A good office chair is an investment, so you want to make it last. With just a bit of regular cleaning and maintenance, you can generally keep office chairs functional and looking good for many years.
Office chair cleaning and maintenance
A standard office chair is made up of several components, including wheels and casters, a cushioned seat, armrests and a hydraulic cylinder and lever for adjusting the chair’s height. Here’s how to clean and care for each of these components.
Wheels and casters
Casters and wheels come into constant contact with dirt, hair, carpet fibres and other debris on the floor, which can quickly accumulate inside of the wheel mechanism. If this build-up of dirt isn’t removed, it will eventually affect the mobility of the chair, and may even cause the casters to break.
Make sure that your chair rolls smoothly by cleaning its wheels and casters regularly. Start by turning the chair upside down and scrubbing the dirt from the wheels with a dry toothbrush. Once you’ve removed most of the debris, scrub the wheels again – this time with a toothbrush and either alcohol or soapy water.
Next, use tweezers to remove tangled hairs from the crevice of the caster on both sides, followed by a hooked implement, such as a bottle opener, to catch and remove the hairs embedded deep in the fissure. Finish by lubricating the wheels with a light silicone spray.
If your chair’s caster or wheel breaks, you can replace it yourself. Just make sure that you buy the right size of wheel, or you risk cracking the caster socket.
Screws and bolts
Whenever you clean your office chair, check for loose or missing parts. Screws and bolts are most likely to come loose under the chair – where the back meets the chair arms – or at the mechanism, so inspect these areas carefully.
The loosening of screws and bolts happens gradually, so this may go unnoticed if you do not check them. If you find any loose parts, tighten them. And if there are any missing parts, replace these to ensure that the chair remains stable and safe for use.
Most adjustable office chairs make use of a pneumatic cylinder that releases air to raise and lower the height of the seat when the appropriate lever is pulled. When the seal on this cylinder fails, or the internal mechanism breaks, you’ll need to have a professional replace the entire cylinder.
You can extend the life of your office chair upholstery, whether fabric, leather, or vinyl, simply by cleaning it regularly. However, if your office chair upholstery is stained, ripped or worn thin, it’s time to replace it.
Take care of your leather office chair by dusting it with a soft cloth regularly. Clean minor stains with distilled water and a soft cloth. Use a cloth with mild soap and water to clean stubborn stains. Any stains that remain after this may need to be cleaned by a professional.
When cleaning a vinyl chair it is best to use a soft cloth and mild soap and water. However, you can use rubbing alcohol, or a strong detergent, to remove more difficult stains – just be sure to test an inconspicuous path below the seat first, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Chairs upholstered in fabric should be vacuumed regularly. Follow this by cleaning any spots and stains with an upholstery cleaning foam and a scrubbing brush.
It’s best to avoid using water to clean fabric upholstery. Fabric can take a long time to dry, and may become a breeding ground for mould and mildew when damp.
Reupholstering fabric cushions
You can either reupholster your fabric office chair cushions yourself, or you can get a professional to do the job for you.
If you decide to do it yourself, use a screwdriver to take the chair apart, then take the plastic backs off of the cushions to expose the staples. Remove the existing fabric, then cut a piece of your chosen fabric that is large enough to cover the cushion, leaving enough of an edge that you can easily staple these edges down underneath.
If your fabric has a specific pattern or image that you want to show, make sure that the pattern is sitting in the correct place before cutting or stapling the fabric.
When stapling down the fabric, make sure that you have stretched the material as tightly as possible, as it will loosen over time. Start by stapling the fabric down on one side of the cushion, pulling the fabric as tight as possible. Then staple down the opposite edge. Repeat this on the other two sides, and then gather the corners evenly and staple them separately.
Office chair repair services
We specialise in manufacturing high-quality office chairs for corporate clients, and also offer professional chair repair and re-upholstery services.