Easy Methods to Clean an Office Chair That Stinks

Easy Methods to Clean an Office Chair That Stinks

The office is where most of us spend about half our lives, so it pays to maintain a clean and tidy space to maximize productivity and minimize distractions.

An office chair is designed to keep people sitting down for hours on end—they are never cleaned. So when people get up, they leave behind a pile of stinky bacteria on the seats. If your office chair is particularly smelly, it might be time to take action and clean it.

The good news is that cleaning your office chairs can be as simple as a few easy steps. This article will give you easy tips on how to clean an office chair that stinks.

Why does an Office Chair Smell Bad?

It’s no secret that office chairs can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. But what many people don’t realize is that not all offices smell bad simply because of poor ventilation.

Most offices are pretty clean. But, if there’s a particular smell present in your office, it’s likely coming from a bad chair.

Sweat and Hygiene

When people sit in hot environments, their body temperatures rise. As a result, bacteria and fungi spread faster. The same thing can happen in your office if you don’t maintain the chairs properly.

Perspiration due to hot temperatures is a common problem. The sweat stains can leave a bad odor on the chair. If you don’t clean your office chairs, then bacteria and viruses can spread around your office.


We all eat on our office chairs which causes food, sauces, and drinks to spill sometimes. Wiping it with a damp cloth is usually not enough, It leaves marks and a bad smell.


Bacteria and fungi can grow on your office chairs if you are not cleaning them properly. When you sit on these chairs for a long time, then you get sick because of the germs.

Wear and tear in your chair may cause germs to grow in the crevices. You should know that it is not cheap. If it breaks, then you will need to replace or repair it.

If you want to keep your office chair clean, you should reupholster it at least once a year.  It is a good idea to have a separate spot for your office chair.

Dust and Moisture

Most office chairs come with a dust cover, but dust can still get into the upholstery of your office chair. Dust and moisture can cause mold to grow in your office chair.

The moisture during rainy days can get to your furniture and make it smell bad.

How to make an Office Chair Germ-Free

The germs on your chair not only cause it to stink but they’re dangerous for your skin too. Getting a skin rash while sitting in the office for hours is not new.

1. Use Disinfectants

Office chairs are notoriously germy. Make sure that you have chosen the right furniture that is healthy for your employees. Remove the germs by applying a disinfecting spray.

You can sanitize your office chair using a solution containing alcohol. Alcohol has natural germ-killing properties, so it’s the perfect choice for keeping your chair clean.

2. Clean with a Liquid Detergent

To prevent bacteria and germs from spreading, they should be cleaned regularly using an antimicrobial cleaner or detergent.

Wipe it down thoroughly with a clean cloth or sponge dipped in an antibacterial cleaner and let dry. Be sure to clean the underside of the seat as well.

3. Use Baking Soda

baking soda for cleaning chair

Baking soda is great for disinfecting surfaces. To disinfect a surface, mix baking soda and water in a bowl or spray bottle. Use the mixture on a rag or a sponge to wipe the surface.

4. Dry it in the Sun or Use a dryer

Sunlight dries out things. If you’re having issues with wet furniture, put it in direct sunlight. It will help dry out any moisture and make the chairs more comfortable.

A steam cleaner is a great tool for cleaning up pet stains and spills. It works by pressure cleaning dirt and grime and the high temperature of steam easily removes dried spots.

You can use a dryer to disinfect your furniture. All you need to do is hang a damp towel over the top of your dryer and set it to high heat. It will kill any bacteria or germs on your furniture.

5. Get an Eco-Friendly Air Freshener

They help to eliminate odors. Scented candles are also known for their soothing effects. They make the environment clean and fresh.

6. Try Using Vinegar to Clean an Office Chair

Vinegar can be used to disinfect surfaces such as the knob, lift mechanism, and armrest. Mix one part vinegar to three parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto a damp rag or sponge and rub the surface to disinfect.

