Care & Maintenance

In order to preserve the integrity and longevity of our products, Haworth has established certain care and maintenance standards for our fabrics and finishes. Two important reminders: when using any cleaning agent, we recommend that a small, inconspicuous area be pre-tested for colorfastness before cleaning the stain. And in the case of overall soil condition or a large-scale stain, you should contact a professional furniture cleaning service for cleaning recommendations.

Important! Improper cleaning and maintenance of any material may result in the voiding of the material warranty.

Maintenance For Any Material

  • No material is immune from stains or soiling.
  • Lack of cleaning or improper cleaning will shorten the life span of items such as fabrics, faux leathers, and leather.
  • Treatments such as Alta™ do not eliminate the need for routine cleaning and proper maintenance.
  • The longer a stain remains on any surface, the more difficult it will be to remove. Address any stain as quickly as possible.
  • Removing any cleaning residue is an important part of the cleaning process, and one that is often overlooked. All cleaners, even mild ones, leave behind a residue that can be harmful to the surface if not thoroughly removed (usually through clean water).

General Recommendation for Environmental Cleaning Procedures to Reduce Interior Environmental Impacts

  • Minimize the amount of cleaning chemicals used since excess chemicals result in rapid re-soiling.
  • Use of Green Seal Certified Cleaning Products. Green Seal is awarded to product that work well and have less impact on the environment.
  • For general maintenance cleaning, consider using vacuums with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration to trap airborne particles and keep them from affecting the indoor air quality.
  • Use no or low VOC cleaning products. Consider detergent based products compared to those containing solvents, where possible.
  • Consider extraction processes where appropriate to remove excess chemicals and water and to maximize cleaning results. Extraction can also help reduce chemical levels in the indoor environment. Spot extraction may also reduce the chances for over-wetting of fabrics and resulting water stains.
  • Choose cleaning products with no or low levels of dyes or fragrance. Dyes and fragrance do not generally improve cleaning results and can cause allergic reactions in people with sensitivities to chemicals. Some dyes could cause staining on fabrics.
  • Consider choosing biodegradable cleaning products.
  • Environmentally preferable ingredients for cleaners include surfactants containing terms such as lauryl, amides and glycosides.
  • Not recommended are products containing ammonia and alcohols.

Polyester or Olefin Fabrics

  • These fabrics are colorfast when using standard wet and dry processes and are also resistant to most spot-cleaning solvents.
  • Oil or grease spots will respond to mild solvent or dry cleaning agents. A blotting technique should be sufficient to remove most spots.
  • Accumulated dirt and grime spots can be removed with a mild detergent or upholstery shampoo. Rinse well with a clean sponge to remove traces of the water-based cleaning agent, but do not soak the substrate, if possible. Fabric will dry very quickly.
  • Avoid excessive brushing or rubbing to prevent pilling of the fabric surface.

Wool Content Fabric

  • Dry (solvent) cleaning methods are preferred; water-based products may cause shrinkage.
  • Oil, grease, and general dirt spots should respond to a mild, dry cleaning solvent. Use a blotting technique. Rubbing the fabric may lead to surface abrasion.
  • Should an unacceptable degree of surface distortion – such as pilling – result from spot-cleaning, you may realign the fabric fibers using a standard handheld steam iron. Use the ‘wool’ setting, with steam, to press the affected fibers back into place.

Nylon Content Fabric

  • These fabrics are colorfast when using standard wet and dry cleaning processes and are also resistant to most spot-cleaning solvents.
  • Dry soils: vacuum surfaces regularly to prevent sand, dust, ash, and dry dirt from being worked into the fabrics.
  • Wet soils: use commercially available water-based upholstery detergents to clean mud, spills, food, and so on. Follow directions on package.
  • Oily spills: grease, tar, greasy foods, and the like may require cleaning with a solvent cleaner or solvent-fortified detergent. Follow directions on package.
  • A blotting technique should remove most spots. Avoid brushing or rubbing to prevent pilling of the fabric surface.

Seating Meshes and Knits

  • Most meshes and knits can be cleaned with a vacuum.
  • If some soiling does occur, use a mild detergent (10%) and water solution. Support the surface with a clean towel on the back, and gently apply the cleaning solution. Use gently circular motions. Once clean, remove any residue with clean water and a clean towel (still supporting the surface) and a clean white cloth.
  • Do NOT use a heavy bristle brush as this may damage the fabric.
  • Do NOT use excessive heat while cleaning.

