How to Clean a Mesh Office Chair

Your office chair gets a lot of use. You may not spend your whole workday in it, but you spend the bulk of a forty or more hour workweek in your chair.

Cleaning your mesh chair is important and pretty easy once you know how to do it.

How Often Should You Clean Your Mesh Chair

Many people don’t think to clean their chair unless they spill something on it. That is a great time to do an emergency clean, but you should be spending at least a little time cleaning your chair every time you clean your office.

Once a week, you should do regular maintenance on the chair. A quick vacuum and wipe down. At least once a year, but preferably every four months, you should do a deep cleaning on your chair.

Tools Need For Cleaning Your Mesh Chair

There are some handy tools to help clean your mesh chair. You can make a lot of choices in the materials, but the basics are listed below.

  • Rag or towel
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Vacuum (Best With Brush Attachment)

With these materials, you will be fully able to clean the chair to make it sanitary.

However, if the chair has a lot of stains, especially on the seat, you may want some other tools.

Optional, But Helpful Tools

Here are some of the helpful tools, but not necessary when you are cleaning your mesh chair.

  • Cotton Swabs
  • Stain Remover
  • Brush
  • Upholstery Cleaner
  • Alcohol Wipes
  • Spatula, Butter Knife, or Putty Scraper

All of these can help you, especially on tough stains that have been allowed to set.

How To Clean Your Mesh Chair

Now that you have your equipment, you are ready to go.

For a quick clean-up, all you have to do is a little vacuuming and a wipe down with a wet soap wipe or an alcohol wipe. It will only take 15 minutes for basic maintenance.

When you have more time or need to do a deeper clean, you can do all of the following steps and fully clean the mesh chair.


If possible, you want to use the brush attachment on the vacuum. Start at the top of the chart and work down. That way, if you knock down any debris or dust, you won’t have to reclean parts you’ve already done.

Vacuum the head of the chair, the mesh back, then the handles, the seats, and the chair’s base.

Remember to vacuum underneath the seat. Dust and cobwebs can attach underneath the chair, and sometimes you don’t notice them until they get filthy.

Get the Bucket

Get a bucket and fill it slightly with hot soap water. Doing this will allow you to clean without having to run back to the sink.

Wipe Down Mesh Back

Take the towel or the rag and get it wet in the bucket. You want to wring the towel out, and it should only be moist. Then wipe down the chair, starting at the top and moving down.

Rewet the towel whenever it starts to look dirty or gets too dry.

If your mesh has gotten something in it, you can use a brush or a cotton swab to help make sure you get all the dirt and grime out of it.

Wipe Down Arm Rest

Get the towel wet again and wipe down the armrest. Start with the top of the armrest and work your way around cleaning the whole area. Sometimes the arms go underneath the chair.

While you are down there, you can wipe off the bottom of the seat as well.

If there is anything stuck on the armrest, you may want to use a brush or a scraping device if you have it. If the armrest is intricate, you may need to use cotton swabs to get into cracks.

Wipe Down the Seat

Now you can wipe down the seat. Get the towel wet again and rub it on the top of the seat.

If there are small or minor stain spots, you may be able to get them out with the towel and repeated wiping.

Stain Treat Any Tough Spot

If there are significant or stubborn stains, you may have to treat them. You can add a bit of extra soap and wipe harder, or you can pull out a brush and rub harder.

If you have stain remover or upholstery cleaner, you can use that to clean the spots.

Check the label of your specific cleaner to know how it works best. You may want to test the cleaner on a small area first to see if it stains.

Wipe Down the Base

With a wet towel, you want to wipe down the base of the chair.

If you didn’t wipe down the bottom of the seat with the armrest, you would want to clean it now. If it has wheels, you may have to move the wheels a little to get all the dirt off.

Don’t Forget the Levers

Many mesh seats have levers for tension, height, reclining, and other features.

These are items that you can touch multiple times a day. You want to make sure you clean it with your soapy towel.

If there are a lot of creases in and around the lever, you can use the cotton swabs to make sure you clean the whole thing.

Let Dry

In the end, you will want to let the chair dry before you use it. Usually about a day, but if there are heavy stains on the seat and you saturated it thoroughly, you may have to let it dry even longer.

Letting it fully dry will let you know if you got the stains out. Sometimes the seat will look clean wet, but when it dries, you may see remaining stains.

Repeat Stain Treatment As Needed

If you still see stains after your chair dries, you may have to work more on that spot.

If you haven’t used the spot cleaners, upholstery cleaners, and brush, you may have to add them to the cleaning process to ensure the chair gets clean.

If you have to repeat, you will want to allow the chair more time to dry. Another day should do it.

Should You Take Apart the Chair?

Depending on the chair, you may want to take parts off. If things can slip into slots and get stuck, it may be helpful to take those pieces off.

If you can take those parts off quickly, it may make cleaning the chair easier.

It seems like overkill to take apart the whole chair if there aren’t openings and spots that can get dirty.

If you make cleaning your chair too tricky, you may not do it as often as you should. As long as you can clean most of the chair without taking it apart, then leave it whole.

Keep Your Mesh Chair Looking Nice

If you want to make sure that your mesh chair looks nice in between cleanings, there are a few steps you can take.

Minimize eating in the chair. According to a recent study, over half of professionals eat lunch at their desks. The number grows if you add snacking and other meals. The more you eat in the chair, the more likely you are to make a mess and spread germs.

Wash your hands regularly. It’s hygienic, so it will keep you healthier.

It will help keep your chair, computer, and desk clean as well. Keeping a container of cleaning wipes can be helpful. It can kill germs that are on your seat, and you can use them in a matter of seconds.

If you like the shine of a clean chair, get upholstery wipes. They come in a container like alcohol wipes. You can quickly pull them out and take a few seconds to wipe down the chair to get a nice shine.

If you follow these steps, you can keep your chair looking fresh and new longer after each cleaning.

When You Need a New Chair

Sometimes your chair might be beyond a deep clean-up. You can look for some clues to know if it may be time to get a new chair.

If the fabric is torn or worn, you may need to get a new chair. If the tears are cosmetic, you can get some more life out of the chair, but it may never look clean again.

Also, if the chair no longer feels nice when you sit in it, it may be time to ditch it. Comfort is paramount in a chair, and if yours doesn’t provide that, no amount of cleaning will fix that.

Enjoy Your Chair

Your office chair can get pretty gross. Some studies say that your desk may have more bacteria than the toilet. You don’t want your chair adding to that number.

Keeping your mesh chair clean will help you be more efficient at work, look more professional, and stay healthy. The final step is to enjoy your now clean chair.

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