How to Clean the Upholstery of an Office Chair

Office chairs and armchairs get dirty quickly. They are spoiled by dust, dirt, stains of ink, drinks and cosmetics. Even the occasional spill of clean water leaves behind unkempt stains. How to restore the upholstery to its original presentable look? What can be used to clean office chairs and armchairs? We offer a detailed guide to self-cleaning the upholstery and carcass, as well as tips on how to remove the most common stains.

How to clean the upholstery?

First a step-by-step cleaning algorithm. Whichever cleaner you choose, follow the sequence of steps:

  • Vacuum the chair thoroughly, especially in hard-to-reach places, grooves, crevices. This way you will get rid of dry dust and the smallest debris. If this is not done, the subsequent wet cleaning will turn the dust into dirt, and it will be very difficult to wash it out of the fabric. Dust is what causes streaks to appear on the upholstery when clean water is spilled on the chair. The dirt seems to come from nowhere, but it’s actually wet dust. Vacuum the upholstery with a soft brush, without pressing hard. Areas that are hard to reach may be easier to vacuum with a narrow nozzle. Vacuum your leather chairs and armchairs gently, using only low power.
  • Prepare a detergent. Be sure to test it on a small area of upholstery in an inconspicuous place. Wait for the spot to dry and look at the results. If the upholstery has not changed color and texture and is simply cleaner, you can use the selected method of cleaning on the entire chair.
  • Protect the frame from cleaning “chemicals” – cover it with food film or thick paper. Some cleaners can leave traces on plastic and metal. The frame should be wiped clean after upholstery cleaning.
  • Clean the upholstery. Try not to rub it with cloths or brushes during the process, as even the fabric can leave scuffs. Leather upholstery is even more delicate – it is easy to scratch.
  • Be sure to rinse off any detergent well with clean water. If soap, baking soda or any other substance is left on the upholstery, new dirt will quickly stick to it.
  • Try not to wet the fabric too much, don’t let the liquid penetrate the filler. Of course, office chairs and armchairs dry faster than lush home sofas. But even here, mold can build up in the damp filler and then an unpleasant musty odor can appear.
  • Dry the cleaned chair as soon as possible. You do not need to iron it with a hot iron or lean it against a radiator. Leaving the furniture in a warm, dry and well-ventilated room is sufficient. If possible, install a fan in the room, which will speed up drying.

What to clean with?

Now about how you can clean the fabric upholstery of the office chair or chair. There are many options, you can choose something from the improvised means or buy special “chemistry” in the store:

  • A solution of liquid soap in warm water in a ratio of 1 : 6. Soak a cloth in it and gently wipe the entire surface of the upholstery. Then, often rinsing the cloth in clean water, remove the soap solution from the chair along with the dirt.
  • Laundry soap solution. Pour about 3 tablespoons of 72% soap shavings into a bucket of water (about 5-7 liters). Stir the mixture well so that the shavings dissolve completely. Use it in the same way as the liquid soap solution.
  • Baking soda. Make a thick mixture of baking soda and water and apply it to the upholstery. Leave the chair for half an hour. Vacuum the dried soda with a vacuum cleaner or dry cloth. Rinse off any remaining soda by wiping the upholstery with a clean, wet cloth.
  • Salt solution (3 tablespoons per 3 liters of warm water). Soak a cloth in it and wipe the upholstery. Then use the cloth and clean water to remove the salt residue. Not only will this clean the upholstery, but it will freshen the color of the upholstery.

Popular store remedies include the familiar Vanish and specialty interior cleaners. They clean faster and better than home remedies, but have strong and persistent odors that can ruin more than one day’s work. There is also a huge selection of other specialty products for cleaning upholstery in the form of shampoos, sprays, gels, aerosols. Choose “chemistry” by price, reviews or pretty ads, but be sure to try its action on an inconspicuous area of the upholstery. Even the most expensive and vaunted product can be unsuitable for your chair and spoil its look.

How to clean an office chair with store-bought “chemicals”? Only strictly following the manufacturer’s instructions. But do not forget to vacuum the upholstery and cover the frame elements before cleaning, and after it – to dry and air the chair well.

How do I get stains out?

Most old and stubborn stains can be removed after cleaning with ordinary household soap. So before you try aggressive stain removers on your office chair, clean it from general dirt. Perhaps the stains will disappear with them. If you have no luck, try using a fabric stain remover. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test the product’s action on an inconspicuous area of the chair.

