How to Clean Office Chair Wheels – 8 Methods

A dirty office chair wheel can stop the chair from moving as well as can damage the floor. Typically, an office chair wheel gets dirty either from dirt or hairs. Perhaps cleaning office chairs involves several steps, including cleaning wheels.   

This article will act as a guide in helping you with the cleaning process.  It will assist you in choosing suitable casters and additional important tips for maintenance.

Types of Office Chair Wheels

There are various types of casters available in the market. Let me tell you about the different types of office chair wheels you can choose from.

Therefore, each of them could have a different cleaning process and resistance to dirt and hair. 

Dual Caster or Twin Caster

Twin wheel casters are most widely used. They have a broader width. Therefore they can hold more weight.

This type of caster is more prone to attract hairs. It’s difficult to remove hairs from dual caster wheels as the hair gets tangled between both wheels.

Also, it’s difficult to remove hairs and dirt from office chair caster wheels: a simple logic, more surface area = more chance of stuck hair and dirt.

Single Wheel Caster

These types of office chair casters have a simple style. In comparison to dual casters, single casters offer roll and swivel movement.

Due to the low surface area, single-wheel casters tend to attract less hair. However, if any hair is stuck near the screw, it becomes troublesome to remove. The screw area is so compact that any hair caught in this area will be coiled and tightened. Additionally, you get very little space to remove hair.

Finally, a single caster means less surface area and less dirt.

NON-Hooded Caster

Unhooded Twin Wheel Casters

This caster has a holder fender/skirt covering the wheel. Thus, it easily collects don’t and hair.

There are two types of hooded casters available in the markets: Hooded dual casters and Hooded ball casters. 

These office chair caster wheels are less likely to attract hairs as they don’t have any area where hairs can be accumulated. Mostly, they don’t catch hairs; you can wipe with a rag if they do. However, it’s rare for hair to be coiled inside the wheel, but it can happen.

Rolling Ball Caster Wheels

It is a variety of single-wheel casters. However, they don’t do well with deep carpeted surfaces.

Ball casters are less likely to catch hairs; however, the only possible area is the area around the screw. Moreover, hairs can stick to the ball caster when any sticky substance is on the caster surface.

While they don’t attract hairs much, but they attract dirt massively. As ball caster wheels have a large surface that touches the floor, it’s likely to make the floor dirty.

How to Clean in Different Ways?

I’m going to clean office chair wheels. Let’s see which method works best.

Method 1: Remove Hairs and Grime Using Traditional Procedure

You can follow the below old-school method for cleaning office chair wheels.

  • Firstly, turn the chair upside down and detach the office chair caster wheels from the chair.
  • Secondly, using a nose plier, pry open the wheels as shown in the video above.
  • To remove the hair, pluck the stuck hairs using the same nose plier, or you can use a kitchen teezer.
  • Sometimes hair strands and fibers are entangled around the wheel axle; use a scissor or nail clipper to cut the strands. Then you can remove them using the tweezer.
  • To remove grime and clean the sticky wheels, soak them in a bucket of warm soap water.
  • Use a suitable-sized brush or vacuum brush attachment and remove dirt and dust particles from the wheels.
  • Again, let it soak for 10 mins. The grime should come off easily.
  • Wipe the casters using a towel or rag cloth to remove the residues.
  • You can either leave them to dry automatically or Blow-dry using a hairdryer set on cool air mode.
  • Reattach the wheels to the base.

You can use WD40 to remove excess stuck debris.

To make the wheel disassembling easier, put the wheels in boiling water, and the wheels will become softer. Later the wheels will be popped out easily with a screwdriver or nose plier.

Method 2: Use Tweezer and Nail Cutter to Remove Hair

If you want to remove hairs without disassembling the wheels, you can use this method.

Firstly, use a tweezer to pluck hairs as much as possible. You can use duct tape to stick and peel the hairs. However, if the tweezer can’t reach the hairs, you can use the bottle opener of a nail cutter. The nail cutters bottle open is curvy and can be useful for removing tangled hairs.

Method 3: Duct Tape and Butter Knife

Cut the duct tape into a piece and form a loop keeping the adhesive part outside. Wrap it around a butter knife so that it looks like a dirt magnet.

