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How to clean office chairs

Seating August 18th 2021
How to clean office chairs

While many of us regularly clean and tidy our desks, we tend to put off cleaning our office chairs. There may be a few factors that prevent us from cleaning our office chairs. It may be, that in comparison to your office desk, where it is easy to see if your workspace is untidy, it’s harder to see if your office chair is dirty.

There are many different types of office chairs and seating including Operator chairs, Executive chairs, 24 hour use chairs and ergonomic chairs. All these types of chairs are available in a range of different of upholsteries such as fabrics, mesh, leather, antibacterial fabric, antibacterial vinyl and faux leathers. All these upholsteries need to be cleaned and treated differently to avoid causing damage or noticeable blemishes.

The following guide provides a step-by-step instruction to help you clean your chair as effectively as possible.

Before we begin on any of these methods and cleaning products, always check to see if there any labels present on your chair. These can indicate whether your office chair can be treated with a water-based solution (W), or a dry-cleaning solvent (S). Once you’ve checked which products are suitable, we’d recommend spot-checking the solution on a small, inconspicuous part of the chair.

How to clean fabric office chairs

Fabric is the most used and most affordable material for upholstering office chairs, but it can attract significant amounts of dust, dirt, and grime over time. An office chair upholstered in a bright colorful fabric can show dirt and grime, so an intensive regular cleaning method may be required.

1. Vacuum the dust off the entire chair

From the top of the chair to the wheels, thoroughly vacuum up any dust, fluff, or other debris. If there are spaces that are hard to reach with your vacuum, use a duster or a can of compressed air to clear out those tight areas.

2. Clean the fabric.

If your chair can be cleaned with a water-based solution, a clean, damp cloth, with warm water and liquid soap is a simple yet effective option. If you’re tackling a specific stain, always make sure you’re using a dabbing motion rather than a scrubbing, because this could force the dirt further in to the fabric.

3. Dry.

Whether you’ve used a water-based or solvent-based solution to clean, you should always leave the chair to completely air dry before moving onto the next step.

4. Re-vacuum

Once you’ve cleaned the fabric, vacuum one final time to ensure the chair is free from any dirt or dust that may have been lifted by your cleaning product.

5. Wipe down the non-fabric components

Finally, dampen a cloth with warm, soapy water or an all-purpose cleaning product, and wipe over the non-fabric components including the legs, armrests, gas lift and the underneath of your chair

How to clean a vinyl or faux leather chair.

Many inexpensive managers chairs or executive chairs are made to look like leather, but they are made of vinyl, faux leather or PU Leather which is often referred to as vegetarian or vegan leather. You may be familiar with vinyl and faux leathers but what exactly is PU leather? PU leather, or polyurethane leather, is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer used for making furniture or shoes. PU leather is completely artificial making it cheaper and easier to manufacture than genuine leather.

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So, now we have identified the differences between PU leather (vinyl or faux leather) and genuine leather how do we go about cleaning this material?

1. Vacuum

As with fabric office chairs, when cleaning a PU leather office chair, you should first vacuum the surface to remove any dust or dirt. To avoid scratching the PU leather you should us a vacuum with a soft brush attachment and low suction.

2. Wipe

Mix warm water and washing up liquid in a bucket to create a cleaning solution. Then, take a cloth, dip it in and wring it out. You can now clean the entire surface of the faux leather. Wipe your office chair down with the warm, soapy water and then wipe dry with a second, dry microfiber cloth

3. Apply solution

Now that your chair is clean, you can condition it. This is an important step to carry out as it will keep the faux leather looking and feeling nice. It’s important to adopt a regular cleaning routine if you want to keep your office chair looking new. You can choose an all-purpose leather cleaner such as leather ultra clean which cleans all leather types including faux leather. Don’t want to buy a leather cleaner? Then take the DIY route. Pour some baby oil and pour a little on to a sponge. Then use the sponge to wipe lightly over the faux leather. Make sure to spot test on an inconspicuous area before treating the whole surface.

4. Wipe the arms and legs

Again, once you’ve cleaned the surface of the chair, use soapy damp cloth to wipe over the armrests, legs, and underneath of the chair.

5. Dry

Allow to dry naturally in an airy, light room – preferably by an open window if possible! You’ll notice how shiny, clean, and lovely your chair is looking once it’s completely dry.

Top Tip: Try to maintain and clean your faux leather office chair around once a month to keep it looking new. You should quickly clean any spillages as and when they occur to prevent a nasty build up.

How to clean premium leather executive chairs

Along with fabric and PU leather chairs comes genuine premium leather chairs. Premium leather is usually reserved for high end designer executive style chairs, such as the Lynx, Rhapsody and Galileo executive chairs.