Seating Faux Leather


  • Wipe regularly with clean water and a damp, clean, soft white cloth.
  • General cleaning can be done as needed with a mild (10%) detergent and water solution. Always rinse with clean water and dry.
  • For heavy soiling, dampen a soft white cloth or soft bristle brush with a one to one (1:1) solution of Fantastic® and water or Formula 409® and water. Use care as scrubbing can damage the surface.
  • Difficult stains can be treated, but this should be occasional, not daily, cleaning. ANY cleaning solution used must be removed with clean water and a clean white cloth. Cleaning residue left on the vinyl can cause it to dry out and crack, or affect the color.
    • For more difficult stains, dampen a soft white cloth with a solution of household bleach (10% bleach / 90% water). Rub gently and rinse with a water dampened clean cloth to remove the bleach concenration. It is important that all bleach residue be removed as this is the primary cause of surface cracking.
    • DO NOT use any cleaners with corrosive ingredients (such as lye or acids) or ammonia.
    • DO NOT use solvent cleaners.any cleaners.


  • Refer to the top 3 steps listed under 'vinyl' ONLY. Cleaners for heavier soiling should NOT be used as this can damage the material.

Wellington (XJ)

The cleaners below are not recommended for use on Wellington.  They have been determined to be especially damaging to the material.  Follow the Polyurethane guidelines above including wiping with water and drying after cleaning.

  • Ecolab Spot Cleaner
  • Clorox Broad Spectrum
  • Caltech Precise Spray
  • Cavicide
  • Wex-Cide 128
  • Oxivir Tb

Noble (JA) (Faux Suede)

  • Daily maintenance with a lint brush will help maintain the 'suede' nap on the fabric. Occasional vacuuming followed by a gentle dusting with a damp, clean, white cloth is recommended.
  • Spot cleaning can be accomplished with a paper towel until absorbed. Dried-in soiling requires a light brush or vacuum of the area. If soil is still not removed, you can try wiping the area with a damp (lukewarm water), clean, white cloth working from the outside of the stained area in.
  • Oil based stains should be wiped up as much as possible with a dry cloth or paper towel. Try not to spread the stain. Pat the stained area with a clean white cloth soaked in ethyl alcohol from the outside in, and pat the loosened dirt and oil off with a clean, dry cloth.


  • Most stains can be removed with lukewarm water and a mild soap. Then wipe the leather with a damp cloth and dry with a soft, dry cloth.
  • Saddle soaps, polish, or wax should never be used.
  • For general maintenance, dust the leather surface just as you would furniture.
  • Leathers with a specialty finish or a ‘sueded’ finish should be professionally cleaned.


  • For general cleaning, use a damp cloth or sponge and a mild soap or detergent.  Rinse thoroughly with warm water and wipe dry.
  • Spray cleaners such as Glass Plus or Windex may also be used.
  • Difficult stains such as coffee or tea can be removed by using a mild household cleaner/detergent and a soft bristled brush, repeating as necessary.

Markerboard Laminate

  • When a markerboard needs to be cleaned because of erasing (ghosting) problems, we recommend that you use Quartet Re-Mark-Able Conditioner and Cleaner. The surface should then be wiped with soap and water and a clean cloth.
  • Sanford Expo Dry Erase markers are recommended for use on our markerboards. Sanford White Board Cleaner can also be used.
  • Ink should be completely dry before erasing. Attempting to erase wet ink can lead to excessive smearing and ghosting.

Wood Furniture

To maintain our finely crafted wood furniture, you should pay special attention to the wood surface and finish. Careful maintenance is necessary to protect your investment.

  • Special Precautions
    • Haworth wood products are finished with a water based UV cured finish (EcoShield). All finishes are designed to protect wood surfaces against most common spills of inks, perfumes, nail polishes, nail polish removers, and beverages if removed immediately with a damp cloth.
    • To protect the wood surface, protective desk pads must be placed under all writing areas and business machines.
    • Extreme heat and humidity can be harmful to wood furniture. Do not place products in direct sunlight, near radiators or air conditioning vents, humidifiers, fireplaces, etc. Always use coasters under hot objects, such as coffee pots and cups.
  • Regular Maintenance
    • Regular dusting will help avoid build-up of dirt and grime that can dull the finish. Use a damp cloth and follow the grain of the wood. Water should not be used in excess amounts when cleaning, nor should it ever be allowed to stand on wood surfaces.

