Tips to Keep Your Vinyl Office Furniture from Degrading

Posted on: 27 January 2016

If you need a great deal of office furniture for waiting areas, lounges, kitchens, and other areas where many employees and clients will gather, then think about purchasing vinyl items. Vinyl furniture pieces are relatively inexpensive when compared to leather items, and the pieces come in many different color and texture options. Vinyl also can be durable, but it can degrade if the furniture is not taken care of properly. To prevent damage, consider the following tips. 

Clean Away Sweat, Oils, and Dirt

There are several different things that can damage a vinyl piece of furniture, and the sweat, oil, and dirt from the skin are three of these things.

Sweat is a combination of water, urea, ammonia, salt, and sugar. Sweat is released from the three million sweat glands that sit across the body, and up to one quart of fluid a day is normally released from these pores. Unfortunately, a great deal of this sweat is likely to end up on your vinyl furniture. The excessive water can seep through the small openings across the vinyl and cause the padding inside to absorb the sweat. Also, salt and ammonia residue from sweat will sit on the exterior of the vinyl and dry it out. Body oil is a fatty substance called sebum that is released from the hair follicles, and this material is likely to stain your vinyl. Last, the dead skin cells that fall off the body can dirty the vinyl fairly quickly.

To get rid of the sweat residue, body oils, and skin cells that sit on top of your vinyl furniture, make sure to clean all items at least once a week. Strong chemicals like bleach and ammonia can dry out the vinyl, so opt for a gentle soap and water for cleaning purposes instead. Dish soap will work well, and so will saddle soap that is often used to clean leather furniture items. Saddle soap contains a cleaning agent that is close to neutral to reduce chemical damage. It also contains a conditioner and preservative. To use the soap, rub a wet rag across the surface of the saddle soap bar. You should see a good deal of lather on your rag. Rub the lather across the surface of the vinyl. You do not need to rinse the soap away, but you should buff extra soap from the surface. If you use regular soap, then you should remove it from the surface of the vinyl with the help of damp rag.

Condition the Material

To prevent cracks and other damage across the vinyl, you should keep the furniture away from the sun. This will help to reduce fading and drying concerns. However, if the vinyl is not dried out consistently by the sun's rays, then sweat and other moisture that seeps into the vinyl can cause mold and mildew to grow. It you smell mildew when sitting on the furniture, then it is best to kill the mildew and then condition the furniture to prevent further deterioration. Bleach, ammonia, and vinegar are typical products that can kill mold and mildew spores. However, since chemicals may ruin the vinyl material, you should stay away from them. Use hydrogen peroxide instead. Place about one-quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide and one-quarter cup of water in a spray bottle. Spritz the entire surface of the vinyl furniture. Wait ten minutes for the peroxide to kill fungal spores and use a clean rag to wipe the furniture dry. 

Once you are done cleaning the vinyl, condition the furniture. You can use a vinyl conditioning spray like the ones made for automotive use. You can also utilize wax to soften, moisturize, and protect the vinyl. Palm, paraffin, soy, and beeswax are all wax varieties that you can use. You will need to warm the wax slightly so it can be spread on the vinyl though, so microwave it for 15 or 30 seconds and then rub it lightly on the vinyl. Buff the furniture afterwards to make sure that the wax has been absorbed by the vinyl. Otherwise, you will end up with clumps of dried wax flaking off the furniture. 

To learn more about how to care for office furniture, contact a representative from a company like D & R Office Works Inc.