Last week, we talked about how to tell if it’s time to get rid of your funky old office furniture. This week, let’s talk about ways to help your office furniture looking new. Of course, to make this work you need to start out with high quality furnishings. Don’t expect a cheap chair from Staples or a desk from Target to stand up to constant use. These tips assume that you’ve purchased high-end workstations and seating from office furniture dealers like us who carry top brands like Herman Miller, Steelcase, Haworth, Allsteel, and Teknion.
Chairs with an all-mesh designs like the Aeron age very gracefully since there’s no upholstery to worry about. You can clean the whole chair with a disinfecting wipe. Fabric covered chair seats and backs take a little more care. Water and a washcloth (no soap) is your safest option for gently cleaning most upholstery fabrics. Woolite upholstery cleaner, Febreeze, and solvent-type solutions used for treatment of dry cleanable items may work for general, gentle cleaning purposes or to remove sweat and food stains. Always spot test an area before cleaning the whole chair. The best place to spot test is usually on the bottom of the chair seat where the fabric wraps around to meet the plastic underside of the seat. Clean out the chair casters with tweezers to remove carpet fibers and keep the wheels rolling smoothly. Also check for obstructions such as bits of dirt or rock that may have been tracked in from outside.
Vacuuming fabric-covered acoustic cubicle panels with an upholstery attachment is the safest way to keep them clean. Steam cleaning and spray on cleaners may ruin the fabric or soak the core materials. So, you should contact the manufacturer for specific instructions if you need to remove spots or stains. BaneClene has some excellent step-by-step advice for more advanced cubicle wall cleaning here. In some cases, simply hanging a whiteboard or an inspirational poster over a stained area to cover it up might work best. Use Windex or rubbing alcohol to remove scuff marks on the powder coated metal frame.
Today’s laminate and veneer materials are cost effective and attractive, but they tend to get scratched up over time. Limit this problem by providing plenty of storage space above or below the desk surface to hold objects that might otherwise scratch the desk surface. Add desk-drawer organizers to prevent clutter from building up and causing drawer jams. Marker or ink marks on desktop surfaces can typically be removed with Windex. Bring out the big guns like WD-40 or lighter fluid for tape residue. Always make sure the area is well-ventilated before you start cleaning office furniture.