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How to Clean Stains and Spills from Your Office Chair

Avatar of Karen Kimonye Karen Kimonye | Feb 4, 2021
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Are you struggling with dirty stains on your otherwise pristine office furniture? Tried everything you can think of but can’t seem to get it out? We’ve got some great cleaning tips here for your most tricky stains, so read on to find out how you can keep your office furniture looking fresh with these hot cleaning tips.

Your office chair endures a lot. After all, you sit on it around 30 hours a week! With that amount of use, it only takes a few months before a new office chair shows signs of wear and tear, or dirt. So, how do you clean stains and spills from your office chair?

You may think that once you spill coffee or any other drink on your office chair, it’s time to throw it away, and buy a new one. But that isn’t the case.

In this article, we’ll explore quick and easy ways to clean your office chair yourself and we’ll provide helpful tips for cleaning specialist material, such as fiber, leather, and mesh.

4 Simple Tips for Cleaning All Types of Upholstery

Tips to clean your chair

Before we dive into how to clean different types of upholstery, keep in mind that in all cases there are a few things you can always do:

  • Clean stains and spills immediately. Because the longer you wait, the harder it becomes to remove stains and spills.
  • With any cleaning method, first pre-test a small, inconspicuous area before cleaning the entire chair.
  • Always follow instructions on your office chair or on the products you’re cleaning with.
  • Clean your office chair in a well-ventilated area.

How to Clean Fabric and Fiber Office Chairs

The most common types of office chairs are made from woven fabric. This is because woven fabric offers a comfortable and affordable solution for most offices. However, fiber is the most porous upholstery you can choose because it’s susceptible to dirt, especially if you eat at your desk regularly.

But these easy steps can help you give your fabric or fiber office chair a new lease of life:

  • First, vacuum clean your office chair to get rid of the bulk of dirt;
  • Next, spray your office chair with a quality fabric cleaner. Pay extra attention to stained areas;
  • Leave the fabric cleaner to work for about 10 minutes;
  • Finally, vacuum clean your chair again to remove all the dirt the fabric cleaner has pulled out of the fabric.

How to Clean and Care for Leather Office Chairs

Clean leather office chair

Leather office chairs are classy, comfortable, and professional. After investing in a high-quality leather office chair, you want to make sure it looks good for a long time.

Before cleaning your leather, always check to see the type you have. Check the tags on your office chair and any written information from the manufacturer which may provide cleaning directions. Here are simple ways to keep your leather office chair looking good:

  • Vacuum your office chair regularly. Make sure you use a soft brush attachment so you don’t scratch your office chair and make sure the suction isn’t too strong to cause any damage.
  • Wipe your leather office chair once a week with a clean cloth. Use a cloth that won’t leave any dye or lint. Wipe your chair gently, don’t scrub.
  • If your leather chair needs a deeper clean, use a 1:4 solution of liquid soap and distilled water. Dampen a lint-free cloth with the solution and wipe your office chair gently—again, don’t scrub it. Using a clean, damp cloth; get rid of any soap or residue, and then dry your chair.
  • Also, consider applying a leather protector or conditioner on your leather office chair. However, before you do this, check your chair’s tag to see the type of leather office chair you have.

How to Clean and Care for Standard Vinyl Office Chairs

Clean the chair

Vinyl office chairs are a great, cost-effective option. These chairs also have a look and texture similar to leather with less maintenance. To clean your vinyl office chair first, remove any excess spills with a damp cloth. Then:

  • Using a soft brush or cloth, clean the chair with a mixture of mild soap and water. Rinse your chair and pat it dry.
  • You can use concentrated cleaners to remove tougher stains. Rinse with water and dry the chair with a clean cloth.
  • For tougher stains use a mixture of 6% bleach and water. Rinse with clean water and dry the chair with a clean cloth. Don’t use concentrated bleach or alcohol-based cleaning products on your vinyl chairs.

However, if the stain is still there, this means it might have set. Most vinyl is resistant to common stains, but some dyes and inks can leave permanent stains.

How to Clean and Care for Office Chairs with PERMABLOK3® Finish

Clean chair

Sometimes, Vinyl office chairs may have a PERMABLOK3® finish, which protects your office chair from germs, abrasion, and stains. If your Vinyl office chair has this finish, take the following steps depending on the type of stain:

1.      To remove spills from mascara, black felt pen, crayon, or chocolate, first remove the excess spill with a damp cloth. Then clean the stained area with a mixture of equal amounts of soap and water. Rinse and dry.

2.      To remove stains from red lipstick, use a concentrated application of cleaning products, such as Formula 409® or Fantastik®. Then, dry the stained area with a clean cloth.

3.      To clean tougher stains from blood, oil base paint, urine, tar, asphalt, use a 1:1 mixture of ammonia and water or a 1:4 mixture of bleach and water. Then rinse and dry your chair with a lint-free cloth.

4.      For other tougher stains use a straight application of naphtha or lighter fluid. Then rinse the upholstery thoroughly with water and dry with a clean cloth.

5.      Finally, you can also use a 1:1 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water. If this doesn’t work, use straight alcohol. Then rinse the chair thoroughly with water and pat it dry.

For steps 4 and 5, use a soft cotton rag soaked with the cleaning product and rub the stain in circles 15 times. Dry the stained area with another cloth.

However, when removing stains from your office chair, it’s crucial to note that naphtha and isopropyl alcohol are highly flammable, so use these products away from fire or flames.

Final Thoughts

How often you clean your office chair depends on how often you use it. But the best option is to clean and maintain your office chair regularly and to remove any spills or stains as soon as you notice them. None of these cleaning methods is guaranteed, but hopefully, they can help you remove stains and take care of your office chair.

But if you have to clean your office chair repeatedly, chances are that you using the wrong upholstery for your environment.

If you have any cleaning tips you’d like to share, leave your comments in the comment section below.

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WRITTEN BYKaren Kimonye

I'm a freelance writer who specializes in creating blog posts, and articles that build trust and compel readers to take the desired action.

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