How to Clean a Desk Pad

by | Apr 27, 2021 | Desk Pads

You do everything at your desk – you manage your 9 to 5, fire off emails, answer neverending phone calls, scarf down your lunch, and if you’re like a lot of people these days, you might have a kid or two asking for help with homework. Your desk is almost like a second home to you, and you love that your desk pad provides that classic look, a smooth writing surface, and comfortability for typing. So how do you care for your desk pad and properly clean it when life happens? You know, coffee cup rings, ink stains, and sandwich crumbs? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Whether you have a vinyl, linoleum, or leather desk pad, there are certain ways to take care of each kind. Read on to find out how to routinely clean your desk pad, from everyday dusting to stubborn stain removal. 


Routine Cleaning:

General care of vinyl desk pads couldn’t be any easier! All it takes is a clean cloth dampened with mild soap and water, a quick wipe down, and you’re on your way. Then, if you choose to disinfect your desk pad, use a 5:1 water/bleach solution and wipe it down with a soft cloth or sponge. 

Spills & Stains:

Clean up spills as soon as possible. Blot the area with a cloth, working from the outer edge of the stained area, moving in toward the center. Then spot clean with upholstery shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or mild dry cleaning solvent. Keep working from the outside of the stain to the inside to prevent circling. 

Recommended Cleaners:

Bleach (5:1 water/bleach solution)

Upholstery Shampoo

Mild Soaps & Detergents

Do Not Use:

Hot water extraction

Steam cleaning


Routine Cleaning:

One of the perks of linoleum is that it is antistatic, meaning it won’t collect dust. Bonus! That makes everyday cleaning pretty easy; all you have to do is wipe down your desk pad with a clean, moist cloth or sponge. You can use a mild cleaner if you’d like, but be sure to wipe the cleaner off immediately – don’t let it sit and dry on the surface.

Spills & Stains:

Spills should be cleaned up immediately, but a stain could still happen, especially if it’s something dark like coffee, tea, or red wine. Repeat as needed to remove the stain, but be sure to wipe off any excess cleaner afterward.

Recommended Cleaners:

All-Purpose Cleaners

Multi-Purpose Cleaners

Do Not Use:

Sharp items or abrasive pads/steel wool


Abrasive Cleaners


There are two types of leather: Finished and Natural. Knowing what type of leather you have and which category it falls under is key to your desk pad care.


Finished Leather

Routine Cleaning:

Finished leather, also known as semi-aniline, is easier to care for as it receives a protective treatment during the tanning process.  Everyday cleaning is often a simple swish of a dry dust cloth over the surface. There are certain products on the market, such as leather cleaning and conditioning wipes that can be used to wipe down the pad as well. For deeper cleaning, there are leather cleaners and leather protector products that are sold, that can be applied with a clean cloth. Be sure to read the instructions on these to make sure they are safe for your type of leather.

Spills & Stains:

Because of the protective treatment during the tanning process, cleaning up a spill is usually as easy as a quick wipe of a cloth, as long as it’s cleaned up quickly and not left to absorb. For more stubborn spills and stains, try some of the leather cleaning products that are on the market, but again, be sure to read the label to make sure they are safe for your kind of leather.

Natural Leather

Routine Cleaning:

Unlike finished leather, natural leather (pure aniline) does not have surface protection. This makes it a little harder to care for, but with proper knowledge, you will be well equipped to handle what comes your way. Most leather cleaning and conditioning wipes, as well as leather cleaners and protectors, are able to be used on natural leather. For Italian full-grain and distressed leather, try a light wax finish to provide moisture resistance and even antibacterial protection. Be sure to read the labels to be certain. 

Spills & Stains:

Immediately clean a spill with a soft, clean cloth or sponge. Start from the outside of the stain and move toward the center. Use the recommended wipes or cleaner for your type of leather.

Do Not Use on Any Leather:

  • Heat guns or hair dryers to dry wet areas
  • Saddle soaps, oils, furniture polish, varnish, or ammonia – they may harm the finish or strip the waxes from the leather’s surface
  • Abrasives – they will scratch the surface of the leather

Additional Tips for All Types of Desk Pads

  • Remove stains immediately – don’t let them sit on your desk pad to soak in! 
  • Stain prevention is key! Use coasters or plates under flowerpots, vases, cups, mugs, etc.
  • Don’t put anything hot on your desk pad, like a pot or dish from the oven or stove. 


If you have any questions about how to clean, maintain, or care for your desk pad, please give us a call at 1-800-753-8548 or contact us today!