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Why Your Dental Chairs are Cracking: The Hidden Culprit Revealed
July 03, 2023

Dental treatment units and the chairs used by both patients and operators are vital investments for any dental practice. However, they are constantly exposed to contamination and require frequent cleaning and disinfection between patients. While this is crucial for maintaining a safe and hygienic environment, the use of certain disinfectants containing solvents can inadvertently cause cracking and damage to these chairs and plastic components. In this blog post, we will shed light on the hidden culprit behind these cracks and provide three simple ways to protect your valuable dental chairs.

Understanding Solvents:

Solvents are chemicals commonly added to surface disinfectants to expedite the kill time of pathogens. While they serve their purpose in disinfection, they can be detrimental to chair upholstery and plastic components. It is important to check the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of disinfectant products and look for chemicals such as "glycol ether," "Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether," or alcohols and ethanols at higher percentages in Section 3. Identifying these solvents is crucial in preventing damage to your dental chairs.

Three Simple Ways to Save Your Biggest Investment:

  1. Use of Disposable Barrier Covers: Consider implementing the use of disposable barrier covers for surfaces that are harder to clean and are more likely to be damaged. These covers act as protective shields, preventing direct contact between the disinfectant and the chair's upholstery and plastic components. 

  2. Regular Wiping with Damp to Wet Paper Towels: To minimize the risk of damage caused by solvents, it is essential to regularly wipe off all surfaces and upholstery of your dental chairs. Ideally, this should be done at least once or twice a week. Use damp to wet paper towels to gently clean the surfaces, removing any residual disinfectant without exposing the chairs to excessive moisture.

  3. Choose Solvent-Free Disinfectants: To completely avoid solvents and their potential damage, opt for disinfectant products that are solvent-free. ProSpray™ wipes, for instance, offer a water-based intermediate level disinfectant solution with a quick 3-minute kill time. By using these wipes, you can ensure effective disinfection while protecting your dental chairs from the harmful effects of glycol ether solvents.


Preserving the integrity and longevity of your dental chairs is crucial for the success and profitability of your practice. Understanding the role of solvents in causing cracking and damage to these chairs is the first step towards preventing such issues. By implementing the three simple strategies outlined in this blog post, including the use of disposable barrier covers, regular wiping with damp to wet paper towels, and choosing solvent-free disinfectants, you can safeguard your dental chairs and ensure a clean and hygienic environment for both patients and operators.