagents Do You Need

What Tools, Detergents, And Other Reagents Do You Need?

Office chairs feature various materials. So, you can use most cleaning products and tools in your cleaning process. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

Vacuum cleaners that feature brush attachments can help you evacuate dirt and most solid debris from upholstery and other parts.

Hot water offers an ideal substrate for breaking down stains ingrained into your upholstery.

Dish soap can help you break down stains at a molecular level while eliminating bacteria.

A bowl gives you the ideal place to mix detergents, water, and other cleaning solutions.

A Cloth, sponge, or dish towel allows you to gently lift the grime off various surfaces without causing damage.

A butter knife and a pair of tweezers come in handy for eradicating hardened dirt off casters, wheels, and other mechanical parts.

Foam cleaner can help you save time as it raises dust off the fibers. It also has antibacterial and deodorizing qualities.

You also need a soft brush to help you deal with stubborn stains.

Mesh-Back Chair

How Do You Clean a Mesh-Back Chair?

Tools

Cleaning an ergonomic office chair with a mesh back requires a delicate touch. But that's not to say it’s difficult or time-consuming. It would be best if you had the following tools for such an operation:

A Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment head
A bowl for hot/warm soapy suds
A dish towel or chamois rag

Precautions

You can use any type of liquid cleaning product like dish soap or even shampoo. But, it may be wise to avoid bar soap, washing powder, or any products that contain bleaching agents. Such products coat the mesh fabric eliminating their anti-microbial and moisture-wicking qualities.

Procedure

Give your upholstery a light Vacuuming to remove dust or any other debris.
Mix your liquid soap in hot/warm water. Stir until you develop some suds.
Wring out the rug to ensure it's damp but not drippy.
Use your rag to pick up some suds, then wipe down your upholstery using as little pressure as possible.
Always start cleaning from the back as you work your way towards the cushion.
Wipe the cushion carefully with as little moisture as possible to avoid wetting the inner foam layer.
Repeat the same procedure for the chair arms and legs.
Give your chair some time to air dry before sitting on it. Also, consider cleaning it at the end of the workday to dry overnight.

Leather Upholstered Chair

How Do You Clean a Leather Upholstered Chair?

Office chairs featuring Leather upholstery are easy to clean. They also require less time to dry. The market is also flooded with leather cleaning products, so you won't need to improvise.

Tools

1. A chamois rug

2. Leather cleaning products, i.e., car interior cleaning products or foam clear

3. A bowl of warm water to rinse your rug

4. A vacuum machine

5. A water sprayer

6. A leather protectant

Precautions

Leather can take a while to dry, so using less water and cleaning products is advised. You'll also want to air dry your leather office chair in the shade, as exposure to direct sunlight can cause cracks and shrinkage.

Procedure

Vacuum the upholstery to lessen any dust or debris.
Spray the leather cleaner onto your chamois as you work it evenly across the upholstered surface.
Allow the leather cleaner to set for 2-5 minutes.
Give the upholstery a light spritzing of water from your sprayer
Rinse your chamois in warm water, then wring it out.
Wipe the residual leather cleaner off the chair.
Repeat this step if the chamois still looks grimmer.
You can apply a leather protectant for extra protection at this stage
Leave the chair out to dry or wipe it down with a clean, dry towel.

Plastic Chair

How Do You Clean a Plastic Chair?

Cleaning plastic office chairs is a breeze! For one, you needn’t worry about the effects of cleaning solutions on the material. There’s no way you can damage or stain plastics even if you use detergents with bleach or cationic surfactants like washing powder. And you have enough leeway to soak them as you can wipe off any excess water.

Tools

A vacuum cleaner
Washing fluid
A bowl of warm water
A dish towel

Precautions

Take extra care not to oversoak the cushioning if your plastic chair features any. You shouldn’t also leave your plastic chair out in the sun to dry as it may degrade the quality.

Procedure

Give the chair a light vacuuming to dislodge any debris.
Mix a small amount of washing liquid into a bowl of hot water,
Soak your cloth into this mixture, then wring it out
Wipe every surface of the chair
Use a dish towel or any absorbent cloth to dry your chair.

Chair with Fabric Upholstery

How Do You Clean a Chair with Fabric Upholstery?

