An office chair is the most inevitable part of your home office. You spend the entire day sitting on it. And, that might be the reason it gets dirty so often. But the worrying starts, when you start noticing dark spots all over the chair. It’s clear the chair needs more than regular dusting. Is it okay to wash an office chair?
You can wash your office chair. If the cleaning tag says “W” or “S/W” there’s no issue with using water-based cleaning methods. However, if the tag says “S” only, then you have to go for the dry cleaning methods.
It’s okay to be confused if it’s your first time cleaning a chair. Our to-do and the not-to-do list is specially arranged to give you a glimpse into how your choices affect the chair’s durability and shine.
What’s The Right Way To Wash Office Chair?
It really doesn’t matter whether you have a fabric, vinyl, or leather chair. There is a process to clean all kinds of office chairs. But, first, let’s talk about the general way that works for almost any type of office chair.
- Start with preparing the cleaning solution. The safest one would be mixing a few drops of dishwashing soap (liquid) within a bowl of water.
- Grab a small cloth that won’t leave any lint behind while rubbing. Now, wet it into the bowl and wring it properly afterward.
- Now, rub the armrest, neck rest and the whole chair thoroughly. When you come across a stain, give several strokes to cover it in the solution properly.
- That’s it. Now, let the solution do its work for about 15 minutes.
- Pick another cloth that is clean and wet it into a clean bowl of water. Start wiping the entire chair with it. after a few strokes, rewet and wring the cloth. That way, you would get the chair clean quickly.
- Once the water runs clean after you wring it, let the chair air-dry. You will notice, a shiny office chair without any trace of dirt whatsoever.
Is There Any Dos and Don’ts List For Better Result?
There are a lot of tips when it comes to making the most of your cleaning. In this segment, we will discuss every to-do and not-to-do tip while washing office chairs. so, keep reading.
7 Things To Do While Cleaning An Office Chair:
1. Lukewarm Water Is Better
When you prep the liquid solution, it’s better to go for lukewarm water. It should fall between 100F to 105F. Anything above that would be considered ‘hot’ water which is harmful to chair materials.
On the other hand, lukewarm water helps to activate the cleaning agents of the solution. Plus, it can penetrate the chair surface faster than regular water. Ultimately, you can enjoy better results with the same effort. So, why not?
2. Use Microfiber Cloth
Microfiber cloth is the new cleaning ninja. More people incline towards this material to clean furniture. And, there is a good reason for that.
Unlike cotton, microfiber cloth doesn’t break down easily after several washes. Its durability and strong structural commitment make it a favorite when it comes to cleaning anything. You don’t want to use an old cotton cloth that leaves lint behind. That would fail the entire purpose of cleaning the chair in the first place.
But microfiber cloths without the help of any detergent or solvent easily pick up dirt from the surface. Again, once you rinse it with water, it quickly shakes everything off including the micro debris. That’s pretty handy, right?
3. Read The Cleaning Tag Carefully
You can never read the cleaning tag too much. This small step will change your whole cleaning game. You see, every office chair is different. Only the manufacturer knows best how you should clean the particular chair without encountering any damage.
The tag should contain instructions regarding how to clean it and which type of solution to apply. In case, it’s your first time cleaning a chair, there are three types of solutions recommended by the manufacturers. They use certain code letters to mention them.
For example, if you see “W,” on the tag, it means the chair should only be washed with water-soluble solvents. That means you can use the dish-soap formula we earlier mentioned without any fear.
However, if the tag read “S,” that means, the material will get damaged due to water. So, a dry-cleaning agent is an appropriate solvent here.
Next up, we have S/W. it means the material can handle both water-soluble and dry agents pretty well.
4. Handpick As Much Debris As You Can
You don’t always have to use a vacuum cleaner or detergent to clean the chair. Handpicking trash after you get up is the best way to avoid dark spots. Imagine you are eating cookies. You have left some crumbs on the chair without noticing. It doesn’t leave any stain immediately like coffee or soup. However, if you stay seated with the crumbs on your chair for a long time, the oil within the cookie will transfer into the chair. That’s bad news.
Because now you have to follow a rigorous method of cleaning to get rid of the oily stain. However, it wouldn’t be the case if you would have picked up the crumbs as soon as they fell.
So, instead of waiting for the scheduled time, handpick any dirt from the chair if you can. That saves you from a lot of trouble later.
5. Use Distilled Water
Distilled water is better than tap water for washing. That’s because tap water contains a lot of unnecessary chemicals like chlorine. Of course, chlorine is important to get rid of the harmful bacteria within tap water. But it affects the cleaning process negatively.
That’s why we would suggest using a bowl of distilled water to prepare the liquid solution. especially, if you are dealing with white leather, you wouldn’t want any residue. Distilled water is famous for absorbing dirt swiftly without leaving any residue behind.
If you are worried about the aesthetics of your expensive chair, please stick with distilled water.
6. Vacuum Before Washing
Even though we are describing how to wash the chair, there are certain pre-conditions to get a shiny chair. One of them is vacuuming the chair before actually wiping it with water.
Pouring water on a dirty surface actually makes it harder to get rid of the dirt. Instead, try vacuuming the chair first. Make sure the suction is subtle so that it won’t damage the chair in any way. Then, use a dry brush to clean up anything that’s left.
After completing these two steps, go for the actual water-based washing. That way, you already have a semi-clean surface to start with. it will enable the detergent to penetrate the stain better and act more effectively.
