Whether you work from home or in the office, an office job involves spending most of the day sitting in your chair. An occasional accident involving food, ink, or drink is bound to happen, and you'll have to clean it up. Over time, the upholstery may also need a full cleaning and if your wheels don't roll as well anymore, they probably need cleaning too.
Part 1 of 3: Taking care of spills and stains
Step 1. Pick up loose dirt
Use a paper towel to pick up as much dirt as possible and toss it in the trash. You may need to do this several times to completely remove the dirt. When cleaning a fabric-covered chair, it's important not to rub while cleaning; you could press the dirt into the upholstery, making it more difficult to clean.
It's important to act as soon as you notice the dirt so that it doesn't have time to settle
Step 2. Clean wet spots with a wet cloth
The faster you work on a wet stain, the less likely it is to set and leave a stain. If you act fast enough, all you need to do is wet a cloth or rag with water. Use it to absorb as much liquid as possible. Wring the liquid into a separate container or sink, and continue to remove the spilled liquid until it is gone.
Step 3. Check the care label on the seat
This label contains cleaning instructions directly from the manufacturer. If it has an 'S' on it, you should only use solvent-based products to clean the seat. AW means you must use a water-based solvent, while a SW or S/W means that both types of solutions can be used.
Step 4. Clean S-coded seats with a dry cleaning solvent
The upholstery can be damaged by products containing water. There are several brands of cleaners and you should always refer to the instructions that come with the product. Some come in liquid form while others come in powder form.
- In either case, apply a little solvent to a dry cloth and remove the stain.
- Make sure to use a damp cloth to remove the solvent or it may leave a ring on the upholstery.
Step 5. Wash W-coded seats with a water-based solvent
Mix a mild dish soap with water and dampen a clean cloth with it. Clean the stain with the cloth. Be careful not to rub the stain or you could damage the upholstery, especially if it's made of fabric or microfiber.
Step 6. Remove stains with rubbing alcohol
Dampen a cotton ball with a few drops of rubbing alcohol. Test the alcohol first on a small area of the chair that is not visible, such as the bottom. If it doesn't cause any damage, rub the cotton ball on the stain.
- Fabric upholstery has a tendency to fray if rubbed too hard. Be careful with these types of surfaces.
- Do not use rubbing alcohol on acrylic fabric upholstery.
- Rubbing alcohol contains only a small amount of water and you may be able to use it on upholstery with an S code. When in doubt, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a small and inconspicuous area of the upholstery. If there is no damage, you can use rubbing alcohol on it.
Part 2 of 3: Freshen up the upholstery
Step 1. Vacuum up dirt and dust
Start with an upholstery attachment, with a wide plastic end and a brush underneath. The brush is so soft that it won't scratch leather and vinyl upholstery. Run the vacuum cleaner over the seat, back and armrests of the chair.
- After you've gone through the upholstery with the upholstery attachment, take the crevice tool to get to hard-to-reach areas.
- Make sure that the suction is not too strong, as this can damage leather upholstery.
Step 2. Make a solution of liquid soap and water
As a soap, use a natural and biodegradable dishwashing detergent. Make sure to test the solution on a small and inconspicuous area of the cladding; this is the only way to be absolutely sure that the solution won't damage it. The composition of the solution varies depending on what the coating is made of.
For fabric, vinyl or leather upholstery, mix a few drops of soap with 250 ml of water
Step 3. Dip a cloth in the cleaning solution and wipe the upholstery
Make sure to use a clean, lint-free cloth. Slightly dampen the cloth instead of letting it drip; you should not leave too much detergent on the upholstery. Be careful not to rub or scrub as this can fray the fabric or scratch the leather.
Step 4. Wipe the upholstery with a dry cloth
Wipe off any water or soap residue and allow the seat to air dry. Store the chair in a well-ventilated area so that it can dry faster.
Part 3 of 3: Cleaning the wheels, armrests and legs
Step 1. Turn the seat upside down and remove the wheels
You may find it easier to work if you sit in a different chair. This way you don't weigh your back because you don't have to bend over continuously. Some wheels pop off with a pull, but others may need to be loosened with a screwdriver.
Step 2. Use a butter knife to scrape away coarse dirt
Whether it's dried food, gunk, or even small rocks, they can hinder the movement of your office chair. The butter knife can slide into the gap between the wheel and the canopy, allowing you to scrape off or remove any debris stuck in the wheel.
If there are hairs stuck in the wheel, trim them with scissors and use tweezers to remove them
Step 3. Wipe the wheel with a dry cloth
This will surely get rid of all the mess that you can't scrape away with the butter knife. If the wheels are very dirty, dampen the cloth and add a few drops of washing-up liquid.
If you need to clean between the wheel and the canopy, use a cotton swab moistened with water to clean along the groove
Step 4. Dry the wheels with kitchen paper
Any moisture left on the wheel will prevent it from rolling smoothly. Wipe the wheel thoroughly with paper towels, especially if you used soap.
Step 5. Put the wheels back on the seat and turn it over again
Your seat should now roll much smoother. If the wheels have screws, don't forget to screw them back on before sitting in the chair.
Step 6. Wipe the armrests and chair legs with a damp cloth
Since these parts are usually plastic or metal, they are much easier to clean than the seat cover. Usually it is enough to clean them with a damp cloth. If the stain is more stubborn, use a mild solution of water and dish soap.