How To Clean An Office Chair (+ Keep It Looking New)

Make your office chair great again.


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Last updated: September 18th, 2023

how to clean an office chair

Last updated: September 18th, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

With over 90,000 hours spent working in our lives – our office furniture goes through a lot!

For productivity and mental health, you should regularly deep clean your office chair and furniture and rearrange the space. 

We bet you’re listening now. Luckily, cleaning an office chair is just as easy as cleaning any other furniture in your home office

Let’s walk through a quick and easy guide on how to clean an office chair. Take this as your sign to do it today. 


The average office desk harbours 10 million bacteria. There are a whopping 21,000 germs per square inch on chairs, desks and keyboards.

(Related: What Makes A Chair “Ergonomic”, Anyway?)

What Cleaning Equipment Will I Need?

clean office chair

Most of your household cleaning products will work well for office cleaning. Ensure you have the following: 

  • Cleaning solutioneco-friendly is best! 
  • A vacuum cleaner with hose attachments
  • Several wet microfibre rags or a damp cloth.
  • Large dry cloth. 
  • Protective products such as leather or fabric conditioners
  • Rubbish bin or bags to dispose of clutter
  • Aromatherapy sprays or candles to finish the clean are a nice touch. Discover our favourites here. 

For deep cleaning, you may need more robust cleaning products. Be sure to:

  • Check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions first to ensure you do not damage the furniture’s upholstery.
  • Test a small section of the chair/table with cleaner before applying it to the entire surface.

Expert Tip.

Dish soap works surprisingly well on office chairs. And you can make your cleaning solutions that are less abrasive than chemicals. Check out this helpful guide.

How To Prevent Damaging Your Office Chair.

Before you begin, you should first check if your office chair has a tag under the seat with cleaning instructions – or if there are special cleaning instructions in the user manual.

Expert Tip.

Most chairs with fabric or upholstery will have a cleaning code label, such as W, S, W/S, or X, on the underside of the seat.

The cleaning label indicates what type of cleaner to use: 

  • W – for Wet.
  • S – for Solvent.
  • WS – for Wet and Solvent.
  • X – for Vacuum only
  • D – for Dry Clean only

Expert Tip.

If the label is missing, Google your office chair’s name – you’ll often get lucky and find the info online.

Cleaning Mesh And Fabric Office Chairs.

For mesh and fabric office chairs, begin by vacuuming any crumbs, dust, or debris on the chair’s surface using a soft brush attachment. Pull your chair out and remove the clutter from under your desk.

You can then: 

  • Grab a damp cloth. 
  • Wipe the fabric surface to remove any excess debris or surface stains.
  • Apply the cleaning solution that is best for your specific upholstery.
  • Rinse the cleaning solution and repeat until clean.
  • Don’t forget to clean to arms, legs and office chair wheels for dust and debris.

You can also use a fabric disinfectant spray on the surface to prevent excessive germs and bacteria. Some great recommendations are here.

Cleaning Plastic Office Chairs.

Plastic chairs are much easier to clean than mesh office chairs but can be more susceptible to stains. 

To clean: 

  • Vacuum or dust off the surface to remove crumbs and debris.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface with soapy water.
  • Wipe off the dish soap.
  • Let the chair air dry, or dry the surface with a towel.
  • Don’t forget to clean office chair wheels (use a brush to get into crevices).

(Related: How To Adjust Lumbar Support On Your Office Chair).

Cleaning Faux Leather and Leather Office Chairs.

Leather and faux leather chairs will likely not include a cleaning code label. 

As with other types of office chairs, begin by vacuuming the surface of your leather office chair. Then: 

  • Use mild soap and warm water to wipe down your leather surface.
  • Use cleaning products sparingly. Chemical-based products can erode and damage this type of fabric.
  • Wipe in one direction using a clean cloth.
  • Apply a leather conditioner to protect the leather from cracks once the chair is dry. 

You can find additional information on cleaning leather furniture here.

How Can I Remove Stains From Office Chairs?

clean office chair

Stain removal will depend on what material the upholstery on your office chair is.

Stain removal from fabric chairs may require a carpet cleaner or a wet vacuum, as well as a deep-stain cleaning solution. For a video tutorial, watch here.

Expert Tip.

White vinegar is a fantastic all-natural stain remover – as are these options.

To remove stains: 

  • Clean the chair as per the above steps, starting with a vacuum.
  • Use the carpet cleaner to treat any stubborn spots.
  • For any severe stains, consider having the upholstery professionally deep-cleaned instead. Prices range anywhere from $40 to $150, depending on the size of the chair.


Be careful not to scrub leather chairs, as this can damage the leather. You are better off ‘blotting’ a stain with soapy water and a clean towel. 

(Related: Protect Your Office Carpet From Chair Damage).

How Can I Freshen My Office Space?

While cleaning your office chair and furniture, you should set aside also to clean the space and rearrange the furniture.

Our cleaning checklist is as follows: 

  • Technology: Clean & sanitise phones & workstations where bacteria can reside.
  • Surfaces: With spray and wipe, clean surfaces, handles and doorknobs.
  • Handles: Wipe light switches and door frames.
  • Floors: Vacuum or sweep/mop floors, move furniture to get into hard-to-reach places.
  • Waste: Empty recycling bins plus clean and disinfect them (or hose out).
  • Dusting: Wipe surfaces, light shades, monitors and keyboards.
  • Windows: Spot clean windows, glass and any painted surfaces with glass cleaner.
  • Roof: Remove cobwebs and clean architraves with an extended duster.
  • Amenities: Cleaning kitchen and bathroom for guests, focusing on surfaces and floors.
  • Meeting Rooms: Attend to clutter in communal areas, vacuum and clean surfaces.

Experts confirm that regular cleaning can improve physical health by reducing cortisol and cognition and happiness. 

Whether you work in a home office or a large commercial office, organising to go through the above regularly will leave the space feeling fresh and clean. Consider adding decorative touches to improve the aesthetics too.

Final Thoughts On How To Clean An Office Chair.

It’s essential to maintain your newly clean chair and office environment. We recommend that you regularly: 

  • Wipe down: With spray and wipe, disinfect your office chair at least once per week.
  • Vacuum: Vacuum and dust your space twice weekly to prevent a build-up of allergens.
  • Use protective sprays: Opt for eco-friendly fabric and leather conditioners to prevent damage.
  • Be mindful: When eating or drinking, be wary of your surroundings. 
  • Clean spills: Attend to mess immediately to avoid creating stains.

Expert Tip.

Consider having your office chair deep-cleaned professionally every few months to prevent smells and hard-to-reach stains from lingering in the upholstery. 

Maintaining your space is a sure way to improve your physical health and productivity. You should enjoy coming to your office (or home office) daily to work, be creative and build your business. If not – it’s time to change things up!


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