Another great way to disinfect surfaces is to mix vinegar and lemon juice in a spray bottle. To disinfect surfaces, mix one-part vinegar and two parts lemon juice in a spray bottle.

Ways to Remove Chemical Odor from an Office Chair

office chair drying in sun

Varnish, adhesives, and sometimes the upholstery produces a bad smell. Try removing the upholstery from the chair and placing it in the sun to remove the smell. This method will only work if the seat has no adhesive attached.

To get rid of this irritating odor try the following steps:

Keep your Office Well-Ventilated

Open all doors and windows in your office to improve ventilation. Put a fan on the ceiling to help circulate air around your desk. Cleaning your office air quality is important because you spend enough time in the air inside your office.

Clean and Dry the Chair

Place the furniture in sun for a few hours. If the chair is made from leather it would be better to air dry. But if the upholstery is made of fabric then it can be left in the sun for a few hours.

How to Avoid the Stink from Coming Back

If you want to keep your office chairs smelling fresh and clean, vacuum them regularly. You can do this by using an upright vacuum cleaner.

Also, if you have a lot of chairs, try using a dry-erase marker and wipe off the unpleasant stains on the back of the chairs. You can use a paper towel to clean the chair. To prevent the smell in your office chair, you should:

  • Wear Loose Clothing while sitting to avoid sweating
  • Try wearing Breathable Undergarments to avoid sweat
  • Clean it Regularly to remove the smell
  • Use Cooling Cushion
  • Buy a Mesh Chair
  • Don’t Eat or Drink while sitting
  • Keep a Trash Can nearby

Why are Mesh Chairs good?

Mesh office chairs are the best option for hot days. These are breathable and durable. They look good and are becoming very popular. They have good back support and a better ergonomic design.

The Mesh Chair is a better option than the foam chair. It provides better sitting comfort. You can sit for long periods and it also keeps you cool.

How can a Beaded Cushion Help?

One effective option is to replace the fabric cushion with a cooling beaded cushion. These cushions typically contain small beads or gel that can provide a cooling effect, helping to regulate body temperature and reduce sweating. By removing the fabric cushion and replacing it with a cooling cushion, you can potentially alleviate discomfort and prevent stains from developing on the cushion due to sweat.

This can be particularly beneficial during hot weather or in situations where you tend to sit for long periods of time, such as during extended work sessions. Investing in a cooling cushion can help you enhance your sitting comfort and maintain a fresh and clean seating experience throughout the day.

Final Words – Clean an Office Chair that Stinks

The answer to how to clean an office chair that stinks is simple. Clean it regularly, remove stains instantly, and consider breathable material when buying an office chair. Avoid drinking and eating while sitting on your chair. Also, wear loose-fitting clothes to prevent sweating on office chairs. 

Taking these precautions can help prevent odors from developing in the first place, making it easier to keep the office chair smelling fresh and clean.


1. How do I clean an office chair that stinks?

Use a vacuum or detergent, disinfectants, and stain removers to clean it.

2. Should I clean an office chair once a week?

It depends on how often you use it.

3. Can I use vinegar to remove the odor from my office chair?

Yes, you can use vinegar. Try using other chemicals like baking soda as well.

4. Can I place my office chair in the Sun?

Yes, but do not leave it outside for too long.

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I am Karen writing this story for you. My specialization is in the principles of biomechanics meant to improve the quality of life in humans. I’ve more than 10 years of experience in the field of workplace productivity. My passion for yoga has influenced me to teach everyone how to sit and select the best chairs for work and recreation. I try to add value to help this project grow services day by day.



Joshua is the founder and an ergonomist by profession. With over 10 years of working as a furniture designer and consultant, his depth of knowledge is invaluable for our project. He also manages content editing and product reviews.



Carl is a web developer and a tech enthusiast. He likes working at night and has been doing so for the past 9 years. His sense of color selection and understanding of user-friendly interface continues to amaze us. Besides that, Carl is a food lover and a pro at video gaming.