Finally, take the knife to the entangled hairs. Try to stick those hairs into the knife and pluck them.

If the butter knife looks thick to perform the process, you can use a razor knife instead.

Method 4: Use a Flame Torch To Remove Hair

A flame torch can work like a charm if you don’t want to disassemble the casters. Get a medium size flame torch and burn the hairs with flame. Remember, use short bursts of flame till the hair starts smoking. Blasting flame for a longer period can damage the wheels. Repeat this process while rotating the wheel till you completely burn all hair.

Not to forget, always do this process outdoor as burning hairs is smelly, and you may or may not like the stinky smell.

Once you burn longer hairs, use a tweezer or nail cutter bottle opener to scrap the remaining brittle parts.

Method 5: Use DRANO

This is another awesome method to remove hairs. Do you know DRANO? A cleaner used for hair-clogged pipes?

Yes, we are going to use the same for removing hair from the office chair casters.

These drain cleaners dissolve hairs without damaging the plastic.

Put Drano in a bucket with water. Merge the casters inside the solution for 2-3 hours. The hairs will be dissolved in this period. Later, rinse the casters with water.

Remember, DRANO is a caustic substance. Hence, handle with care and do this process outdoor. Don’t touch DRANO with bare hands.

Method 6: Remove Chewing Gum from Casters – Old School Way

It is difficult to remove gum from the chair wheels. Likewise, removing old gum entangled around the wheel axles can prove to be a nuisance. It stops the wheels from rotating smoothly.

Now let’s begin with the actual process of cleaning,

  • Place the wheels in a bowl of warm water.
  • Let it soak for 10 mins.
  • Soaking in warm water makes it easier to remove the chewing gum residues.
  • Use a tissue or newspaper to pull away the gum residue.
  • Once all the gum is removed, dry the wheels.

(NOTE: If the wheels are reattached when wet or have slight moisture, it will attract dust automatically. Not to mention, the metal parts of the wheel can rust and cause squeaking.)

Method 7: Use GOO GONE to Remove Chewing Gum

You can use Goo Gone spray gel to remove gums stuck to the caster wheel. Follow the below procedure.

  1. First, clean the wheel so that grimes get cleared and only stuck gum remains.
  2. Now, take the GOO Gone spray gel and apply it above and around the gum.
  3. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Goo Gone will make the gum easier to peel.
  5. Finally, peel the gum, clean the area with soapy water and wipe with a cloth.

Method 8: Use WD40 to Remove Gum

WD-40 is a must in every household. It’s a magical product for any cleaning process. To remove glue from the caster wheels, let’s follow another procedure below.

  1. First, spray WD-40 onto the chewing gum.
  2. Let it sit for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Then you can easily wipe off the chewing gum.
  4. This is the fastest solution.

You can also use methods like storing wheels in a freezer and then scrape the hardened chewing gum with a blunt knife. But, they are a time-consuming process. Alternatively, you can rub an ice cube on the gum to harden it. Further, you can use a knife with rubbing alcohol to remove the gum.

Care and Maintenance of Chair Wheels

  1. It is important to lubricate the wheels properly to keep your chair rolling smoothly.
  2. Use gel-based grease for casters for cleanliness.
  3. Similarly, use dry lubricant for caster wheels used in dirty and dusty areas.
  4. For metal wheels, use a greaseless lubricant.
  5. Likewise, for plastic wheels, use a silicone lubricant.
  6. Practice proper sanitation methods. Clean the floors daily or alternately.
  7. Most lubricants and greases attract dirt. Therefore, after spraying, wipe the leftover grease. 

Always maintain your floor clean. The hairs and dirt come from the floor. If you vacuum your floor daily, there’ll be no hairs that can go into the caster wheels.

Carpets tend to attract hairs. If your floors have a carpet, maintain them clean. Otherwise, chairs rolling on the carpet can attract hairs from the carpet.

Finally, use a wheel that is less likely to attract hairs and dirt. I’ve described them above.

If caster wheels are too old and there’s too much mess around the wheels which is difficult to remove, consider replacing the wheels.

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