If the stains are relatively fresh and you know their origin, try to solve the problem with improvised products. How to clean office chairs from different stains?

  • Vegetables, fruits, juices, wine. A mixture of vinegar and ammonia (1 : 1) will help. Soak a cotton pad in the mixture and gently rub the stain. Rinse off with clean water.
  • Blood. To remove a fresh stain, rinse the cloth thoroughly with cold water. Dried blood can be soaked for a few minutes in a salt solution and then washed away with water. If the stain is no longer removable in this way, only special enzyme-based stain removers can help. Other “chemicals” will not work.
  • Grease: If there is a lot of grease, blot it with a dry cloth and salt it for about half an hour. Wipe the stain area with a cloth soaked in alcohol and then a soapy solution. Rinse off the rest of the dirt with clean water.
  • Coffee, tea, beer. These stains can be washed away very well with a soapy solution. If coffee or beer stains are not removable, use a 1:1 vinegar in water solution.
  • Glue, wax. Rub the affected place with alcohol.
  • Chocolate. Remove with a cotton pad soaked in ammonia.

Note that not all stains can be removed. If the contamination area is too extensive, if the upholstery is light, you have very little chance of removing the dirt without leaving a trace. In such cases, it is better to go straight to the dry cleaner.

How do I clean the frame and wheels?

Most often the legs and armrests of office chairs and armchairs are covered with plastic. It is enough to wipe it periodically with a clean, damp cloth. If the coating is already very dirty, use a soapy solution.

Wash the frame so that soapy water does not get inside the structure, especially in the mechanism of the wheels and height adjuster. Do not rub the plastic with brushes or abrasive powders – this will leave scratches. Washed and dried plastic elements can be polished with a polish that will hide microscratches and protect the surface from dust.

Chrome office chair frames can also be wiped down with a soapy solution without using abrasives. If there are difficult stains, try removing them with vinegar. After cleaning, be sure to wipe the metal with a cloth soaked in clean water and then wipe dry.

If your office chair is finished with wooden parts, try not to get them wet. Usually in such cases it is enough to remove dust and treat the surface with polish or wax. If there is noticeable dirt, use a soapy solution, but clean the finish very quickly and wipe dry immediately so that the moisture is not absorbed into the wood.

A separate task is cleaning the wheels of the office chair. Because of the dirt that accumulates in the mechanism, they do not rotate well. What can be done about it? We offer a step by step instruction:

  1. Turn the chair upside down.
  2. Remove the wheels – they can be snapped off or unscrewed with a screwdriver.
  3. Use a narrow, non-sharp knife to clean the dirt and debris from the gap between the wheel and the lid.
  4. Remove the coiled hair with long tweezers.
  5. Wipe off all dirt with a dry rag. If it does not yield, you can gently rub with a damp, wrung out cloth (moisten it with water or soap solution). In hard-to-reach places, clean the dirt with a damp cotton swab. Do not allow water to enter the mechanism. After wet cleaning, wipe all accessible surfaces with a paper towel.
  6. Install the castors. Make sure they are securely in place. Turn the chair upside down.

If you plan to clean the castors, do them first, and then clean the upholstery and outer surfaces of the frame.

office chair

How to ruin an office chair: 5 mistakes of self-cleaning

  1. Rub the cleaner into the upholstery. This will not make the “chemistry” work better, but can leave unsightly scuffs on the upholstery surface.
  2. Clean the chair or armchair partially, just where the stain is. If you don’t clean the entire surface of the upholstery, it will be in streaks. The dust on the areas not cleaned will still get wet, and new stains will be left.
  3. Experiment with different cleaners – mix them up, apply one after another without rinsing them off, heat with a hair dryer or iron for a better effect, leave them on the upholstery longer than directed. All this can lead to unforeseen chemical reactions and very ugly results. Many products are simply incompatible.
  4. Use on leather chairs preparations designed for fabric upholstery. Leather is cleaned with special products.
  5. Remove stains with solvents and other chemicals that contain chlorine, acids, acetone, turpentine, gasoline and other petroleum derivatives.

To avoid any mistakes, and at the same time to save time and effort, trust office chair cleaning to our professionals. Professional technology and powerful equipment removes dirt better and safer than improvised means. After dry cleaning your office chairs and armchairs will be as good as new and will last longer.