Upholstered chairs are comfortable to sit in and can be customized with your choice of fabric, making them ideal for a church, event space, or business. However, you will need to spend time cleaning and maintaining cloth chairs to keep them looking new. Here’s how to clean your church chairs from top to bottom.
Cleaning Chair Fabrics
To clean stains on your upholstered chairs, it’s important to treat the soiled spots as soon as you notice them. If it’s a fresh liquid spill, blot up the excess spill immediately. In cases where the liquid has dried, break up and remove as much of the remnants as possible before beginning the cleaning process. If the stain is a dry soil, vacuum the residue before further cleaning.
Next, determine whether your chair requires water-based or solvent-based cleaners. This information should be marked on the chair tag. Furniture manufacturers use these codes:
- W for water based cleaners
- S for solvent based
- WS for water or solvent based
- X for professional cleaning
Using Water-Based Cleaners
If your chair is marked W or WS, use cold water to blot at the soiled area and determine if the stain will lift out. Don’t use an excessive amount of water, as this may cause the soiling agent to spread deeper.
If the stain doesn’t come out, use an appropriate cleaner to treat the stain. Only dampen the area and blot at the stain. These actions will remove most stains. You may want to start with liquid dish soap and water first, and then move on to stronger cleaners if necessary. You should first spot test the cleaner on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t discolor or damage the fabric.
Using Solvent-Based Cleaners
If your chair is marked with an S, choose a solvent-based cleaner and apply to the stained area, then use a soft-bristled brush on the area. Again, spot test the cleaner before applying to the stain.
When to Call a Professional
In the event that your chairs are marked with an X, or the stains do not come out after you clean them, it’s time to call in a professional.
What If My Chairs Don’t Have a Cleaning Code?
If your chairs are not marked with a cleaning code, you have a few options. You could spot-test various cleaners. Or, you could call in a professional. Alternatively, contact the manufacturer and inquire about the best way to clean the chairs. They may offer advice or send you a cleaning guide.
Maintaining Your Chair Frames
Chair frames require regular maintenance as well. Proper care depends on the material. Most church chair frames are either wood or steel, although some models have plastic frames. Here’s how to maintain each type of church chair frame.
How to Clean Steel Chair Frames
Steel is fairly easy to maintain. Use a light solution of soap or non-caustic cleaning agents to periodically wipe down the frames of your chairs to remove surface dirt and perspiration residue. That’s all you need to do to keep your chairs looking sparkling and brand new for many years to come.
How to Maintain Wooden Chair Frames
You need to take extra precautions with wood furniture, since harsh cleaners may ruin the finish. Start with dish soap and water, and make sure your cleaning rag is damp, not wet. Too much water will damage the wood. You can purchase cleaners that are specially formulated for wood, but be sure to read the labels carefully to see if it would be appropriate for the type of finish on your chairs.
You should also regularly dust your wooden chair frames. Choose soft dusters that will not scratch the surface.
How to Care for Plastic Chairs
Plastic chairs are easy to clean and maintain. Simply wipe them down with soap and water or disinfectant wipes to kill germs. Stains can be removed with a cleaner specially formulated for plastic. You can also use household cleaners like bleach. Plastic furniture is sturdy and able to be used inside or outside, so it’s a great option for events.
Learn more about the advantages of plastic furniture.
Other Maintenance Tips
It’s important to clean your seating regularly and treat stains as soon as possible, but there are additional steps you can take to protect your chairs:
- Treat upholstery with fabric protectors.
- Be sure to finish wood frames, and refinish as necessary.
- Store outdoor event seating indoors during the winter months.
With these tips, you can keep your upholstered church chairs in great condition for a long time!
Know When It’s Time to Replace
Over time, seating will wear out, no matter how well you maintain it. Signs that it’s time to replace your chairs include worn foam padding, fabric that is stained or faded beyond repair, and broken components or loose fasteners. If you need to replace chairs, trust ChurchPlaza to supply you with affordable, high quality seating!
To make maintenance as easy as possible for you, we build our chairs with high-quality components, like 16-gauge steel frames and dual density, virgin commercial grade foam. Our chair fabrics come with a MoistureBarrier™ treatment to protect against stains. Talk to a product consultant today or request a free sample to see our quality manufacturing standards for yourself!
For Our Customers: How to Clean ChurchPlaza Chairs
If you own ChurchPlaza seating, here are some guidelines to follow for cleaning your chairs.
Use a light solution of soap or non-caustic cleaning agents to periodically wipe down the frames of your chairs to remove surface dirt and perspiration residue. That’s all you need to do to keep your chairs looking sparkling and brand new for many years to come. The steel to steel fastening systems used on your ChurchPlaza frames are durable, imbedded, and will not come loose under normal church use. They require no ongoing maintenance.
ChurchPlaza uses a family of Polypropylene fabrics for important reasons:
- These fabrics have great resistance to moisture, dirt, and many other chemicals.
- Polypropylene fabrics also show a great resistance to bacteria and various other microorganisms.
- These fabrics are strong and durable and maintain color fastness.
- Polypropylene has a soft feel and causes no allergic reactions.
Maintaining the fabric of your ChurchPlaza chairs is easy with these few tips:
Treat soiled spots promptly. If a liquid soil, blot up the excess spill immediately. If the soil has dried, break up and remove as much of the remnants as possible before beginning the cleaning process. If a dry soil, vacuum residue before further cleaning.
Use cold water to first blot at the soiled area to determine if the soiled area will lift out. Don’t use an excessive amount of water as this may cause the soiling agent to spread deeper. If necessary, use a mild non-caustic cleaning solution appropriate for the staining agent. Again, only dampen the area and blot at the stain. These actions will remove most stains. In the rare situation they do not, professional cleaning may be necessary.
Originally published March 2015 and updated February 2020.