You have your coffee sitting on your desk for just a minute. Someone calls your name; you turn around and your arm bumps into your coffee cup. You jump up in time not to spill any on you, but it runs across your desk and onto your office chair. The spill grows and sets in. Now what?
Questions to ask after the spill
The questions to ask is what is the material of the chair? Can it be spot cleaned and what should I use on it to clean it?
What your chair is made from is important to know before attempting to clean it with any kind of cleaning solution. If the chair is made from fabric, it will have the manufacture’s recommendation for what to use though. Your chair should have a tag that has the cleaning directions on it. A tag which has a “W” on it means you can use a solution which is water based. If the tag has an “S” on it, then you can only use a solvent based solution. If the tag has a “SW” on it, then you can use a water based-foam cleaner or a solvent. Once you have found out which cleaning product you can use, then you can start to spot clean your chair.
If your chair doesn’t have a tag with instructions, then most likely the fabric on the chair is partly polyester. Since polyester is a synthetic and won’t stain as easily, it may not be that difficult to remove the stain. Actually, if you get to the stain quickly, you could just sponge it off with a little water.
The reason you need to spot clean quickly is because it lets you clean the spot which is the dirtiest instead of having to clean the whole chair. Once it sets for too long though, it is harder to clean and cleaning it can then leave a faded spot, or a spot that is darker than the material of the chair.
But if you get to the stain quickly, the whole chair may not need cleaned, but only where you have spilled your coffee or other drink. So, the first thing you do is to find the vacuum and run it over your chair’s fabric to remove all the excess dirt and debris from the fabric of the chair. After the chair has been vacuumed, the next step is to apply the cleaning solution to the chair.
Applying the solution
If you’re using a foam cleaner. It will freshen and deodorize your chair too. To use this type of cleaner, dampen the chair lightly with some water on a clean rag. Then spray the cleaner to the spot and wipe it with the rag. Then use a dry towel on the chair to clean up any excess. Keep repeating until the spot is clean.
If you’re using a solvent, get to the stain as quickly as possible. Apply the solvent to the spot with a scrubber or even an old toothbrush and scrub gently. The solution once applied can sit for about ten minutes, and then take a towel and rub the stain gently until it is gone
You can also make your own upholstery cleaner by using 20 parts of warm water to one part of a mild dishwashing detergent if the chair can take SW cleaning. Apply the solution using a rag in a circular motion. As you go, blot with a clean damp cloth. Keep rinsing until the soap is gone, and then blot with a clean towel.
Of course, prevention of stains is always the best method than having to deal with stains. Putting your beverages in a safer area on your desk, or eating your lunch and having your beverages in the breakroom are good suggestions too. In addition, if your chair is fabric, treating it with Scotch Guard can go a long way to making removing stains easier. Scotch Guard is great because it isn’t expensive, and it can be just sprayed on fabric to protect it. Of course, read the label for instructions.
Getting stains out is never easy, but preventing them is a little more than common sense.