How to Clean & Care for Your Dining Chairs

How to Clean & Care for Your Dining Chairs

Stains on your dining chairs are inevitable. It’s simply a matter of when. A quick response is essential. Otherwise, you risk a temporary discolouration becoming permanent. Some wear on your furniture is expected, but spots and blotches are another story. Here’s some handy tips to keep your furniture looking fresh

The cleaning process depends on the material covering your chairs. It also depends on the type of stain. Whether it’s fingerprints from a child or a splash of wine from an excited dinner party guest. Not all spills will leave a lasting mark. Here’s how to tackle everything from spot cleaning to a full-blown scrub down, with each kind of upholstery.

Basic Steps

There are certain things you need to do no matter what the surface. The first trick is to act fast. Break contact between the spill and the material as quickly as possible. The longer it remains in contact with the chair, the harder it’ll be to remove it completely. Notice the emphasis on completely. You’ll likely be able to get rid of some, but the quicker you act, the better. 

Clean the Spill

Vacuum or sweep away the remnants of the spill. You can use a damp cloth to pick up any loose bits. Although it’s tempting, don’t rub the spot away at this point. You may end up embedding the stain into the fibres. Now it’s time to assess the damage. Don’t panic if you can still see the discolouration. There’s still time to remove any lingering splotches.

Work from the centre of the stain outwards to minimise the appearance of the spot. Even if you don’t completely remove it, you’ll make it less noticeable.

Rinse and Repeat

If you’re lucky, simply repeating the process will remove any traces of the spill. Make sure you use a clean cloth each time you clean it. There’s no point in using a soiled rag to clean up a stain. It will just make it worse. Repeating the steps will work whether you’re spot cleaning or doing a complete overhaul.


Cleaning fabric dining chairs depends on the material. First, check the care instructions for the furniture. Often, it’ll point you in the right direction. You may find that a gentle soap and water are sufficient. Other times, you’ll need to take more drastic steps such as steaming or using solvents. It usually depends on the type of stain.

fabric dning chair

Water-based materials are easy to dissolve with more liquid or by using steam. Oil-based liquids may require something more powerful. Staining fluids like red wine present additional challenges. No matter what path you follow, test the removal on an inconspicuous area first. The goal is to remove the stain while avoiding discolouration.

Don’t hesitate to use cleaning products meant for clothing on your chairs. Blot up any moisture completely when using liquid-based stain removers. Follow the maker’s recommendations, which are usually found in the care instructions.

Materials such as cranberries and wine produce a tannin-based stain. Avoid using a natural soap on these kinds of spots. Instead, use a detergent or colour-safe bleach to break them down. Repeat as necessary.


The best way to spot clean leather is to use only minimal liquid. Water stains can cause permanent damage to this premium material. We recommend seeking professional help to keep your leather looking great. But be sure to wipe up any excess moisture straight away.

leather dining chair

It’s very important to use white or light-coloured clothes on leather. A damp cloth will handle most stains. For grease-based spots, you’ll need a different approach. Things like talcum powder or cornstarch can help absorb these oiler materials. Let it sit for several minutes to give it time to absorb. Repeat the process until the stain is removed. You can also use this approach with fabrics.

Tougher stains require tougher work. Things like ink will require professional intervention. In severe cases, you may be facing a restoration project to return your dining chair to its original state. 


You can treat stains on wood or timber the same way you would with leather. Minimise the use of liquids to avoid leaving water marks. Most materials will have some type of protective coating to help avoid permanent damage. But remember that your window for action is short, even with treated products.

timber dining chair

A furniture polish will restore the lustre and remove traces of the stain as long as the wood hasn’t been damaged. Buff the spot, working outwards to create a seamless line between the blotch and the surrounding material.

Full Cleaning

Sometimes a full clean is the only course of action. If a large portion of the dining chair is stained, it’s the only way to minimise its appearance. But always begin with the basic steps as soon as you notice a problem. Again, the faster you act, the better your chances of success.

The object of a full-scale project is to remove the stain quickly, leaving as little damage as possible. You should only begin these tasks when conditions are right so that your chairs can dry fast. The longer they remain damp, the greater the risk of mould and permanent issues. 

Gather your materials to streamline the process. Have plenty of clean clothes, soap or appropriate solvents handy to move quickly between steps. The attention you take to these details will help you complete the stain removal efficiently.

Routine Cleaning and Care

Stains aside, the best ways to maintain your dining chairs is through regular maintenance. It’ll help you keep on top of developing problems. You’ll be able to identify issues quickly and minimise risk of permanent damage. Use a damp cloth to clean each chair completely. Don’t forget hidden parts like the legs and crossbars underneath the seat.

We recommend doing this monthly. You’ll have the benefit of dealing with an issue before it becomes a major problem. Regular care and love means your chairs stay looking as good as new. And it’s not hard to do either. Stop issues before they arise and enjoy your beautiful dining chairs every day.