How To Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture
Modified: August 24, 2023
Learn effective methods for cleaning your plastic outdoor furniture to maintain its quality and longevity. Expert tips and techniques for furniture cleaning at home.
(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for Storables.com, at no extra cost. Learn more)
Table of Contents
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to clean plastic outdoor furniture. If you own plastic outdoor furniture, you know how important it is to keep it clean and well-maintained. Whether you have plastic chairs, tables, or loungers, regular cleaning is essential to extend their lifespan and keep them looking their best during the summer months.
Plastic outdoor furniture offers a range of benefits, such as being lightweight, affordable, and resistant to the elements. However, over time, exposure to sunlight, rain, dirt, and other environmental factors can cause it to become dirty, stained, or even moldy. But fear not! With the right supplies and cleaning techniques, you can easily restore your plastic outdoor furniture to its original shine and cleanliness.
In this guide, we will walk you through the essential supplies you’ll need, discuss different cleaning preparations, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to clean various types of plastic outdoor furniture. Whether you have white plastic chairs, colorful tables, or textured surfaces, we have you covered!
But cleaning is just one part of the equation. We will also provide maintenance tips to help you keep your plastic outdoor furniture in great condition all year round. By following these recommendations, you can ensure that your investment in outdoor furniture lasts for many enjoyable seasons to come.
So, let’s dive into the world of plastic outdoor furniture cleaning and discover how to bring back its original sparkle and shine!
Before you begin cleaning your plastic outdoor furniture, it’s essential to gather all the necessary supplies. Having everything on hand will streamline the process and make your task more efficient. Here are the essential supplies you’ll need:
- Mild dish soap or laundry detergent: This will serve as the primary cleaning agent to remove dirt, grime, and stains from your plastic furniture.
- Water: You’ll need plenty of water for rinsing and diluting the cleaning solution.
- Bleach or vinegar: These ingredients can be used to tackle tough stains, mildew, or mold. Note that you should only use bleach on white or light-colored plastic furniture.
- Sponge or soft-bristle brush: These tools will help you scrub away dirt and grime without scratching the surface of your plastic furniture.
- Microfiber cloth or towel: Use these to dry your furniture after cleaning.
- Garden hose: A hose with a spray nozzle attachment is ideal for rinsing off your furniture and removing any soap residue.
- Protective gloves: It’s always a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands from any cleaning agents or chemicals.
While these are the essential supplies, you can also consider using additional cleaning products specialized for plastic furniture. These may include plastic cleaner sprays or wipes designed to remove stubborn stains or enhance the shine of your outdoor furniture. Be sure to read and follow the instructions on these products to ensure safe and effective use.
Now that you have your supplies ready, it’s time to prepare for the cleaning process. In the next section, we will discuss different cleaning preparations to tackle different types of dirt and stains on your plastic outdoor furniture.
Before diving into the actual cleaning process, it’s important to assess the condition of your plastic outdoor furniture and determine the appropriate cleaning preparations. Different types of dirt and stains may require different approaches. Here are some common cleaning preparations you can consider:
- General Cleaning: If your plastic furniture is relatively clean and only has a layer of dust or dirt, a simple solution of mild dish soap or laundry detergent diluted in water will suffice. Mix a few tablespoons of soap in a bucket of warm water and stir until it foams. This gentle solution is safe to use on most types of plastic furniture and should effectively remove surface grime.
- Stains and Mildew: If your furniture has stubborn stains or mildew, you can add a touch of bleach or vinegar to the cleaning solution. For white or light-colored plastic furniture, mix one part bleach with three parts water. For colored furniture, substitute bleach with white vinegar. Be cautious when using bleach, as it may discolor or damage certain types of plastic. Test on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility. Apply the solution to the affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing gently with a sponge or soft-bristle brush.