Cleaning a fabric upholstered office chair is more involving than any of the previous materials. Certain fabrics require specialized attention, cleaning methods, and tools. So, try and consult your manual or the manufacturer’s website for detailed care instructions.

Tools

A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
Cleaning solution
A sponge
Foam cleaner
Lemon juice
Baking soda
A soft nylon brush

Precautions

Look out for the following denotations on the manual, maintenance tag, or manufacturer's website:

X – Means the chair upholstery should only be dry-cleaned.

W – Implies you can use a water-based cleaning product.

S – This means you should only use a dry-cleaning agent to clean the chair upholstery.

SW – means you can use a water-based solution or dry-cleaning agent.

You can use the following formula to improvise a chemical-free chair cleaning solution:

Take 6 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix them with 6 teaspoons of baking soda
Dilute the mixture in a dish of warm water

Procedures

Using a water-based solution

Vacuum the upholstery to lessen any dust or debris.
Soak and wring out your cloth or sponge
Dab the upholstery on your office chair gently
Clean the legs and other parts with soapy water
Wipe these surfaces gently using a circular motion to cover the wider surface area faster
Air dry your chair, preferably overnight, in a dust-free place.

Some fabrics seep water into the foam layer so fast that you don’t get the time to wipe all the grime off. A foam cleaner can help you work your magic and forego the hassle of keeping up with absorbent materials.

Using a Foam Cleaner to Clean a Fabric Upholstered Chair

Vacuum the chair to remove any debris.
Spray a liberal amount of foam cleaner on the chair
The trick is to make the surface damp but not oversaturated.
Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes (read the safety instructions on the packaging).
Rub the foam cleaner into the fabric to clean it and lift any debris to the surface
Once the chair has dried, vacuum it ensuring any foam cleaner residue is gone.
Vacuum clean the upholstery of the chair to remove any residual debris after the chair has dried.

Office Chair Casters

How Can You Clean Office Chair Casters?

Sometimes dirt accumulation can make the casters noisy or interfere with how they glide across even the smoothest surface. Therefore, you'll need a way to clean all the hair, fibers, and dirt that may accumulate over time.

What Tools Do You Need to Clean Casters?

A pair of screw drives
A butter knife, scalpel, hobby knife, or razor blades
A poking tool such as a long needle

Procedure for Cleaning Caster Wheels

Step 1: Turn the Chair Upside-Down

This step is self-explanatory –you need to turn your chair upside-down to access the wheels. However, you may need a little help if you're attempting to clean a big and tall executive chair as these can be heavy, and keeping them stable during the operation is harder.

Step 2: Detach the Casters from the Chair Base

Some casters require some force, while you can pull others out with ease. Caster often features a grip ring at the stems that keeps them grounded. Here you’ll need to hold on to the base as you attempt to pull out the caster. Try rotating the caster around if it doesn’t give easily. You can even attempt doing it using a different angle for more leverage.

Step 3: Disassemble the Casters

Here’s where the 2 screwdrivers come in handy. Hold the wheel as you slide a screwdriver into the axel. Now, please give it a firm push but ensure you don't damage it in the process.

Use the other screwdriver to access the other side of the axel. Apply some force as you twist and pull on either side of the casters until the wheels pop out.

Step 4: Cleaning

Start by using a finger to take all the hairs, dirt, and debris you see after dismasting the caster.
Use a blade to eliminate any debris that you can’t with your fingers
Take the needle and use it to remove anything you couldn’t reach with the previous tools

Step 5: Wash the Caster in Warm Water

Set the caster in warm water for about 5 minutes to loosen the residual grease and debris. Then rinse in a jet of water to eliminate any strugglers.

Step 6: Lubricate the Casters and Reattach Them to the Base

Once the casters are dry, reattach them to the chair, and you're good to go!

Conclusion

As you can see, it's not that hard to keep your office chair in pristine condition. The good news is you can continue to depend on your chair to provide service if you take the time to clean it. We hope you enjoyed this insightful piece.

However, there's so much you can do to maintain your favorite office chair. So, we hope you'll stay tuned. This article is part of an exciting office chair maintenance and care series. As always, feel free to share and comment on this article.

Your feedback can help us address other workplace productivity and wellness issues that haven’t been covered on the web.