Cleaning Home-Office Accessories Checklist

Reward your office assistants for their loyal service by showing them a little TLC. 

Books and Magazines

  1. Check Dust the tops and the spines.

    A soft, natural-bristle paintbrush that’s about three inches wide will be just wide enough to fit snugly inside the tops of most books.

  2. Check Carefully rub dirty spots off cloth-covered books with a microfiber cloth.

    Don’t use cleaner or you could damage the fabric and the bindings. Magazine covers can be wiped with a cloth and all-purpose cleaner.


  1. Check Vacuum the seat and the back of your chair.

    Use a brush attachment.

  2. Check Wipe down the arms and the legs of wood and upholstered chairs with a dry-cleaning sponge or a damp microfiber cloth.

    Go over the wheels with a cloth. If grime still remains on the wheels, scrub them with a toothbrush and wipe completely dry.

  3. Check If your chair is adjustable, spray compressed air into the joints of the moving mechanisms.

    This will keep them free of dust.

Desk: Glass Desktop

  1. Check Vacuum empty drawers with a brush attachment.

  2. Check Wipe the desktop.

    Spritz a cloth with glass cleaner and run it over the desktop.

  3. Check Wipe the metal frame.

    Again, spray a cloth with all-purpose cleaner. Dry the entire area with a clean cloth.

Desk: Metal

  1. Check Wipe the top and frame.

    Follow the advice for a glass desktop, using all-purpose cleaner on the desktop (and frame) instead of glass cleaner.

Desk: Wood

  1. Check Wipe the top and frame.

    Use the same method, substituting wood cleaner for glass cleaner.


  1. Check Remove all books and magazines.

    Wipe down the shelving with a cloth dampened with water.

  2. Check Clean up grime.

    Apply a few drops of dishwashing liquid—which is safe on most surfaces, including wood, glass, and metal—to the damp cloth and wipe down the shelves to remove grime. Use a cotton swab to reach corners, if necessary.

Storage Containers: Canvas

  1. Check Dust the outsides.

    Slightly dampen a cloth with water and run it over the containers’ outsides.

Storage Containers: Cardboard, Paper, or Plastic

  1. Check Dust the outsides with a microfiber cloth.

    Do not use any cleaners or the material could become damaged.

Storage Containers: Natural Fibers

  1. Check Vacuum the outsides on a low setting with a brush attachment.

    Or wipe down with a dry-cleaning sponge.

Telephone and Fax

  1. Check Wipe down the phone, the keypad, and the handset.

    Disinfecting wipes will kill germs that spread from your hands, nose, and mouth.

  2. Check “Dust” inside the fax.

    Spray compressed air at about a 45-degree angle into the rolling mechanism inside the fax to blow out dust.

  3. Check Clean the phone’s battery contacts.

    Soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and pinch off the excess liquid. Glide the swab over the battery contacts in the cradle of a cordless phone. Not only does this prevent the buildup of leaking acid, which can shorten the phone’s life span, but it also amps up the battery connections and extends each charge.