How to Clean an Office Chair (Step by Step Guide)

Reviewed by Betsy Sanchez
Betsy Sanchez

Betsy Sanchez is a professional graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. She loves all things tech and that's why she started writing on different topics online now here, working with us to help the audience who are looking for perfect comfort.

How to Clean an Office Chair

Step by Step Guide to Clean a Office Chair

What has our chair not seen us do? Especially during COVID, when everyone was working from home, we were also practically living on our chairs. Eating, drinking, sleeping, and oh, let’s not forget what chairs are the most useful for: clothes dumping.

There, it’s all out. Now let’s not feel guilty for treating our chairs the way we do. Instead, gear up for cleaning that baby up (cause we’re sure you wouldn’t have done that even after such treatment *upside-down smile*).

No matter what kind of chair you own – be mesh, fabric, leather, or wood – this guide will teach you how to take care of the material while also cleaning them into a pristine finish.

But before starting, make sure that you are aware of your chair’s cleaning guidelines. If you don’t know where to find them, just navigate around the chair for any tags or prints and you might find some related information on whether the chair should be dry cleaned or wet.

Usually, the labels hold letters like “W”, “S”, “WS” or “SW”, “X”, and “C”. What do these labels on office chairs mean?

“W” means that the chair can be cleaned by water-based solutions.

“S” indicates that it should be cleaned using water-free solvents.

“WS” or “SW” means that it can be cleaned by either.

“X” warns for only professional cleaning.

“C” means Crypton cleaning

Essential Office Chair Cleaning Supplies

For a thorough clean, it is important to be adequately equipped with basic cleaning essentials. Therefore, make sure that you have all or most of the below-listed items prepared before you begin your mission.

1. Vacuum Cleaner: A small, handheld, or cordless vacuum will make your cleaning time shorter and results brighter.

2. Detergent and Sponge: A simple dishwashing liquid or a pre-made cleaning solution will help freshen up the space. The sponge or foam will be our medium.

3. Clean Water: A spray bottle filled with clean water, or a bowl full of it, will save your trips to the sink (if any).

4. Clean Cloths: 2 to 3 spare, but soft cloths will help clear away any dust or grime. Microfiber clothes work best for this purpose.


5. Rubbing Alcohol, Vinegar, or Fabric Detergent: For stubborn stains that need a stronger agent to remove.

6. Duster: To remove excessive dust, in case your chair lays unused for a while.

7. Water-free Cleaning Agents: In case your chair’s specs do not permit cleaning with water-based solvents, make sure that you have dry cleaning powders, or water-free cleaning solutions beforehand.

The Process:

Now that you’re equipped with the cleaning agents, you will find the process a lot more convenient and even fun.

Step 1:

Using the spare or microfiber cloth, clear away any solid particles from your office chair. Make sure to avoid throwing them onto the floor or carpet below.

Even better; run your handheld vacuum throughout the surface of the chair to ensure every solid particle gets off it.

Step 2:

On to the thorough cleaning part: if your office chair tag allows water solvent cleaning, mix 1-part dishwashing detergent into 2 or 3 parts water and mix well. Sparsely spray your chair’s upholstery with the solution and let it stay for a while.

If there are any stubborn stains on your chair, make sure to apply a concentrated detergent on the area, or rubbing alcohol, and then scrub it off using a sponge or old toothbrush.

Wipe everything off with a clean cloth or sponge to reveal a fresh and sparkling layer of upholstery.

For non-water cleaning:

If your chair’s tag indicates that it needs to be cleaned using water-free solvents (“S”), then make sure that you use a dry cleaning powder or liquid. Pour the agent of your choice on the cloth, and not directly onto the chair’s surface. Then, give it a little scrub until the area is clean before wiping away the excess.

Step 3:

Do not forget the skeleton of your throne. The body of the chair, that is, the wheels, legs, armrests, spine, and levers should equally be paid attention to.

Take a clean cloth and run it along the perimeters of your office chair to eliminate any dust and dirt. Do not forget the nooks and crannies of the wheels and levers. Use a fanned duster, or wet toothbrush, to get into the narrow areas.

Once you are done wiping with the dry cloth, repeat the process of “Step 2” to get that after-shine on the chair’s body too.

Precautions for Different Office Chair Materials

1. Leather Chair: Leather chairs should be taken well care of to ensure their long life in premium condition.

  • They should not be wiped by wet cloth, only slightly damp ones.
  • Avoid using detergents.
  • If possible, use leather cleaning wipes and leather conditioners for extra protection.

2. Plastic Chairs: Plastic Chairs are usually colored and are have a harder texture. Therefore, to clean it without harming it, make sure to:

  • Not use any harsh material on its surface to avoid scratches.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals which leads to fading of paints.

3. Mesh Chairs: These chairs are easy to clean and quick to dry as well. But make sure to not saturate them too much with a cleaning solution, or else it might get tougher to get the solution off.

4. Fabric Chairs: Fabric chairs can be both easy and complicated to clean depending on the method you choose. A good practice for fabric upholstered chairs would be to lightly clean them regularly to avoid any permanent stains and/or smell from the material. Because fabric tends to absorb things quicker.

  • Be gentle with the scrubbing of stains to avoid the material from wearing off.
  • If you choose to deep clean it with dish-wash and water, do so in an open area so that you can thoroughly clean and wash it. Later, let it air-dry for better results.

Now that you know the steps and precautions for office chair cleaning, be sure to give your beloved throne a fresh makeover this weekend!