business office with office chairs

How to Clean, Maintain and Care For Your Office Chair

Office chairs go through a lot of wear and tear. They’re one of the most heavily used items of furniture within a busy office, so naturally, over time, you will start to visibly see it’s usage.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. While office chairs (especially heavy duty office chairs) are very resilient by their sheer quality of manufacturing, it’s still important to care for and maintain your office chair so it’s working at its maximum performance for longer - thus saving you money in the long run.

In this guide, we detail many of the common issues with office chairs and how to clean and maintain them for that particular issue. Let’s dive right in!

Why does my office chair sink?

The height adjustment feature on your office chair is enabled by the gas strut (piston). Over time this function can break resulting in an office chair that will fail to adjust in height, or will sink over the course of the day.

A frustrating issue, but one that can be easily remedied. Before you do anything, be sure to check your chair’s warranty. Should your office chair still be in warranty, call our sales team and we’ll send you over a replacement gas strut that will fix your sinking office chair issue.

If your chair is not in warranty, we can still send you a replacement gas strut, but at a cost. This cost is of course much cheaper than buying a completely new office chair.

A step-by-step guide to replacing an office chair gas strut:

  1. Lay down some material (tarp or newspaper work just fine) to protect the surface you’ll be working on.
  2. Turn your office chair on its side and tap the centre of the base with a rubber mallet away from the chair seat. The 5-star base should come loose.
  3. Use a pipe wrench near the top of the gas strut and twist until it releases from the chair seat. Apply a squirt of WD-40 if you are having trouble.
  4. Take your new gas strut and place the bottom into your chair’s 5-star base.
  5. Lift both into the bottom of your office chair’s seat and flip it over. All of the parts should now be fixed together correctly.
  6. Test out your new gas strut by sitting on the office chair and adjusting the height to your liking.

If you are having trouble with replacing the gas strut, call our friendly sales team (01234 834693) and they will walk you through the process.

How to clean a mesh office chair

Mesh office chairs are renowned for their high durability, but that doesn’t negate the fact that without regular cleaning, a mesh office chair can become unsightly. An unclean chair can become more prone to faults which will ultimately lead to a shorter life-span of the chair itself.

An office chair should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a month to keep its look and functionality at an all-time high.

  • Your first step is to use a vacuum cleaner on the mesh office chair. Be sure to use a ‘low suction’ mode if your vacuum cleaner has this functionality. Use the vacuum cleaner wand or hose attachment to help you clean along crevices and hard to reach places
  • Secondly, moisten a cloth and proceed to dab the mesh and any area that has lingering dirt or stains. Be careful not to drag the cloth over the mesh as this could fray the material. Dish soap is a useful product to help clean stubborn stains
  • Thirdly, run a cotton swab under warm water and use this to clean any areas you found difficult with the vacuum cleaner and/or damp cloth
  • Use a clean dry cloth to finish off your cleaning session, or leave your office chair to dry out naturally

How to clean a fabric office chair

Fabric office chairs are the most common type of office chairs as they provide a versatile solution to almost any office setting.

Of course, they are susceptible to stains and dirt which can accumulate quite rapidly if you do not look after your chair.

  • Use a vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment (preferably with a ‘low suction’ mode enabled) to suck up any easy to remove debris
  • Consult the manufacturers instructions regarding what cleaners can be used
  • When using water, be careful not to over-wet your cleaning cloth as this could wet your office chair more than necessary
  • Remember to dab and not rub with your cleaning cloth, to help protect the fabric material
  • Use a much more aggressive action towards any plastic or metal parts of the chair to ensure all dirt and stains are removed
  • Use a damp cotton swab in those hard to reach players to uplift any remaining dirt
  • Finish off with the vacuum cleaner hose attachment once again after being left to dry for the perfect finish

How to clean a leather office chair

Leather is arguably the most important office chair material to keep clean to help prolong the lifespan of your chair.

It needs a little more care due and attention, but if you get into the habit of cleaning your leather office chair regularly the cleaning process is easy.

  • Never use any harsh cleaners on the leather material, especially those that are alcohol-based
  • Never use a coloured cloth to clean the leather as this could transfer over the dye of the cloth onto your chair
  • Dampen a soft cloth and wipe over the leather to remove all dust, dirt and grime buildup. Ensure the cloth is not dripping wet
  • Dry the leather thoroughly with a new dry soft cloth
  • Apply a leather conditioner product to a 3rd soft cloth and rub and massage in generously
  • Ensure any excess leather conditioner is wiped away and leave your office chair to dry out naturally before being used again

Frequent cleaning using the techniques above will ensure your leather office chair is looking its best, for longer.

How to clean and lubricate office chair castors

The vast majority of office chairs will have castors attached to the 5-star base which allows the office chair to roll smoothly - helping you reach areas of your desk with ease.

Over the course of a chair’s lifespan, debris and dirt will find its way into the housing unit of the castor and over time can cause the castors to not function correctly, leading to a poor rolling motion.

  • Flip your office chair upside down to enable easy access to the castors
  • Pick out any visible lint, general debris or hair from the castors housing unit. Tweezers are a good tool to use for this
  • Use a vacuum cleaners detachable hose to suction out any hard to reach areas
  • Alternatively, use a can of compressed air to blow out any dirt. Be sure to shake the can well before use
  • After your castors are thoroughly cleaned, apply any lubricant such as WD-40 to the inside of the housing unit
  • For optimal use of the chair’s castors, be sure to clean and lubricate your castors at least once every six months

Keep your office chair out of direct sunlight

Direct sunlight can ruin an office chair over time, degrading the most fabrics and materials. While it’s fine for an office chair to sit in direct sunlight from time-to-time, it’s important to ensure the chair isn’t placed in an area with lots of UV light for a prolonged period.

Colour fading and material stretching can occur which will make the office chair less desirable and functional in terms of comfort and support.

If you’re leaving the office for the weekend, ensure your office chair isn’t sat next to a window direct sunlight will be able to get to the chair. Also, think about adjusting your window’s blinds to restrict the amount of light coming in if you work next to a window.

Using the tips above will help prolong the life of your office chair and will help keep it in tip-top condition for longer.

Time for a replacement?

Even with regular maintenance and cleaning, an office chair won’t last forever and you will eventually have to look for a replacement.

The life expectancy of a general office chair is between 7 to 10 years. Any point beyond this and you may need to start looking for a new office chair to ensure you are receiving the best support possible for your body. This is very important for office workers as the vast majority of the day will be spent sat down.

High-quality office chairs will come with a warranty, which shows good faith in the product. Any time a component breaks or fails during its warranty period, we will happily send our replacement parts to fix the issue.

Beyond its warranty, any issues that arise that are beyond repair, it’s time to start looking at a replacement. Be sure to follow the maintenance and cleaning tips above to keep your office chair in good working order for longer.