Simple Steps on How to clean an office chair

Buying an ergonomic office chair that fits your needs is one thing. But maintaining its cleanliness is another. In fact, this is often overlooked by most users. Most people often forget that their office chairs still need cleaning and maintenance. Especially in the summer months when you can sweat more than usual, your office chair will reek of a pungent smell if you don’t clean it.

But how can you easily clean your office chair? It also depends on what it is made from. In this article, we’ll help you go about how to clean your mesh, plastic, leather, and fabric upholstered office chair. No one would want to work in a stinky ergonomic chair even if it’s a premium one!

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Cleaning a fabric upholstered office chair

If you have a fabric office chair, this is the best method to spruce it up.

  1. Get rid of any large and loose debris and dirt by vacuuming the seat and the backrest. Use the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner to suck in all those dirt and dust better.
  2. Determine if the fabric of your office chair tolerates wet cleaners. Some fabric can get damaged if you use commercial wet cleaners. Thus, dry cleaning is often more suitable. You don’t have to take it to the professionals right away. Here’s a simple way on how to dry clean your fabric chair.

First, get a good amount of the dry cleaner and use a clean cloth to rub the solution to the surface to be cleaned. Give it a good rub to loosen the dirt and slowly take them all out. Then, use a damp cloth to remove any of the residue and dirt that may still be left.

  1. But if your fabric office chair tolerates a liquid cleanser, here’s what you should do. First, you can use a foam cleanser and put a dollop on the area to be cleaned. Allow the solution to sit on the fabric for a few minutes. Use a clean cloth to scrub off the residue. Allow the fabric to dry and use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove any residue.
  2. If you don’t have a foam cleanser, a simple solution of water and soap will do. Make a solution of the warm and liquid soap. Get a clean cloth and dip it over the warm soapy water, then rub off the dirt. Use a wet clean cloth to remove the soapy suds and to rinse it. Allow to air dry.

Cleaning a mesh office chair

Cleaning a mesh chair may seem difficult right? Those plastic weaved materials may seem harder to clean than ordinary plastic. But do not worry, it is not rocket science.

  1. The best cleanser for mesh chairs is your good old liquid soap and water.
  2. But first things first, grab your vacuum. Remove the larger debris and loosen dirt that can get stuck in between the weaves.
  3. Mix warm water with a little bit of dish soap. Dip a clean cloth into the solution. You may wring it to remove the excess water.
  4. Wipe off the stains and dirt. Ten allow the chair to dry.

Cleaning a leather office chair

Leather can reek of a funky smell if left uncleaned for some time. Though it’s easier to clean than fabric because it doesn’t absorb moisture and sweat. It’s non-porous, making it easier to clean.

  1. Though there are spray and liquid solutions for leather car seats, these can be too hard for your office chair. Alternatingly, a foam cleanse is more suitable.
  2. Add a little bit of warm water to the foam solution.
  3. Get a clean cloth and dab it over the foam water solution. Then clean the affected area, removing the stains and spots.
  4. Then use a damp clean cloth to remove the excess solution and to finish off the cleaning process.
  5. Allow it to dry.
  6. You may also spritz on a leather protectant to add a more shiny finish to your leather office chairs. This will also protect it from spills and liquids.

How to spot clean your office chair

Sometimes, regular cleaning isn’t enough. Your fabric office chair might have a stubborn stain that just would not budge. What is the perfect solution? Spot cleaning! And here’s how to do it

  1. You can spot clean your office chairs using alcohol or a cleaning agent. If you’re using a cleaning agent, just make sure that the material of your office chair allows such use.
  2. Better be safe than sorry, test first on a small hidden area. If you’re unsure if the material of your office chair can tolerate alcohol or the cleaning agent, test it on a small area first. The underside of the seat is the perfect location.
  3. Once you’re sure that it’s gentle enough for your office chair, put a few drops of alcohol or the cleaning agent on the stain. But make sure not to saturate the fabric.
  4. Then use a damp cloth to remove the stain and wipe off the residue. Allow airing dry.

Tips on cleaning your office chair

  1. Have a regular cleaning schedule Do not allow your office chair to be filthy dirty before cleaning them. Doing so may result in the stain becoming too stubborn to treat.
  2. Remove spills and stains asap. This will prevent them from setting deep, especially for fabric chairs.
  3. Freshen up your office chair once a week. Vacuum it as you would your floors. This will only take 10 minutes of your time.
  4. It’s also recommended to do a deep cleaning at least once a month.

What’s that awful smell on your office chair

A filthy chair can smell musty or too much acid. And several things can be happening here. One, fungi are thriving on your chair. Two bacteria are starting to grow, and three, preceding chemicals. These are culprits for the off-putting smell in your office chair. And this is how they can happen.


Sweat contains bacteria. And when you sweat, you transfer these to the chair. Even a little sweat that has accumulated for a few days can smell really bad.


Moisture and spilled liquids on the chair can lead to mold and mildew. And the moisture can come from the sweat and air too.

The best homemade upholstery cleaner

If you don’t like to use chemical cleaners, you can whip up homemade chair cleaners and deodorizers. You’ll find some items in your kitchen quite handy.

Baking soda

Baking soda can kill bacteria. And it can also remove bad smell, instead of just masking it. It destroys the acidity of the membrane of the bacteria. And here are easy ways to use baking soda for cleaning your office chair.

  1. Sprinkle baking soda all over the chair.
  2.  Rub it in so that it penetrates the porous fabric of the chair.
  3. Allow the baking soda to sit overnight.
  4. Then vacuum it off the next day.
  5. This method is best for fabric office chairs


Like baking soda, vinegar is a potent deodorizer too. It may smell vinegary at first, but it will quickly dissipate.

  1. Mix vinegar with equal amounts of water to lower the acidity. Using pure vinegar on fabric or leather can be harmful.
  2. Put equal parts of water and vinegar in a sprayer bottle. Remember to just moisten the material, not soak it.
  3. Spray on the affected area then allow it to dry.


A good bask in the natural sunlight can do wonders for your smelly and dirty office chair! It can kill bacteria and fungi too.

But certain materials should not be allowed to be sunbathed. If your office chair has fabric or leather, this method is not advisable. This is best for mesh, plastic, and vinyl office chairs.

How to remove off-putting smell from chemicals

If you have received your office chair with a strong chemical scent, you are not alone. Several users have also experienced the same. And this strong chemical smell can be harmful to your health. If you breathe in the fumes, it can result in a headache. Here are a few steps on how to make the bad chemical smell dissipate faster.

  1. Leave the chair in hot and windy weather for one day. But if you have leather or fabric office chairs, then proceed to step # 2 instead.
  2.  Choose a non-humid area where you can keep your chair.
  3. You may also use fans and direct them to the chair. This will help blow off the bad smell but make sure that there is good ventilation in the room.
  4. Keep the chair dry. It’s either you turn on a dehumidifier or keep your aircon in dry mode. This will speed things up and will take care of the chemical smell faster.

Final Say

These are very simple steps on how to clean your office chair. Dirt, bacteria, and bad odors go hand in hand. And to keep the bad odors away, deal with stains asap. Get rid of the spills as soon as possible. Keeping the dirt to a minimum will also make cleaning easier.

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