How to Clean & Maintain Your Office Chair

A good office chair is an investment, and finding one that you love will make you never want to switch, so properly cleaning up the occasional spill and regularly maintaining it is vital to extending it’s life.

Do I need to “Scotch Guard” my seating?

In most cases, if you purchased your chair from an office furniture dealer like Perry Office Plus, then your upholstery is already guarded against spills and heavy use. There are different levels of protection depending on the application of the chair, but all the seating we offer is for active environments like schools, medical clinics, and corporate settings. If you are unsure where your seating came from or if it will survive constant use and abuse, there is nothing wrong with taking the extra precaution of using Scotch Guard. If you don’t and you’re not sure how to clean up a particularly nasty spill, you can always consult a professional cleaning company.

Regular Chair Maintenance Tips:

  • Brush or vacuum upholstery regularly.
  • Occasionally dust leather surfaces with a soft, clean cloth.
  • On vinyl chairs, remove dirt and smudges with a mild soap and warm water solution. Dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • On wood finishes, wipe the surface with a damp (not wet) cloth or sponge. It is important to wipe in the direction of the wood grain. Wipe dry with a clean cotton cloth.
  • Clean casters. As yucky as it sounds, your chair wheels do accumulate hair and debris and can affect how your chair moves, especially on hard surfaces. Regularly remove this debris. A household cleaner, such as Fantastik® or Formula 409®, may also be applied.
  • Every 6 or so months, tighten the bolts and screws on your chair to ensure safety and stability.

How to Handle Spills & Stains

  1. Clean immediately.
  2. Remove as much of the stain or staining agent as possible from the surface.
  3. Vacuum the surface, gently brush or scrape off the material, and/or soak up any excess liquid from a spill. Do not dry completely as this will cause the stain to set, making clean up more difficult.
  4. Try a gentle soap and water first, but if the stain persists, try a cleaning agent (see next section!)

What Kind of Cleaner Should I Use on Fabric?

If you are unsure what fabric your chair is covered in, you’re probably safe using water and a gentle soap, or a water-based cleaning agent. It will also, of course, depend on the stain.

For Water-Based Stains (coffee, soft drinks, juice), Use Water-Based Cleaning Agents:

  • Pretest a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding.
  • Mix 2 tablespoons ammonia or ammoniated detergent to a quart of water.
  • Wipe the stain gently with a cloth dampened with this solution.
  • Continue turning the cloth so you are always using a clean portion to remove the stain.
  • Work from the outside of the stain toward the center using quick, light strokes. Do not over-saturate the fabric.
  • Allow the area to dry thoroughly and vacuum.
  • Use a professional cleaning service when an overall soiled condition has been reached.

For Oil-Based Stains (lipstick, ink, oil), Use Pure Water-Free Solvents:

  • Use a dry-cleaning solution or spot remover. Some cleaning products may cause discoloration and should be tested in an inconspicuous location prior to use on the chair.
  • Apply the solution to the soiled area using a damp cloth or soft bristle brush.
  • Work from the outside of the stain toward the center using quick, light strokes. Do not over-saturate the fabric.
  • Blot the area with a clean cloth to absorb the cleaning solution and soil.
  • Clean the area with clean water and a damp cloth or sponge.
  • Allow the area to dry thoroughly and vacuum.
  • If the stain persists, repeat the above process. It is better to use several light applications than one heavy one.
  • Use a professional furniture cleaning service when an overall soiled condition has been reached.

How to Clean Leather Seating:

  • For minor stains, clean with distilled water and a soft cloth. Wet the cloth and rub gently over the stain. Wipe dry.
  • If water alone does not work, apply a mild soap to the cloth. Work into a lather and rub gently over the stain. Rinse with a damp cloth and wipe dry.
  • Persistent stains may require a stronger cleaning method. Leather cleaning kits are available in a variety of strengths; contact your seller to see which strength would work best for you. Some cleaning products may cause discoloration and should be tested in an inconspicuous location prior to use on the chair.

How to Clean Vinyl Seating:

  • Use a stronger detergent for more difficult stains and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • For special cleaning problems, use in the following order:
    • Step 1: Non-abrasive household cleaners used with water and a soft cloth. (Fantastik® or Formula 409®)
    • Step 2: Solvent type cleaner liberally applied with a soft cloth. Dry area with a different cloth, rinse with clean water and let dry. (Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol)
    • Step 3: Strong, active solvent cleaners applied with a soft cloth. Stain should be removed with less than 6 rubs; if stain persists after 6 rubs, stain has set and probably cannot be removed. Dry area with a different cloth, rinse with clean water and dry. (Nail polish remover (acetone/water))

How to Clean Wood Finishes:

To remove dirt or finger prints, use a mild cleaner such as Murphy’s Oil Soap®. Dilute the cleaner as recommended by the manufacturer, dampen a soft cloth with the cleaner, and wipe in the direction of the wood grain. Wipe dry with a clean, lint free cotton cloth.

Need more help?

Reach out to the Furniture Consultants at Perry Office Plus for more information on your seating care and maintenance. Your HON or Allsteel chair may also be under warranty and, as an authorized dealer for either brand, we can help with that as well! Give us a call at (800) 234-6605 or email us at customerservice@perryop.com.