- Grease and Oil: If your plastic furniture has grease or oil stains, you can use a degreasing agent like dish soap or a specialized plastic cleaner spray. Apply the cleaner directly to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes to break down the grease. Then, scrub the area gently with a sponge or brush to remove the stains. Rinse thoroughly with water to remove any residue.
Remember to always read and follow the instructions on the cleaning products you use, as some may have specific guidelines or cautions. Additionally, regardless of the cleaning preparation you choose, it’s important to perform a spot test on a small, inconspicuous area of your furniture before applying it to the entire surface.
Now that you’re familiar with the various cleaning preparations, it’s time to move on to the actual cleaning process. In the next section, we will guide you through step-by-step instructions on how to clean different types of plastic outdoor furniture.
Now that you have your supplies ready and have determined the appropriate cleaning preparation for your plastic outdoor furniture, it’s time to dive into the cleaning process. Follow these step-by-step instructions to effectively clean your plastic furniture:
- Step 1: Remove loose dirt: Use a brush or a dry cloth to remove any loose dirt, leaves, or debris from the surface of your furniture. This will make the cleaning process more effective.
- Step 2: Prepare your cleaning solution: Depending on your chosen cleaning preparation, mix mild dish soap or laundry detergent with water in a bucket, or add bleach or vinegar to the solution as needed.
- Step 3: Apply the cleaning solution: Dip a sponge or soft-bristle brush into the cleaning solution and apply it to the entire surface of your plastic furniture. Scrub gently in circular motions, paying extra attention to any dirtier or stained areas. Make sure to cover all the nooks and crannies.
- Step 4: Let it sit: Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the plastic furniture for a few minutes. This will help break down any grime or stains, making it easier to remove.
- Step 5: Scrub and rinse: With your sponge or brush, scrub the surface of the furniture again, applying a bit more pressure on stubborn stains or dirt. Once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed the entire surface, rinse off the furniture with a garden hose or a bucket of clean water. Ensure that all the soap or cleaning solution is completely rinsed away.
- Step 6: Dry your furniture: Use a microfiber cloth or towel to dry your plastic furniture. Wipe off any excess water to prevent water spots or streaks. If possible, leave your furniture in a sunny area to air dry completely.
Repeat these steps if necessary until your furniture is clean and free from dirt, stains, or residue. Remember that regular cleaning and maintenance will help prolong the life and appearance of your plastic outdoor furniture.
Now that you know the cleaning process, it’s important to tailor your approach based on the specific type of plastic furniture you have. In the next section, we will provide instructions on how to clean different types of plastic outdoor furniture effectively.
Cleaning Specific Types of Plastic Outdoor Furniture
Not all plastic outdoor furniture is the same. Different types of plastic may require slightly different cleaning approaches. Here are some specific instructions on how to clean different types of plastic outdoor furniture:
- Resin/Wicker Furniture: Resin or wicker furniture is popular for its durability and natural-looking texture. To clean this type of furniture, follow the general cleaning process outlined earlier. Use a soft-bristle brush to reach into the crevices and remove any dirt or grime. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or brushes that may scratch the surface.
- White/Colored Plastic Furniture: White and colored plastic furniture can be cleaned using the general cleaning process mentioned above. However, be cautious when using bleach on colored plastic, as it may cause fading or discoloration. Test in a small area before applying it to the entire surface.
- Textured Plastic Furniture: Textured plastic furniture may require a bit more effort to clean. Use a soft-bristle brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the textured surface, ensuring you reach all the crevices. The cleaning process will be the same as the general cleaning process.
- Plastic Slats or Mesh Furniture: Slatted or mesh plastic furniture can accumulate dirt and grime between the slats or in the mesh. To clean these types of furniture, use a brush or a cloth to reach into the gaps and clean thoroughly. You can also use a garden hose with a nozzle attachment to spray water through the slats or mesh and rinse away any debris.
- Folding Plastic Chairs/Tables: Folding plastic chairs and tables are convenient but can accumulate dirt and grime in the creases and joints. When cleaning these items, make sure to extend them fully and clean in all the folds and hinges. Pay close attention to these areas to ensure thorough cleaning.
