How To Clean An Office Chair (3 Different Types)

Are you looking for the best way to get your office chair clean again?

You’re in the right place!

In this ChairAdviser.com guide, you’ll learn: 

  • How to clean an office chair (mesh, fabric, and leather)
  • The supplies you’ll need
  • Important things to keep in mind while cleaning
  • And much more!
how to clean office chair

Picture this: you spend hours planting yourself in your office day in day out.

The time you spend is enough to make people think you’re closer to your chair than your friends.

Indeed, your chair has arguably become the centerpiece of your workstation at home and in the office.

Over time, though, you realize that the chair is looking a bit rough around the edges; it needs a clean.

You raid your garage to find a few brushes, detergents, and even some leather wax. Gathering these, you make your way to your office chair having doubts.

Luckily, we’re here to help you answer these questions. So, sit back (not in the dirty chair), and read our guide on how you can clean your office chair!

Table of Contents

What You Need To Know About Cleaning An Office Chair?

Cleaning an office chair may seem straightforward; in most cases, it is.

The mistake you can probably make is to think that all office chairs are the same. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

In reality, office chairs differ.

And, it’s important to remember this since you can’t clean different types of chairs the same way. Do this, and you’ll either damage or stain your chair completely.

Cleaning debris and taking care of stains aren’t the same thing. Regardless of the type of office chair you have, follow this simple rule of thumb:

Pick up or vacuum loose debris. Apply a cleaning to and wipe off everything else.

We all know chairs come in various shapes and sizes. What’s more, office chairs differ in material.

The material of your office chair will have a dramatic impact on the materials you use and. The office chair material will also affect how you’ll clean yours.

Office chairs usually come in the following materials:

  • Mesh
  • Fabric
  • Leather

Let’s go into what you’ll need to clean each type of chair in much greater detail.

Read More >> Top 10 Best Office Chairs Under $200 (2021 Review)

simple clean office chair

What You’ll Need To Clean Your Office Chair?

We talked about how there are different types of office chairs. We can classify each into their materials.

And, the material of yours will dictate how you go about cleaning and getting supplies.

Let’s kick things off with what you’ll need to tidy up your mesh office chair.

What You’ll Need For Mesh Office Chairs

Mesh has been a popular material for its comfort and versatility. You can find it in almost every furniture store.

Anybody unsure about what kind of chair to pick can’t go wrong with a mesh office chair.

Mesh gets its softness and texture from its porousness.

Textile companies manufacture mesh cushions by stitching and knitting smaller mesh fabrics.

Because mesh is porous, be careful about rubbing off loose debris. Vacuuming is still the way to go if you want to be on the safe side.

Other than a vacuum cleaner, you’ll also need these to clean your mesh chair:

  • Pieces of cloth
  • Dishwashing liquid or any water-based cleaning solution (rubbing alcohol is fine, but we wouldn’t exactly put it as option A)
  • Some cotton swabs

As you can see, the materials you need for a mesh chair are as easy to find as mesh furniture.

In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if you have the above-mentioned already.

What You’ll Need For Fabric Office Chairs

There are many fabrics available on the market. Office chairs can come in many of these fabrics.

Because the surface of fabrics can differ greatly among its varieties, it’s easy to get caught up in the details.

In particular, it’s easy to assume that varying types of fabric call for different cleaning supplies and techniques.

While you’re not wrong, you can’t go wrong with the basics.

What are the basic cleaning solutions? Just like when cleaning a mesh chair, go for:

  • Water-based cleaning solutions or dish soap
  • A sponge
  • Pieces of cloth
  • A few cotton swabs for those hard-to-reach areas

Of course, some fabrics like plastic will require less care than others. However, soap and water won’t hurt — unless you’re cleaning a chair made of the next material.

What You’ll Need For Leather Office Chair Cleaning

Leather is famous for its glossiness and softness when used on furniture. Its sheen allows it to be an upscale option for furniture, including office chairs.

Let’s face it. Nothing screams “sophisticated workstation” better than an office chair adorned in leather.

However, for its aesthetics and appeal, leather can be one of the toughest materials to maintain.

For this reason, you’ll have to be careful and think twice about using soap.

Other than dirt, soap stains and glaring creases are no good.

So, to clean leather office chairs, choose the following:

  • A vacuum cleaner, preferably with a soft brush vacuum cleaner head
  • Lint-free pieces of cloth
  • Some liquid dish soap
  • At least a liter of distilled water

Ideally, you’ll want to clean your leather office chair preventably and weekly. But, we’ve all been there. We clean when we see dirt.

Even then, the same cleaning techniques apply, as you’ll see later.

Read More >> Top 10 Best Reclining Office Chairs With Footrests (2021 Review)

mesh office chair fact

How To Clean a Mesh Office Chair (4 Easy Steps)

If you have a mesh office chair, follow these simple steps to make yours good as new:

  1. Vacuum or Wipe Off Loose Debris
  2. Add Some of Your Cleaning Solution Onto A Damp Cloth
  3. Rub the Damp Cloth on Your Mesh Chair
  4. Pat With a Dry Cloth

Step 1: Vacuum or Wipe Off Loose Debris

Vacuuming or wiping off loose debris prepares your mesh chair for the “wetter” part of the cleaning process.

