How Do I Clean Hair & Debris From a Caster Wheel on a Chair?

Laurie Brenner

Task chairs function well for working at a sewing machine or a desk, until the casters get clogged with debris. Because of the way they roll, the casters can pick up pet and human hair, which becomes a nest for other dirt and grime.

Most casters pop off the bottom of the chair, or you can remove the bottom platform to get access to the rolling wheels. Regular maintenance and cleaning keeps your task chairs rolling where you need them to go.

Remove the Casters

With a common household screwdriver, you can usually pop the casters from the platform to clean them individually or pull them from the chair with your hands. Insert a flat-head screwdriver between the caster frame and the bottom of the chair leg or platform. Hold the chair steady as you lift up on the screwdriver to pop the caster free. If the casters are permanently attached to the platform, turn the chair over to remove the platform or to access the casters for cleaning.

Duct Tape Touch-Up

Scrape off large bits of debris and dirt with a butter knife or the tip of a screwdriver. A pair of tweezers can help you pull bits of hair and dirt from the caster's shaft. Cut a piece of duct tape and fold it over itself to form a loop that fits around your fingers. Dab each caster as you turn the wheel to remove any dirt or hair. Small manicure scissors cut through any stubborn hair stuck around the shaft of the caster's wheel. Cut bits of hair and pull them loose with your fingers or the tweezers.

Wash Removable Casters

Soak removable caster wheels in a bowl of sudsy hot water as you clean each individual wheel with a soft-bristled fingernail brush. The fingernail brush is small enough to get into the crevices between the wheel and shaft of the caster. You can also take them outside and hold them as you wash them off with the hose. The force of water from the hose often loosens additional dirt. Dry each washed wheel thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth to avoid fibers getting stuck in the casters. A hair dryer on low heat helps dry any missed droplets of water, but avoid getting the plastic on the casters too hot.

Spray Lubricant

After you have thoroughly dried the caster wheels, a bit of lubrication will keep them rolling smooth. If the spray lubricant has a long small tube attached to the button spray, insert this tube closest to the metal shaft on which the wheel turns and spray a bit of lubricant there. Avoid spraying the face of the wheel that touches the floor, as doing so will spread lubricant onto your floor. Wipe excess lubricant with a clean lint-free cloth. You can replace plastic casters with steel ones or opt for casters with removable wheels for easy cleaning in the future.