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Premium leather is the real deal and offers the feeling of luxury and elegance when seated in an executive chair. Leather is often chosen for furniture as it is very hard-wearing, however, it does still require some upkeep to ensure it looks and feels its best over the years.

To clean premium leather executive chairs

1. Vacuum

As with the previous chairs, when cleaning a leather chair, you should first vacuum the surface to remove any dust or dirt. To avoid scratching the surface of the leather, use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment and low suction.

2. Wipe the chair

With a leather office chair, it is best to wipe the surface regularly to stop excessive dirt building up. This can be done on a weekly basis with a clean cloth dampened with warm water. For a deeper clean, you can use soapy water or a specialist leather cleaner. Always gently wipe the surface rather than scrubbing, so you don’t damage the grain of the leather.

3. Dry

Leave the leather to fully dry, then gently buff the surface with a dry cloth for a polished finish.

4. Protect and condition

Regularly applying leather protector or conditioner ensures your leather remains soft, supple, and doesn’t crack or damage over time. You can use protective sprays or conditioning liquids – just be sure to check any specific cleaning instructions or limitations for your chair type before selecting a product.

5. Use rubbing alcohol for ink stains

Ink stains are common with leather furniture. If you notice an ink stain, rubbing alcohol is probably your best course of action.

· Get a cotton swab. Dab some rubbing alcohol onto it

· Wipe at the stain until it clears away

· This method may also help in removing mold

6. Wipe the arms and legs

Again, once you’ve cleaned the surface of the chair, use a soapy, damp cloth to wipe over the armrests, legs, and underneath of the chair.

How to clean mesh office chairs

Mesh office chairs are popular for several reasons, mainly because they have breathable mesh backs and some boast mesh seats as well. Mesh office chairs such as our Reactive Ergo Chair tend to be durable and comfortable. When you sit in a mesh chair the mesh material flexes to your body movement allowing weight and pressure to be evenly distributed. The downside of the cool looking comfortable mesh chair is that mesh can harbor a serious amount of dust over time. This means regular cleaning is vital to prevent your mesh chair from looking like a Dyson filter!

If you’re looking to clean a mesh office chair, simply follow the steps below.

1. Vacuum

Again, start with the vacuum. Use a brush attachment to remove any surface dirt, as well as any deeper dirt that may have settled within the mesh or crevices.

2. Clean with soapy water

Use as cloth and warm soapy water to wipe the mesh part of your chair. You can also wipe down the armrests, legs, and underside of the chair at this point.

3. Use a cotton swab

A mesh chair contains multiple ‘nooks and crannies’ which means dirt and dust can be missed if you only wipe the surfaces. To tackle any deeper dirt, use a cotton swab to clean less accessible parts of the chair.

4. Dry

You can either leave your mesh office chair to air dry or wipe it down with dry paper towels or a dry cloth

How to Clean Office Chair Wheels

Most office chairs allow to move around so feature wheels or castors usually on a 5-star plastic or metal base. Unfortunately, as the wheels are near the floor, they become clogged with dirt, crumbs, hair and other debris, which can affect the usability of the chair.

There is a relatively simple procedure for cleaning office chair wheels and returning the chair to its best – just work through the following steps:

1. Lay a sheet or cloth down on to the floor

By covering the floor with a sheet or cloth you will be protecting the carpet from any gunk or debris that will inevitable fall out of the wheels of the chair.

2. Flip the chair on to its side

Its easier to work with the wheels of the chair when they are elevated and fully exposed. You might want to kneel or sit on a cushion whilst sat on the floor.

3. Remove debris

Any larger bits of dirt or debris can be removed from the office chair castors using a butter knife to slide through the slots of the wheels. Be careful here and make sure the chair is firmly placed on the floor for safety. When it comes to removing smaller pieces of debris caught in the wheels, or for removing hair, you can use a pair of tweezers.

4. Remove the wheels

Most office chairs have wheels that can be removed easily, however some designs require a screwdriver.

5. Clean the wheels

Use a damp, soapy cloth to thoroughly wipe down the wheels – this includes the surface of the wheels and the inside of the wheel cover. If there are cracks or crevices you are struggling to clean, use a cotton swab.

6. Dry and reattach the wheels

Either leave the wheels to air dry or wipe them with a dry cloth or paper towel, taking care to remove any moisture from the inner parts of the wheel. Once they are dry, your wheels can be reattached to the chair.

Regular cleaning of fabric, leather, faux leather, mesh chairs along with castors will ensure they remain in good condition. This also helps and prevents chairs from deterioration or wear and tear. Having a clean chair and tidy office desk will make you feel better throughout the day and can also help increase your productivity.

We hope this guide has been helpful.

Thanks for reading.

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