Now, take note that we said “wipe”. Rubbing small loose debris like crumbs might push dirt deeper into your mesh chair’s foam. This will make cleaning your chair an even bigger nightmare.

Wipe loose debris in one direction. For those hard-to-reach areas, dislodge some of the dirt using the cotton swabs.

Step 2: Add Some of Your Cleaning Solution Onto a Damp Cloth

Ideally, you’ll want the water to be warm because the temperature helps remove stains. With the help of your dish soap, you can dislodge the stains from the surface of your chair.

In place of soap, you can use rubbing alcohol. Don’t go overboard on the stuff, though. You can also do the same to your cotton swabs to prepare to clean certain areas.

Step 3: Rub the Damp Cloth on Your Mesh Chair

Gently rub the dampened cloth on your mesh chair. You can use more pressure on areas with stains or spills.

For those hard-to-reach places, use the dampened cotton swabs.

Step 4: Pat With a Dry Cloth

Use a piece of cloth to dry your mesh chair. Once you’ve done this, you can leave the rest to the air.

Cleaning Your Fabric Office Chair (4 Easy Steps)

You’ll be surprised at how similar the steps are for fabric chairs. Like many other types of office chairs, you’ll probably find care instructions somewhere.

Usually, the care instructions will be behind the backrest.

If you can’t find it anywhere on the chair, these steps will help you with cleaning and maintenance:

  1. Vacuum Your Office Chair
  2. Dampen a Piece of Cloth with Warm Water and Add Dish Soap
  3. Rub the Damp Cloth on Your Fabric Office Chair
  4. Pat Dry Then Air Dry

Step 1: Vacuum Your Office Chair

Vacuuming your chair removes loose debris without leaving anything in the creases. Never skip vacuuming because proceeding to wiping and rubbing will lodge dirt further into your office chair.

Step 2: Dampen a Piece of Cloth with Warm Water and Add Dish Soap

Take a piece of cloth and dampen it in warm water. Squeeze out any excess water. Once damp, squirt on some dish soap. Be careful with the amount — using too much soap can leave suds on the fabric of your chair.

Step 3: Rub the Damp Cloth on Your Fabric Office Chair

Gently rub the cloth all over your fabric chair. Feel free to rub more vigorously on areas with stains.

Step 4: Pat Dry Then Air Dry

Once you’ve cleaned your fabric chair, take a dry piece of cloth and pat down your office chair. You can then leave it to air dry.

Cleaning Leather Office Chairs (5 Simple Steps)

Cleaning leather office chairs will require a bit more care.

Also, the steps below can be done either periodically or as part of regular maintenance.

  1. Use a Vacuum Cleaner With a Soft Brush Attachment
  2. Dilute Some Dish Soap in a Liter of Warm Distilled Water
  3. Moisten a Piece of Lint-Free Cloth With the Cleaning Solution You Made
  4. Wipe Your Leather Chair. Don’t Rub.
  5. Dry Your Leather Chair Using a Piece of Lint-Free Cloth

Step 1: Use a Vacuum Cleaner With a Soft Brush Attachment

Using a soft brush attachment ensures that your leather chair stays scratch and crease-free.

For the same purpose, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t go overboard on the vacuum pressure.

Step 2: Dilute Some Dish Soap in a Liter of Warm Distilled Water

The amount of dish soap should be a fifth of the water you have.

So, if you have a liter of warm distilled water, you’ll want to put 250 ml of dish soap or less.

Too much dish soap can cause soap stains on your leather office chair.

Step 3: Moisten a Piece of Lint-Free Cloth With the Cleaning Solution You Made

Be careful not to make the lint-free cloth too wet. Squeeze out any excess cleaning solution.

Step 4: Wipe Your Leather Chair. Don’t Rub.

Wipe your leather chair in one direction. Doing this minimizes the risk of leaving scratches on the leather upholstery of your office chair.

Step 5: Dry Your Leather Chair Using a Piece of Lint-Free Cloth

Do this in a similar way to how you wiped your leather chair the first time. Wipe your chair with a dry piece of lint-free cloth. Once you’ve done that, let your chair air dry, preferably not in direct sunlight.

Read More >> How To Adjust An Office Chair (The Easy Way)

How To Clean An Office Chair With Stains?

The easiest way to get stains out of an office chair is to mix a few drops of soap and warm water, and dab the stain with the mixture and wipe it (try not to scrub). Rinse out any extra soap with a damp cloth.

How To Clean An Office Chair That Stinks?

You can clean a stinky office chair by sprinkling baking soda on the fabric and letting it sit for at least an hour. After the hour, vacuum the baking soda up. This will freshen up most fabrics.

How Much Does It Cost To Have Office Chairs Professionally Cleaned?

According to HomeAdvisor, having your office chair professionally cleaned will cost you between $10-$50. 

Keep in mind, some companies have a minimum number of chairs you must have cleaned. 

Final Thoughts On Cleaning Different Materials

One of the best ways to get your workstation chair clean is prevention. 

  • Immediately Remove Stains. The longer a stain soaks in, the more difficult it is to remove. Clean it now before it becomes a stain.
  • Be Careful Using Chemicals. Remember that harsh chemicals can do more than damage your workstation chair. Breathing in the fumes can be dangerous, so only use these in a well-ventilated area.
  • Look For Cleaning Instructions. Most office chairs have a tag under the seat. Make sure to read those details before attempting to clean it at home.

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