Regardless of the type of plastic outdoor furniture you have, always follow the recommended cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer if available. This will help ensure that you don’t accidentally damage or void any warranties on your furniture.
Now that you know how to clean different types of plastic outdoor furniture, let’s move on to maintenance tips to help you keep your furniture looking its best for years to come.
Keeping your plastic outdoor furniture in optimal condition requires regular maintenance. Here are some helpful tips to prolong the life and appearance of your furniture:
- Cover or store your furniture: When not in use, consider covering your plastic furniture with a protective cover or storing it indoors. This will shield it from direct sunlight, rain, and other harsh weather conditions, preventing premature fading, cracking, or warping.
- Clean regularly: Regular cleaning is key to maintaining the beauty of your plastic furniture. Make it a habit to clean your outdoor pieces at least once a month, or more frequently if needed. This will prevent dirt, grime, and stains from building up and becoming more challenging to remove.
- Remove stains promptly: If you notice any stains, spills, or bird droppings on your furniture, remove them as soon as possible. The longer stains sit on the plastic, the more difficult they can be to remove. Act promptly to prevent permanent discoloration or staining.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners: While plastic furniture is relatively durable, harsh and abrasive cleaners can cause scratches and damage the surface. Stick to mild dish soap, laundry detergent, or specialized plastic cleaning products to ensure gentle yet effective cleaning.
- Inspect for damage: Regularly inspect your plastic outdoor furniture for any signs of damage, such as cracked or broken pieces. Repair or replace damaged parts as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.
- Apply UV protectant: If your plastic furniture is exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, consider applying a UV protectant spray or polish. This will help protect the plastic from fading or deteriorating due to UV rays.
- Keep off abrasive surfaces: Avoid placing your plastic furniture on abrasive surfaces, such as concrete or gravel, as they can scratch the bottoms or legs. Use furniture pads or place your furniture on a mat or rug to provide a protective barrier.
- Regularly tighten screws: If your plastic furniture has screws or fasteners, check them periodically and tighten as needed. Loose screws can affect the stability and safety of your furniture.
By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your plastic outdoor furniture remains in great condition and lasts for many seasons to come. Remember, prevention and proactive care are key to keeping your investment looking its best.
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to clean and maintain your plastic outdoor furniture, you can enjoy its comfort and beauty without worry. Stay proactive, make cleaning a regular part of your outdoor maintenance routine, and your plastic furniture will continue to shine and impress!
Cleaning and maintaining your plastic outdoor furniture is essential to ensure its longevity and keep it looking its best. With the right supplies and a proper cleaning routine, you can easily remove dirt, stains, and grime from your plastic furniture and restore its original shine. By following the step-by-step cleaning process, tailored to different types of plastic furniture, you can effectively tackle various cleaning challenges.
Remember to gather the essential supplies, including mild dish soap or laundry detergent, water, bleach or vinegar (for stubborn stains), a sponge or soft-bristle brush, a microfiber cloth or towel, a garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment, and protective gloves. These supplies will help you achieve optimal cleaning results.
In addition to regular cleaning, implementing maintenance tips will keep your plastic furniture in top-notch condition. Cover or store your furniture when not in use, clean regularly to prevent buildup of dirt and stains, address any spills or stains promptly, avoid using abrasive cleaners, inspect for damage, and apply UV protectant as needed. These practices will help extend the lifespan of your furniture and keep it looking like new for years to come.
Ultimately, taking care of your plastic outdoor furniture is not only about aesthetics but also about ensuring its functionality and comfort. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can enjoy your outdoor space with clean and well-maintained plastic furniture.
So, roll up your sleeves, gather your supplies, and give your plastic outdoor furniture the cleaning and maintenance it deserves. With a little effort, you can restore its beauty and ensure many enjoyable seasons of outdoor relaxation and entertainment!