Natural wood veneer is a material widely used in manufacturing of office furniture products. Simple care and maintenance techniques for the upkeep of your furniture will go a long way in making it last longer and remain in good condition. Veneer, being a natural product, needs regular cleaning and proper handling and care. If exposed to sunlight veneer will change color while covered parts will retain their shade. Certain types of veneer are harder while others are soft and can easily be scratched. It is therefore important that care is taken to avoid exposure to direct sunlight and any sharp objects. Even though veneer is coated with lacquer it is still a very delicate natural surface and just a little extra care will help you maintain its natural beauty.
Dust: Dust with a soft cloth by following the grain pattern of the wood. Dust often to remove everyday abrasive particles from wood surfaces. Before dusting, moisten cloth lightly with a spray product. A dry cloth can leave hairline scratches on the finish.
Stains: Liquids left on the surface will be absorbed and leave marks on it. It is recommended to immediately remove spills from any wooden surface. There are do-it-yourself cleaning kits for stubborn stains; however applying the wrong cleaning agent might worsen the damage. If unsure it is best to consult the manufacturer of the furniture.
Leather is used as the primary material in many premium office chairs and office sofas. Being a natural product, it needs little or no care during normal use. However, in the event that you have a spot or spill, the following cleaning hints should help. Spots and Spills: Blot liquid immediately with a clean absorbent cloth or sponge. Dry with a clean towel and allow to air dry. Avoid rubbing during the cleaning process.
Stubborn Spots and Stains: Use a mild solution of ivory soap and clear, lukewarm water. Apply the soap to a clean, wet sponge, then rinse well and let air dry naturally. Always try the cleaning method in a hidden area first to be sure its color will not run or fade with washing or wear.
Butter, Oil, or Grease: Wipe off the leather area with a clean, dry cloth, then leave it alone as the spot should dissipate into the leather in a short period of time. Do not apply water to try to wash the stain.
Never use saddle soap, abrasive cleanser, soap, furniture polish oil, varnish or ammonia water to clean your leather products. Most liquids will be initially repelled by the leather, but if left to stand over an extended period of time, they will be absorbed.
Yet another material that is used in making office chairs and sofas. The term fabric describes a number of different materials. There are natural and synthetic fibers which, according to the base material use, require different treatments. In most cases stains and spills can be removed easily; however we recommend using caution and the use of proper cleaning methods.
Vacuuming: Weekly vacuuming or light brushing helps to remove soil and prevent the embedding of dirt or grime between fibers which can increase abrasion and wear.
Stain removal: Stains on wool or cotton can be removed by using a warm cloth and if required an approved fabric shampoo. When removing stains please use caution, i.e. do not rub too hard on the fabric.
Machine washing: Certain covers may be removable and machine washable. Please check beforehand as some fabrics may shrink during the process. Never use undiluted cleaning agents, ammonia or detergent not intended for the use on fabric.
Vinyl, also known as PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is yet another material that is widely used as a substitute for leather. Because of its durability it is also common place to be used for furniture, especially in offices. Vinyl comes in infinite colors and only little care is needed to keep them fresh and lively on you furniture.
Regular cleaning: You may use a mild detergent and water. Stubborn soil can be removed by using a bristle brush. Soil may also be loosened by letting a detergent solution stand on the surface and soak for a few minutes. Act immediately when removing spills or stains from vinyl. You may use paper towels or a white cloth. Solvents should only be applied to the vinyl and be kept away from other materials such as wood or metal.
Special Cleaning: Special vinyl cleaners may help removing stubborn soil. As stains are absorbed by the vinyl, a vinyl protective finish may help protecting the upholstery. Never use abrasive cleaners as they may scratch the surface. Certain cleaners, intended for other purposes may remove plasticizers, making them brittle.
Metal Finishes: Powder coating
- In order to protect metal surfaces we can draw on a number of different processes. Powder coating is widely used for partitions and office workstations. The coating comes in different thicknesses, according to the use and can be supplied in any color thinkable. Cleaning methods depend on the chemical composition and the fastness of the coat cleaning however the following will apply in general.
- Regular cleaning: In order to remove dirt or stains, clear water can be used to clean powder coated surfaces. Soft, non-abrasive cloth may support the cleaning process. In general most products recommended for automotive can be used as well. Never use abrasive cleaning agents or detergents containing a large percentage of acid or alkaline. Hard bristles of brushes may also damage the surface. Steam jet cleaners are not suitable for cleaning of powder coated surfaces. It is important that both, surface and cleaning detergent are not warmer than 35 Degrees Celsius and that the powder coat is not exposed to direct sunlight during cleaning.
Metal Finishes: Chromium plating
Chrome is a blue white metal which can be used to protect metal surfaces. The coating is very durable and hard and has a brilliant luster. In certain cases satin matte plating is used which looks similar to anodized surfaces. It is used mainly in making modular workstations and office chair base. The following tips would be sufficient to keep the chromed surfaces in good condition.
Regular cleaning: In most cases a damp cloth will be sufficient to clean chromium plated surfaces. In case of gummy soil, rubbing with baking soda can help in most cases. In case sudsy water is used, please wipe the surface dry after cleaning to ensure a shiny surface.
Special Cleaning: Should there be difficult spots a special metal polish may be required. Please only use those, especially made to clean chromium plated surfaces. Never use abrasive cleaners or rough sponges as they may scratch the surface.
Metal Finishes: Anodizing
Anodizing is a process whereby aluminum oxide is grown out of the surface. An electric current is passed through an acid electrolyte bath while the aluminum is immersed in it. Dying it is also possible because of the porous nature of the anodized layer. Anodizing, therefore, is a preferred process in the manufacture of various furniture parts like office chair armrests and bases. Simple cleaning tricks will make it last for long and retain its shine.
Regular cleaning: Cleaning anodized aluminum is easy. Because anodizing is so hard, you want to use an abrasive cleaning technique with a gentle soap. Do not use harsh acidic or alkaline cleaners because they may destroy the finish. Use solvents with care as they may stain the finish. It is best to try a test area first. Special abrasive cleaning sponges can be obtained from certain vendors and these can be used in connection with mild dish washing liquid.
Another key to good care and maintenance of your office furniture is handling the laminate surfaces right. It is the other material along with veneer which is widely used in office furniture products. Although laminate is a very durable surface but it can be stained or damaged by improper handling. A few simple tricks will ensure good life and durability to your office furniture.
Protection: Avoid mishandling of knives or other sharp tools for they may slice or scratch the surface. Although laminate can withstand high temperatures it is not recommended to place hot objects on the surface over a prolonged period of time.
Cleaning: Little care is needed. Regular cleaning can prolong its life span and beautiful appearance. In most cases all that is required is a damp cloth to remove stains. A mild non abrasive cleaner may be used. For high gloss laminate, a mild glass cleaner can be used to remove streaks. Never use cleaning agents containing acid, alkali, or sodium hypochlorite. These cleaners will mar, etch, corrode, and permanently discolor the laminate surface. Also, make sure that bottles, rags, and other materials contaminated with these cleaners never contact the laminate surface. Never use abrasive cleaners, powders or sandpaper to clean laminate surfaces. Acid based cleaners will permanently damage and stain laminate. Even some commercial self cleaning waxes may contain abrasives and are therefore not recommended.
We hope we have given you enough tips on general care and maintenance of your office furniture and furniture in general. For any specific cleaning and maintenance requirement you should call your furniture supplier directly and get specialized assistance. Happy furniture shopping!