You’ve invited a bunch of guests for dinner, but during your prep of the patio, you’re rather shocked to see how dingy and dirty your stash of patio chairs has gotten. What can you do? Do you need to spend the money to replace them, or is it possible to get them looking nice and new again, and fairly quickly? Let’s look today at how to clean plastic patio furniture.
Although plastic patio furniture (resin furniture, officially known as a Monobloc chair) is low maintenance, it’s definitely not stain proof. Unfortunately, especially the white plastic collects seems to collect dirt and ugly scratch marks at a pretty quick rate. Sometimes all you need is a bucket of sudsy water, some rags and a hose, but what if that isn’t working?
(As an Amazon Associate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through links on this page, at no additional cost to you. Full Disclosure.)
How To Clean Dingy, Dirty White Plastic Patio Furniture
What follows are 5 simple tricks to getting dingy chairs gleaming again like new. All use simple items and “ingredients” that you will probably have or can get easily.
1. Oxygen Bleach + Water (Best Cleaner For White Plastic Chairs)
When you combine the two, you get an impressive cleanser that has the power to take out some pretty tough stains.
How to use this method: First, add approx 1/4 cup household bleach (or powered oxygen bleach) to a bucket of hot water (use more concentrated bleach-water solution for tougher stains). Put on rubber gloves to protect your skin. Using a scrub brush, scrub at the dirt and grime on the chairs with the bleach-water solution, paying special attention to the seams. Let the solution soak into the furniture for a few minutes (5-10) after you’re done scrubbing, and then rinse it down with clean water. Let it air dry or towel dry if you’re in a hurry.
2. Clean With Liquid Dishwashing Soap
If you’re uncomfortable for one reason or another using bleach, another option you can try is good old dishwashing soap & water!
3. Use Vinegar!
You’d be amazed what simple household vinegar can do to spruce up your white plastic furniture! Clean using the same method as before, adding approx 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar to a bucket of hot water, and then scrub at the stains, rinsing when finished!
4. Get Out Your Liquid Laundry Detergent
Liquid laundry detergent also has some pretty serious stain removers in it! Mix approx 1/2 cup with water, and get out your sponge or soft bristle scrub brush and attack the gunge! Don’t forget to let the solution sit on your furniture for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
5. Good old Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!
You would be surprised at what a simple Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can do to the seemingly impossible-to-remove stains on plastic furniture! Dampen the eraser with a bit of water, and then rub at the stains in a circular motion – and watch the magic.
How To Make The “Clean Look” Last!
In order to repel future stains and dirt, you can take a dab of paste car wax and with a dry cloth, buff the wax into the polypropylene plastic. This “finishes” your cleaning job by making your plastic shine like new!
How To Clean Moldy Plastic Patio Furniture
Because plastic patio furniture is most often left outdoors rain or shine, it’s no wonder that mold sometimes ends up growing on them. No one wants to sit on a moldy chair, so tackling that is a must if you plan to offer your furniture to guests at a get-together.
The easiest way to clean off the mold is to use good, strong sunlight to your advantage. Move the furniture into bright sunlight and let them soak it in. Brush them down with a solution of water and lemon juice – and leave the lemon-water on it to air dry. Some soapy water will finish off a good clean and you’ll be all set.
If you have some furniture that’s pretty moldy, some bleach will be a good choice. Use a pretty strong ratio of bleach and water (something like 1:4 should be good), and clean it with a scrub brush (don’t forget your rubber gloves). Be sure to fully rinse the chairs afterwards – and if it’s a sunny day, let them dry in full sunlight!
How To Clean White Plastic Outdoor Furniture: The “Chalky” Issue
If your plastic lawn furniture is getting that “chalky” finish that suggests it’s almost at the end of it’s life, it’s pretty disheartening if you aren’t in the position to simply buy new ones. But the good news is that you don’t have to! While it will take some arm muscle and some time, you CAN get that chalky finish (plastic degradation) to go away.
Whatever you do, don’t go for the steel wool or scouring powder if you don’t want to scratch up your chairs for good.
Instead, get out the baking soda and a bit of car wax. First, wet down the chair with a soft wet sponge. Liberally sprinkle baking soda all over it and rub the wet baking soda/water mix all over the chair. You may find it easiest to sprinkle baking soda on the wet sponge before rubbing down the chair – either way, the baking soda paste will work some magic on the chalky finish. A good water rinse job, towel dry, and then a dab of car wax rubbed in with a soft cloth will seal the plastic again and you’ll be amazed at how you’ve prolonged the life of your furniture!
Go Ahead, Invite Your Guests!
Having a stack of plastic deck chairs is really handy – it’s affordable and they are relatively comfortable options to offer your guests. Thankfully, you won’t need to replace them when the first time they get dirty or dingy, or even when their age is showing through the chalky finish that eventually shows up. These cheap, simple cleaning tricks we looked at today for cleaning white plastic patio furniture are good places to start with getting them back to “new”. Now pick one, and get cleaning!