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How to Clean Your Eames Chair

Theodora Pennypacker

Once modestly priced, Eames furnishings are now coveted as luxurious hallmarks of modern design. Eames chairs in particular have gained popularity, and they are available in a wide variety of models and colors. As with any valuable item, owners need to take care and consideration when maintaining their Eames chairs. It is always best to leave any re-upholstery or refinishing needs to professional restorers---but there are some simple cleaning techniques anyone can employ to dramatically revamp a lackluster Eames chair.

Eames chairs were engineered from innovative manufacturing processes that transformed humble materials like plastic, plywood and aluminum into functional seating. The following guidelines explain how to clean Eames classics like the Eiffel Chair, the Molded Plywood Chair and the Management Chair.

Clean and Polish the Molded Plastic on an Eiffel Chair

  1. Dip a damp sponge in baking soda and scrub away at any grime on the chair. Repeat if necessary.

  2. With a cleaning rag, wipe away any moisture left on the chair and allow it to dry completely.

  3. Use a clean, soft cloth and apply a high-quality car wax to the chair. Treat as per the brand's instructions.

Clean and Polish Your Molded Plywood Chair

  1. Lightly vacuum or dust the chair with a cleaning rag.

  2. Dip a clean, soft cloth in solvent-based cleaning wax until it is just barely damp.

  3. Buff the surface with the treated cloth to lift more dust and dirt. Immediately wipe clean with a dry paper towel.

Clean the Aluminum on a Management Chair

  1. Dip a cleaning rag in diluted dish soap and wipe down the aluminum chassis.

  2. To remove any scuff marks or oxidation, dip a lemon half in salt and lightly rub it on the affected area. Wipe away the residual juice and excess salt with a damp sponge.

  3. Rinse the chassis thoroughly with water and towel dry.