Archive for the ‘chair problems’ Category

How to Clean the Wheels of an Office Chair

Just about every office chair comes standard with wheels (also known as casters) which allow you to move freely from one place to another with ease. If you are anything like me and sit in your office chair for eight hours a day, your chair will inevitably get some mileage on it. You may not even be aware how often your chair rolls around, even if it is to simply adjust the way you are sitting, almost every movement your body makes requires the chair to move. When the wheels of your office chair stop working well, moving your chair may start to become a struggle rather than a convenience. Wheels often do not function properly because they become clogged with dirt, hair, dust, and other debris. Fortunately, cleaning the wheels of your chair is an easy task that does not require much work. It will also return your chair back to the enjoyable piece of furniture it once used to be.

Step one, Flip Chair Upside Down

The first step to getting your chair wheels squeaky clean again is to start by tipping your chair upside down, making the wheels of the chair stick up in the air. You may want to sit in another chair while beginning the cleaning process in order to avoid fatigue. If you are worried about getting your hands dirty come prepared by wearing latex gloves and have a trash bag readily available to throw away the debris as you go.

In order to remove larger debris, use a butter knife as your tool of choice to scrape them off. A butter knife will fit through the slots and under the wheel cover. These areas can easily be cleaned and will allow you to remove most of the debris that are preventing the wheels from rolling. Be tactful in how you use your knife to clean; too much force may create gouges in the plastic wheels which will prevent them from spinning properly. For removing unwanted hair from wheels, use a pair of tweezers.

Next you will want to remove the wheels from your chair. On most chairs, the wheels can simply be pulled off with a little force. Some chairs may require a screwdriver to unscrew the wheels from the chair. Once the wheels are removed, rub the wheels down with a damp cloth in order to remove any excess grime or dirt. If you need assistance reaching inside the wheels, cotton swabs work great for getting in those tough to reach areas.

Once you are done cleaning your wheels, make sure to thoroughly dry each of them with a clean dry cloth, paper towel, or towel. If moisture remains inside the wheel, it can cause squeaking or allow dirt to stick easier. Spray the inside of each wheel with a spray lubricant. Wipe off any excess or dripping lubricant as it can attract dirt.

Once you are done cleaning, drying, and lubricating your chair simply pop your wheels back on and flip your chair back over. Your chair should roll good as new and depending on how often you use your chair, you should be good in the wheel cleaning department for awhile. The whole process is a pretty quick and shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes.

Replacing Office Chair Casters

Office Chair with Carpet Casters

When you purchase an office chair, a large majority of the time your chair will come equipped with casters, which are basically the wheels you have on your chair that allow you to move around. If your chair does have wheels, you are probably using them in your office more than you realize. For most of us, how much we use the wheels on our office chair generally is not a recurring thought that goes through our mind regularly. From rolling over to the printer to rolling to the fax machine, office chair wheels get a pretty good amount of mileage on them without us even thinking about it. Until the day you realize your casters are not working properly or one breaks, then you begin to notice how much you actually depended on them. Or there is always the slight chance you and your employees embarked on an office chair racing challenge and one of you took a turn too sharply and broke one of the chair’s casters in the process. That sometimes can happens too.

If any of these scenarios do take place, there is no need to worry, replacing the casters on your office chair is actually pretty simple. If you know the model number and manufacturer for your office chair, you can easily locate the casters that will fit properly. Sometimes if you flip your office chair over and look underneath the seat, that information is readily available on a paper attached. Alternately, when you get your chair in the mail save any papers you get in that box because they will generally have information on the manufacturer and chair you purchased. Once this information is located you can call the manufacturer, or even the retailer you purchased the chair from. If they do not carry the casters, they should at least be able to point you in the right direction to purchase a new set for your chair.

Example Chair with Glides

Casters appear to be the same on every chair, but in reality there are many different varieties of casters available. The difference in casters is the material from which they are made from and whether you want them to move or not. It is just a matter of finding out which caster is going to work for the surface your office chair will be rolling on and how you want your chair to function. If you are rolling around on a carpet, plastic casters are the way to go and generally come standard on chairs. A harder caster is needed for a harder surface, such as tile or hard wood floors. If you do not want your chair to move, then you should opt for glides rather than casters which allow your chair to stay in one place. Pressure braking casters can also be used if you want your chair to stay in one place, but you also want the ability to move around at the same time. Simply applying pressure to the casters while sitting down will brake your casters, allowing you to stay in one place.

