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Can you Steam Clean an Office Chair?

Can you Steam Clean an Office Chair?

Keeping your office workspace clean is important. Not only for your physical health , but also for your mental well being . Working in a filthy office is not fun for anyone, and bacteria can spread from person to person quickly. Ensuring you keep all of your office furniture and surfaces clean is both easy and wise.

Many people wonder if you can steam clean an office chair. The answer is yes! You absolutely can steam clean an office chair. In fact, steam cleaning is highly recommended as a fast and simple way to remove germs that may be residing in the fabric of the chair. It can be done with a simple steam cleaner you may already own, or you can have a professional steam clean your office chairs when maintaining the carpet and window dressings as well.

Steam cleaning your office chair before you leave on the weekend or after you return from a vacation is a great option. You might also be returning to the office after a seasonal break and want to ensure everything is sparkling clean for your time back, or are planning on leaving soon and don’t want bacteria or germs multiplying while you are away.

Can I Steam Clean My Office Chair?

Office Chair being steam cleaned

Steam cleaning an office chair is an excellent way to reduce or eliminate the amount of dust and germs that may be living on the surface. Office chairs of most materials can safely be steam cleaned.

Materials that are safe to steam clean may include:

  • Fabric
  • Faux leather
  • Vinyl mesh
  • Properly varnished hardwood
  • Other standard office chair materials.

In addition to your office chair, many other surfaces in your office can be steam cleaned, such as some desks, walls, most upholstery, window blinds, ceiling fan blades, and more! Carpet cleaning can also be done for an entirely fresh and clean office.

Using a standard upholstery steam cleaning system, or upholstery attachment on your carpet cleaner is an excellent way to provide a deep cleaning service for your office chair. For fabric office chairs, the method is identical to what you would do for upholstery or clothing. Other durable office chair materials, such as vinyl mesh or faux leather, can be heavily steam cleaned or even carpet cleaned for an intense deep clean.

Does Steam Cleaning Sanitize?

Steam Cleaning used for office chair

Steam cleaning can be a very effective way to remove 99% of common bacteria, germs and viruses. However, the steam must be hot enough to kill these germs in the first place. You will also need to take  time with the cleaning process and ensure the hot steam remains on the surface for up to 3 minutes.

Normal tap water works perfectly well in a steam cleaner, though some people prefer using cleaning solvents, bleach solutions, lemon solutions, or vinegar solutions to sanitize.. When done properly, steam cleaning can remove salmonella, E.coli and various strains of staph bacteria from both fabrics and non porous surfaces.

Steam should be at least 175 degrees Fahrenheit, but temperatures up to 215 degrees Fahrenheit are also common with some steam cleaners and are perfectly effective at eliminating germs, dust mites, and more. Temperatures over 215 degrees Fahrenheit may cause damage to delicate fabrics, threads or some thin vinyl mesh so always keep this in mind.

Chairs that may have wood accents on the arms or back should be steam cleaned with care. Always spot test a small area if you are unsure of the durability of the material. Sometimes the varnish or adhesive coating on wood accents may not work well with the heat and moisture.

How do I Steam Clean my Office Chair?

office chairs are being cleaned

Steam cleaning your office chair is a  straightforward process, however it may take a bit of time and effort on your part. If you have ever steam cleaned a standard upholstered chair in your home, the process is very much the same for office chairs of most materials.

  • Ensure your office chair is clean from loose dirt. You can do this by quickly brushing the chair with a handheld broom or running your vacuum over the surfaces a time or two. This removes crumbs, hair, and other loose debris that may be present.
  • Do spot clean if there are any big stains. If you notice any spots with  stains, use a liquid cleaner and a sturdy brush to give them a pre-cleaning treatment. This will help reduce the amount of time needed to steam clean.
  • Assemble your steam cleaning supplies. This will include your steam cleaner with appropriate attachment, cleaning solvent, and any additional fragrances or after-treatments you choose to use on your office chair.
  • Run the steam cleaner over the entire chair slowly. Always ensure your steam cleaner is at a proper temperature of 175-215 degrees Fahrenheit. Move the cleaning attachment over the chair slowly, allowing the hot steam to permeate the chair.
  • Pay attention to trouble spots or stains. If the earlier spot cleaning didn’t work, leave the steam attachment on these trouble spots for up to 5 minutes. This will help break up the stain and  loosen from the fabric threads in the chair.
  • Allow the office chair to dry. Always be sure your office is ventilated so the chair can properly dry. A chair that does not get proper time to dry can hold onto the moisture and grow mold over time.
  • Enjoy your new clean office chair. Regular weekly or monthly steam cleaning is an excellent choice for a thoroughly spotless office space! You’ll enjoy spending time in your office when everything is sparkling clean.

After a thorough steam cleaning, you can spray any brand of stain guard onto the chair to make future cleaning much easier. You may even want to spray a bit of rubbing alcohol, vinegar or a fragrance of your choice onto the chair in between cleaning to help with odor issues over time.

If this process sounds like more work than you are prepared for, you can always consider hiring a professional. They have the proper tools and cleaning solutions for all surfaces in your office. Simply give them a call and ask about their office furniture cleaning experience and packages.

What Materials Cannot be Steam Cleaned?

wooden chair isn't suitable for steam clean

Steam cleaning is a great option for thoroughly cleaning a wide range of surfaces around your office or home, however, there are some materials that should not be steam cleaned. The materials you should avoid include porous materials such as:

  • Some natural wood
  • Bamboo
  • Chipboard
  • Fiberboard
  • Limestone
  • Cork

The steam will permeate these materials and can cause mold issues over time as the moisture cannot evaporate properly. Mold is much harder to get rid of than germs, and usually requires a professional deep cleaning and drying session with proper tools, which most homes and offices don’t have .

You should also avoid painted or wallpapered surfaces, such as walls, desks, or signs. This includes desks or counter tops that have contact paper coatings, as well as any surfaces that have decorative decals. The heat from the steam can loosen the glue or adhesive used to attach it, as well as start to curl or crinkle the material itself. This leads to a heavily damaged surface you will need to replace.

Delicate fabrics should also be avoided. While most office chairs are made from durable materials and fabrics made to last, some include accent features in more delicate cloth or from non-fabric type materials. This may include silk, leather cord, delicate wood accents, and any office chairs with  electrical components inside such as massage chairs or heated chairs.

Final Thoughts

Steam cleaning removes surface dust

Steam cleaning is an extremely effective way to remove surface dust and germs from your office chairs and other furniture. With a few simple precautions on what can and cannot be steam cleaned, you will soon be providing a level of deep clean to your office that will bring peace of mind to you and those around you.

Don’t be afraid to do regular steam cleanings of your office chair as often as you feel it may need it. While an annual spring cleaning is a great choice, monthly or even weekend cleaning can be well worth the effort too. If you strive to keep a pristine workspace, your chair should definitely not be overlooked as a source for a lot of dust, hair, crumbs and other debris. Not to mention germs, bacteria and viruses that may live on the fabric’s surface or deep inside the seat cushion.