In modern-day, corporate offices use office chairs. As the desk jobs are now becoming more stressful and frustrating, being able to sit down comfortably has become a key component for reducing stress. Whether you work from home or office, an office chair is very important when you’re working while sitting for long hours.

In the USA, millions of American employees spend more than 40 hours per week in a desk job. People have to work in close proximity when they are in the same team or the same workspace. In a crowded office space, it’s bound to become a messy haven for germs and bacteria if you don’t clean up regularly.

Even without being in a crowded area, since you have to regularly sit on a chair, it can’t be helped that it gets dirty. Especially if your office chair is made up of cloth or fabric it’s even easier to get it dirty. So you need to take your time and clean the office chair.

When your coffee, tea, and drinks are spilled on the fabric of the chair it’ll absorb the liquid and will leave a stain on the fabric. All modern-day office chairs are upholstery and are a bit difficult to clean.

How to Clean a Cloth Office Chair 1

What is Upholstery?

When your furniture is covered with materials such as fabric, leather, padding, webbing, etc. using springs to make a soft covering for the furniture. The fabric of upholstery furniture is permanently attached to them.

So you can’t just take it off and wash it with your regular garments.

Now the tricky question is –

How to Clean a Cloth Office Chair?

When it comes to the topic of cleaning a cloth office chair, you need to keep a few things in mind. You need to clean the chair regularly to prevent it from accumulating dust and germs. Cleaning it routinely will also prevent the fabric of the chair from getting any permanent stain or spot.

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Office chairs are upholstery type furniture and can be a bit difficult to clean.

To clean a cloth office furniture you need to follow a few steps.

But before going through any steps you need to –

Look for the Cleaning Instructions

Before you start cleaning, look for the cleaning instructions under the office chair. Sometimes it can be found on the back of the chair as well. The manufacturer gives specific cleaning instructions depending on the fabric used on the chair.

The instruction manual is attached in the form of a label. On the label, one of the 4 symbols can be present indicating the appropriate cleaning method for that office chair.

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These symbols are –

  • W
  • S
  • W/S or S/W
  • X

#1. W (Water)

“W” stands for water-based solvent. The presence of this letter or symbol indicates that you can only use a water-based cleaning agent or solvent to clean the fabric of your cloth office chair. This is the most common cleaning method.

#2. S (Solvent)

“S” symbolizes solvent-based solutions. This symbol in the label indicates that the fabric office chair should only be cleaned with water-free solvent-based solutions.

#3. W/S of S/W (Water or Solvent)

Office chairs marked with W/S or S/W code specifies that you’ll have more liberty with the cleaning method. It can be cleaned by either water-based solutions or solvent-based cleaning agents.

#4. X (Vacuum)

THE “X” mark on the label means that the chair cloth can only be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. No solvent-based or agent should be used in the cleaning process.
Light brushing can also be used in the cleaning process.

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Using the cleaning instruction label from the manufacture will make the process easier for you and there won’t have any unwanted problems later on.

You can start the regular cleaning of an office chair using some basic steps –

1. Dry Brush

Use a dry brush to clean the dust settled on the surface of the cloth office chair regularly. This also loosens up the dust, debris, or any kind of dirt attached to the fabric.

So dry cleaning with a brush is the first step to keep your office chair clean.

You should also use the brush to wipe the dust from other non-fabric parts of the chair.

WARNING: You should not use a brush or rub when there is a spill or stain coz it’ll splatter.


2. Vacuum

After using the dry brush, you should also vacuum the fabric of your cloth office chair regularly. This’ll suck any remaining dust or debris from the fabric. Any kind of fabric can be vacuumed despite whatever cleaning code they have. It’ll not only decrease dust and crumbs but you’ll be surprised to find that other stains will become lighter as well.

Just like brushing, you should vacuum other parts of the chair as well.

After using the vacuum, you should follow the cleaning instructions.

TIP: If there is an accidental spill of food or drink, your first response should be to use a vacuum cleaner to suck out as much as dirt possible.

3. Follow the Cleaning Instruction

Following the cleaning instruction label, you can clean the chair fabric using one of the three methods – water-based solutions, solvent agents, or vacuum.

The vacuum is already explained so let’s get on with the other two.

a. Cleaning With Water

Cleaning with water is the most common method to clean a cloth office chair.

If the cleaning instruction label allows you to use this method, you can easily use water and soap to do the job. Use warm water to deal with the stains more effectively. Detergent can be used as well if the stain is very stubborn.

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Just make the water soap solution and soak a piece of cloth to wipe the chair with it. After the wiping is over slightly soak another piece of cloth with clean water and wipe the chair again to clean the soap residue. Then use another clean and dry cloth to soak the remaining water from the chair.

You should only use this method when the cleaning label has the “W” symbol.

CAUTION: Do not over-do it with soap or detergent.

b. Cleaning With Solvent

When the office chair cleaning instruction is marked with “S”, then it means that the user will have some kind of negative impact on the fabric. Cleaning the fabric with water may sometimes cause it to discolor. The fabric can also absorb water which does not dry easily resulting growth of mildew or mold. This can make a bad smell and create an uncomfortable environment in your workspace.

In these cases, you have to go with a water-free solvent type of cleaning agent to deal with spillage or tough stein. You just have to apply the cleaning solvent on a towel or any clean piece of cloth and then use that part of the cloth to put slight pressure on the spillage place. Use blotting to absorb the spilled liquid from the cloth surface.

Final Thoughts

An office chair is your companion in the everyday battle in your working space. You should take good care of this partner of yours. Depending on your usage of your office chair, you should clean it frequently using appropriate methods. Or else your karma will get back at you and bite you (almost literally) on the butt every time you sit on your office chair!

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