If you are looking to spice up your office chair, you will find that there are casters for your office chair available in many different colors. No longer is the standard of black or silver casters for your office chair enforced, now you can easily match the casters to go with your decor, the color of the chair, or even if you want to add a little spice to a black or neutral colored chair. This is a great way to add a touch of style to your chair that is inexpensive and requires little effort.

Office chair casters, as simple as they are, are something you do not realize is a necessity until they are not working properly. If yours are not working or if you just want a different kind of caster, it is simple to replace and relatively inexpensive. While casters are a small part of the overall chair, they are still needed to make the chair function properly overall. If you need help getting replacement casters for a chair that you purchased on Sitbetter.com we will be happy to assist you! Call our toll free number at 1-866-311-9421.

Swooping a co-worker’s office chair…

A classic “This is Sportscenter” Ad that I am sure many people have had experience with, having other people in their office “borrow” their office chair…Maybe not a throne, but you get the idea!

By the way, neither of those are ideal big and tall chairs – Lebron does qualify as Big and Tall, too, if you are wondering!

Happy Holidays!

“The Surplus”

We love the Office here, for a variety of reasons that if you’ve seen the show you’re most likely familiar with.  Great writing, acting, and above all, ironically deadpan office comedy.  It’s great.

The last episode of the latest season, aired 12/4/08, hit close to home for us.  Titled “The Surplus”  it essentially focused around a budget surplus and what to do with it – 95% of the office battling to get new ergonomic office chairs, and 2 other people wanting a new copier. It seemed that the only person on the show who didn’t know what the value in new chairs is was the boss. (He even pronounced “ergonomically” erglonomically, or some disasterous version of the word!)  It was funny, but true to the point that chairs are very much overlooked…

Anyways, we have an “older” copier here at Sitbetter…And man, do those copies sometimes suck!  That said, at least it drives a complaint only when it is used, as opposed to a really uncomfortable, old office chair – they can be horrible and complaint worthy every minute spent on it.

Do I recommend buying chairs over a copier?  Not if we sold copiers too!  On a serious note, though, all I am saying to take from the episode and this post is you cannot overlook the seating in the office.  You can always use carbon paper to make copies – can’t exactly have employees be productive sitting on a crappy office chair.

Really cheap chairs are REALLY cheap…

How much is your rear end/back worth to you?  I mean, have you seen the furniture they have in those stores?  Cheap, and cheaper.  It’s not that they import a whole lot of their own brands directly from China (not necessarily a bad thing, but quality control becomes an issue given the almost guaranteed lack of QC). Many companies source products or have manufacturing facilities in the OG Chinatown, but they either have strict QC standards, assemble chairs here, or have been working with certain factories for a long time, and would have the QC down pat…O.D. and Staples source from whomever gives them the best price.

Yes, you can get some good quality chairs there, but from what I’ve experienced and from what I’ve read, but do you really expect to get the service you deserve if something happens to the chair?
Aside from quality concerns, you cannot realistically expect great service because they are not specialists in office furniture of any kind. Help finding pens and paper and the like? Really good and thorough. Not so much for office furniture.

I am not necessarily hating on these companies – they always are reliable for good prices on office supplies – but chairs aren’t supplies.  You shouldn’t have to be buying them as much as you buy pens and paper.

Look, I go to these office supply stores for office supplies – I do not consider office chairs part of the office supplies, however.  They are more like, well, furniture.  Completely different. Just like you cannot bulk together marketing and accounting functions of a company, you can’t bulk together pens and desks (even though it makes sense they would  be, given that one is used on the other).  It’s a whole different ballgame, and the expertise in the furniture field makes all the difference.

They sell other brands, such as Boss, that we sell.  Those are good brands.  I am just leary and weary of the own brand chairs that they have, for the QC reasons mentioned before.  I have read horror stories on blogs throughout the internet of the bad customer service and quality of these chairs bought at OD and Staples, am I sure there are many more.  Here are some blogs about this stuff: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop Blog, specifically one post about an OD/Staples own brand import (Swinton Trading Co.) that went horribly wrong – sort of a reunion point for people that over 2 years have had the same issue!  Or this one, mainly ranting about service: Lockergnome Blog.  So really, it is about going to people who know for whatever you need.  That is basically what I am advocating.

Ultimately though, we can blame these companies all we want, but we as consumers gotta be aware of what they can and can’t provide for us.  Understand the risk you take if you buy an office chair there.

I once bought an Office Depot Chair.  Lasted all of 1 month.  I was young, naive, and full of hope.  Now, we know better, thus we help you sit better. If you got some helpful insight, bad experiences, good experiences, whatever experiences regarding furniture and these companies, lets hear it.