7. Apply Conditioner
Most people think the job is done once you dry up the chair. But there’s one more step left. It’s applicable to all leather chairs. you see, leather chairs tend to lose their shin soon after you wash them. you might have noticed it with your leather jackets as well.
To restore the gloss, apply conditioner to it. You can grab the ready-to-apply conditioner from the supermarket. But that’s costly. If you want something cheaper, here’s a DIY trick for you. Pour water into a bowl. Now, get a baby bathe soap and pour it into the water. If you don’t like the smell, adding vinegar is an option.
Now, mix it properly and apply it on top of the chair. Let it dry up naturally. You will notice the chair slowly getting its life back.
What Not To Do While Cleaning Office Chair:
1. Keeping The Chair Wet Overnight
A dampened fabric is the weakest. That’s true for an office chair too. The upholstery is really vulnerable when you wet it. Even though it takes time to notice the damage visually, it’s better to not attempt to.
Some people just wet it with the cleaning agent and let it soak overnight. That’s enough to leave a white cast or discoloration. What you can do instead is keep track of time after you apply the first coat of cleaning solution.
If the instructions say 15 to 30 minutes, make sure you don’t exceed that limit. After that, wipe the solution away with clean water. After the initial wash, get a clean and dry cloth and run it over the chair. Try to soak as much water as you can during this process. that way, it will take less time to fully dry the chair.
2. Using Hot Water To Prepare The Solution
Using hot water instead of lukewarm water is a big mistake. But the problem is that most people don’t use thermometers to check the temperature before applying. Hot water can easily damage any fabric and weaken its structure. The leather chair being warped up or discolored due to extreme heat.
Again, hot water might manipulate the cleaning solution you wanted to prepare. So, it’s a big NO. If you don’t want to measure the water temperature, we would suggest you skip it altogether. We mean, go with regular water at room temperature. That would still be far better than hot water.
3. Letting The Chair Dry Under Direct Sunlight
How to dry the chair after washing is another problem. Since it’s quicker to let it dry under sunlight, many people opt for this method. We are not saying it’s wrong. But you have to check whether the temperature is mild or not. because putting a washed chair under extremely hot midday sun can bring more harm than good.
If there’s any dirt left after the cleaning, it will get sealed back into the upholstery. The next time, you will have to put more effort to clean it up. And, that’s only one of the many issues you will face.
So, even if you like drying it under sunlight, keep the chair sideways. That way, the main portion of the chair will get less sunlight than usual.
4. Delaying The Clean-Up Process
Regular maintenance is the key to a clean and glossy office chair. By ‘regular’ we mean cleaning up the mess as soon as you notice. Don’t wait too long. for example, if you spill tea or coffee on the chair right now, clean it immediately. You might get away with a quick wipe. But, if you wait for the next turn, there will be a dark spot to remove.
And, unfortunately, the cleaning solution might leave some stains behind. That’s a horrible feeling.
So, our suggestion is to stop delaying the clean-up if you accidentally drop something on the chair.
5. Forgetting The Wheels
The wheels are an essential part of any ergonomic office chair. But we hardly pay attention to these while cleaning. Don’t forget that wheels are the only parts that come in contact with so much dust or dirt every day.
We are talking about cleaning the entire chair, not just the upholstery. To clean the wheels, first, detach them from the chair. Normally, pulling them one by one should do the work. If it doesn’t, you might need a tool like a screwdriver.
Once, the wheels are out, use the same screwdriver or a knife to clean up all the dirt from inside. Most of the time, you will see hair, and food scrambles getting trapped inside the wheels. After that, get a microfiber cloth and rub it a little. There you go! The wheels are ready to rock again.
How To Remove Dark Sports From A Leather Office Chair?
When you are removing stains from a leather chair, be as gentle as possible. Leather and plastic mesh quickly reacts to cleaning agents. So, it wouldn’t need much rubbing.
Nonetheless, here are the solutions we have found useful for a leather office chair.
Did the manufacturer instruct you not to use water on the chair? Then, you can make a solution with olive oil and vinegar. Keep the ratio 50:50. You are not supposed to wash the mixture off later with water. Use a dry cloth to wipe away the excess product and dirt.
2. Baking Soda-Water
Almost everyone has baking soda in their homes. It’s a great DIY trick to make your stain-removing solution. Add one tablespoon of baking soda inside a bowl of clean water (1-2 cups). If you want, you can pour some vinegar into it too.
The mixture is now ready. Apply it under the chair first to avoid any accidents. Start applying it all over the dark spots on your office chair if it doesn’t react badly.
3. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol works great if the tag says “S.” You are only supposed to apply it on the specific stain or spot. Just use a cotton pad and pour some rubbing alcohol on it. slowly rub the stain in a circular motion. Let it sit for half an hour. Then, wash it off with clean water. Rubbing alcohol easily removes ink stains.
How Can I Deodorize My Office Chair After Washing?
Unfortunately, it’s common to end up with a smelly office chair after washing. It happens when you let the water stay on the chair for too long. Some fabrics are don’t react well after coming in contact with water. However, to get rid of the unpleasant smell, pour some vinegar(white) into a cup of water. Rub it all over the chair. Let it dry naturally and see the magic. It works almost every time.
Before You Go!
Desks are as much important as chairs. But we often care so much about cleaning desks thoroughly. Since you have taken a wonderful initiative to clean up the chair, why leave the desk behind? Check out our guide on how you clean a desk properly.
Enjoy working in your spotless and shiny office.