Wood Trim and Skins

  • Regular Maintenance
    • Regular dusting will help avoid build-up of dirt and grime that can dull the finish. Use a damp cloth, following the grain of the wood, and wipe dry.
    • Avoid using any cleaners containing any form of abrasives or corrosive agents.
    • For more through cleaning, use a mild detergent and wipe dry with a lint free cloth.

Painted Steel Furniture

  • Files, cabinets, and pedestals require minimum maintenance. Clean all surfaces with lukewarm water and a mild soap as needed. After washing, rinse with water, and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Slide mechanisms need no lubrication. All mechanisms have been pre-lubricated at the factory to last for the life of the product.

Painted Steel Trim

  • Painted metal/steel trim requires minimum maintenance. Clean with lukewarm water and a mild detergent as needed. After washing, rinse with clean water on a soft cloth, and dry with a clean soft cloth.


Seating Plastics (shells - including arm caps, bases and Very Tetro)

  • Do NOT use oil-based cleaners.
  • Warm water and a mild detergent (10%) solution will remove most soiling. A soft bristle brush can be used to remove heavier dirt. Always use a clean white cloth and clean water to remove any residue.
    • Do NOT use a hard bristle brush as this may damage the surface of the plastic.

Polyethylene (Hoop table)

  • Mild soap and water should remove most dirt and soiling. Rinse with clean water when done to remove any soapy residue.
  • For more difficult stains, use a damp Magic Eraser®. Remove any residue with a clean damp cloth.


  • Warm water and a mild detergent will remove most spills and scuffs.


  • Stone should be washed with clear, lukewarm water, and cleansed thoroughly about twice a year with a mild detergent solution.
  • Some stones may require periodic re-sealing of the surface.

Systems Glazed/Glass & Walls Glass

  • Straight glazed panels have ¼” tempered safety glass or frosted acrylic. Use any good glass cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the glass.
  • For either systems or walls glass, you can also use a mild solution of ammonia, water, and a few drops of mild liquid soap. Apply with a soft cloth, and remove excess with a squeegee or wipe dry with a clean, lint free cloth.

Translucents (PREMISE/Moxie) or Systems Acrylics

  • Use warm water, mild detergent, and a soft sponge, cloth, or chamois to clean the surface.
  • Stains can be removed using 3M Finesse-It compound according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Do not use glass cleaning products, acetone, gasoline, benzene, lacquer thinner, chlorinated solvents, gritty abrasive scouring compounds, or alkaline cleaners to clean the surface as damage will occur.
  • Remove any oil residue left behind from solvent cleaning with detergent and water.
  • Never scrub the surface as damage may occur.

Moveable Wall Wallcoverings

Any stains should be removed quickly as permanent damage can occur. Work from the outside of a stain moving inwards. Always carefully rinse a wallcovering surface after cleaning with clean water to remove any residual cleaning agents. Avoid saturation. Dry the surface with a soft, lint-free cloth or towel using a blotting motion.

  • Vinyl
    • Remove common dirt or smudges with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Use a soft cloth to wash the area, rinse with clean water, and dry with a lint-free cloth. A soft bristle brush may be needed if there is a surface texture to remove dirt from crevices.
    • Do not use abrasives or steel wool as this will damage the surface.
    • Do not use solvent cleansers.
  • Non Vinyl (Sustainable)
    • Blot wet spills promptly with an absorbent cloth or polyester sponge.
    • Remove common dirt or stains with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Use a soft cloth to wash the area, rinse with clean water, and dry with a lint-free cloth.
    • Do not use solvent cleansers.
    • Do not use firm bristle brushes of any kind.
  • Woven/Olefin
    • Brush dry stains off with a soft nylon brush.
    • Blot wet stains with an absorbent cloth or polyester sponge.
    • Remove common dirt or stains with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. Use a soft brush if necessary to loosen dirt from crevices. Rinse with clean water, and dry with a lint-free cloth.