Office chairs, like anything else in our homes or offices, can sometimes be a bit smelly. These odors can cause a lot of discomfort in small office spaces that don’t have a lot of ventilation and they can even cause embracement if it is a particularly unpleasant odor.
In this guide, you will learn how to refresh any type of office chair because we are going to show you how to clean office chair smells off these furniture items.
Table of Contents
Why Do Office Chairs Get Smelly?
There are quite a few scenarios where office chairs can get strange smells. Here is a quick look at the top reasons your chair might have a strange smell.
The Chair is a New
Brand-new chairs are often shipped in plastic wrapping to keep them clean and in good condition. This wrapping, along with other chair materials like paint, plastic, polyurethane, rubber, fabric, and sponge, can all emit a certain smell.
With cheap office chairs, the bad smell can be very strong because lower-quality materials with more toxins are often used for manufacturing these chairs. Brand new high-end office chairs like Serta office chairs usually don’t have much of a musty odor because these chairs are usually made from higher quality and more eco-friendly materials.
New chair smells usually wear off after a couple of days or weeks. But if you are sensitive to smells and fragrances then it is best to buy from a reputable gaming chair brand.
You Sweat a Lot
Sweat is the number one reason an old, or relatively new, office chair might become all stinky.
It is pretty easy to get all sweaty in a fabric office chair on a hot and sunny day, especially if your office has poor ventilation and is very hot.
The moisture from sweat along with body odor, dust, bacteria, germs, and other contaminants will collect in your chair. Over time, these contaminants and sweat can spread or intensify and can result in intense pungent odors that can cause a lot of embarrassment.
The best way to avoid this issue is by switching over to a mesh chair like the Herman Miller Sayl or Aeron Office Chair. If you can’t afford a new chair right now then you can also check out our other guide on how to stop bum sweat on chairs.
Alternatively, you can also get a chair cushion or cover for your chair seat. This way, the cushion will absorb most of the bad odors and will keep your chair fresh for longer.
Mold and Mildew Growth
Office chairs can get wet if the office has too much humidity, if the office is flooded or if you sweat a lot. This moisture can trigger mold and mildew growth within the chair materials. Mold and mildew can cause unpleasant odors and can cause damage to your luxury office chair.
The Chair is Old
As time passes, a lot of dirt, bacteria, sweat, and contaminants can start to collect on the chair upholstery and inside the chair fibers. these messes can alter the overall look of your chair and can make it smelly. Old fabric chairs are particularly likely to start smelling dusty.
You Spilled Something on the Chair
Accidents happen all the time but a nasty spill on a fabric upholstered office chair can be a nightmare to fully clean. If you spilled something particularly smelly like food or milk all over your chair then it might be best to call a professional upholstery cleaner.
Alternatively, you can always switch over to a PU leather office chair that can be wiped clean with a simple wet cloth.
How to Clean Office Chair Smell
Now that you know the leading causes of funky office chair smells, it is time to start looking into ways to get these bad odors removed. Here is a quick look at the best DIY methods for removing office chair smells.
The Baking Soda Method
Baking soda is renowned for its odor-eliminating abilities and it can be used as a dry-cleaning solution for carpets and furniture. Here is a quick look at the steps for applying this method.
- Start off by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil aroma to the baking soda and stir it well.
- Next, sprinkle the baking soda all over your office chair as evenly as you can. Add more products to the seating area and backrest area.
- Let the chair sit for at least 20 minutes or allow it to sit overnight.
- Grab a vacuum and remove all baking soda dust from your chair.
Your chair should now smell much better.
The Wet Vacuum Method
This is an ideal solution if you want to refresh your ergonomic office chair and remove some spots and stains from the upholstery. Here are the steps for vacuum washing your office chair.
- Get a vacuum cleaner that has a wet function.
- Take some liquid soap and water and scrub down the entire chair. Use a soft bristle brush or damp cloth and pay extra attention to the seating and corners of the chair.
- Now grab the vacuum and suck out all the moisture from the chair.
- Repeat the previous two steps if the chair is still dirty or smelly.
- You can now add some clean water if you would like to rinse the liquid soap from the chair.
- Vacuum the chair again and remove as much moisture or excess water as you can.
- Now let the chair sit in an open area – but not in direct sunlight – for 24 hours so it can fully dry off.
The Vinegar Method
Vinegar doesn’t have the best smell but this natural product has some terrific odor-absorbing and eliminating abilities. Vinegar is great for deodorizing fabrics, carpets, and furniture. Here is a quick look at how to use it to refresh your chair.
- Get a bottle and fill it with half a cup of vinegar. You can also use apple cider vinegar if your office chair has a dark-colored fabric. Now top the bottle up with clean warm water and shake.
- Spray the white vinegar all over the chair.
- Let your chair sit in an open area so it can dry off.
If you want to use white vinegar for stain removal then you can grab a cotton ball, dip it in vinegar and spot-treat the office furniture. This is great for removing a bad odor from food spills.
The Vodka Spray Method
Vodka is a terrific deodorizing spray for fabrics and it will help kill germs and bacteria that might be living inside your chair. The vodka method is also ideal for leather chairs or PU leather chairs because vodka will quickly evaporate which eliminates the risk of damaging these materials. Here are the steps for using this disinfectant spray.
- Get an empty spray bottle and add some vodka as well as a liberally spray you like.
- Spray the office chair until it is saturated but do not soak the chair.
- If you are treating a leather chair then you shouldn’t spray the chair directly. Instead, spray onto a microfiber cloth and wipe the chair’s surface.
- Leave the chair in the open air so it can fully dry off.
Use a Steam Cleaner
Steam cleaners are the best for removing a foul odor from a fabric chair because these devices don’t require the use of any commercial cleaners. Instead, you can just add a cup of water to the steam cleaner and wash the chair fabric. This method is ideal for removing stubborn stains from a chair.
If your chair is particularly smelly, you can also use mild soap in your steam cleaner for cleaning upholstered furniture.
How that you know how to clean office chair smells, you can work a lot more confidently. But if your chair is particularly smelly and beyond cleaning then it is probably time to look for something new. On ChairsWiki, you can have a look at guides where we compare all the latest and best office chairs on the market. With our guides, you can find a fresh new chair that is completely odor free,