How to Clean and Care for Your Office Chair

yhst-10258600314819_2268_271296301From simple upholstery to heirloom leather, office chairs of any type often become dirty, coffee stained, and littered with crumbs when used day in and day out. For most people, their office chair is central to the appearance of their work space, so keeping it clean is a priority. Chairs are fairly low maintenance, but how to clean them properly depends on their material.

Whether you have basic fabric seating or an ergonomic mesh chair, here are some helpful tips for cleaning your office chair.


Often found at contemporary workplaces in vibrant colors, plastic chairs come in many shapes and forms. While not the most comfortable since they often lack supportive padding of any sort, plastic chairs are nonetheless the easiest type of office chair to clean.

Since they are plastic these chairs don’t absorb spills or stain very easily, so all that is needed is the occasional dusting and wipe down with a damp cloth.


An extremely common material for office chairs, fabric upholstery requires fairly regular cleaning in order to stay looking nice. Frequent vacuuming and spot cleaning is recommended. After all, since their material is like clothing, fabric chairs can easily get dirty, stained, or torn.   When cleaning your fabric chair, always check the manufacturers tag first. Most fabric office chairs will indicate a “W”, “S”, “SW”, or “X”. This will let you know if you can use a cleaning product that is “Water based”, “Solvent/dry clean” or “Water based or Solvent”. While uncommon, an “X” means you need to get it professionally cleaned.


Similar to fabric but easier to take care of, mesh is especially popular since many ergonomic chairs use mesh backing. In general, occasional vacuuming and a wipe down with soapy water should suffice in keeping your mesh chair clean. Don’t forget to clean out the cracks with a damp cotton swab.

If the mesh material becomes stained, check the tag or contact the manufacturer to find out what solvents are safe. When spot cleaning, be careful not to push too hard or scrub roughly, since this can damage the mesh.


Made of high quality material, leather office chairs require regular cleaning to maintain their sophisticated appearance. While they are fairly stain resistant, always wipe up spills immediately and avoid using wet cleaners that have not been made for leather.

In addition to dusting and vacuuming, leather chairs need to be treated with a specialized conditioner a few times each year. Not only does this restore its rich shine, but the conditioner prevents the leather from drying out and developing cracks.


A synthetic mix between fabric and plastic, vinyl chairs are fairly simple to take care of. The main problem with vinyl is dirt and grime buildup, so regularly vacuum off and wipe down your chair with a damp cloth. Follow the care tag when choosing a cleaner and use a soft brush to avoid tearing the material.

While vinyl chairs are stain resistant and similar in appearance to leather, they do not need special conditioning.

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