How to Clean Plastic Patio Furniture

Tim Parry


There’s nothing quite like sitting outside, enjoying the lazy afternoon air, and watching the sun go down. Most of us enjoy sitting on plastic patio furniture. It’s comfortable and light, meaning it can be carried around easily. We tend to leave our patio furniture outside when not using it - it’s plastic after all.

However, that exposes it to all kinds of wear and tear, dirt, and grime. Rain, snow, wind, and the sun all take their toll on furniture, even plastic ones. What can you do to protect your patio furniture then? Well, let’s take a look, at how to clean plastic patio furniture.

Plastic patio chairs are typically made of resin, which means they will trap grime and dirt. If your furniture is white, it will be even more unsightly and unattractive. There are some very effective and very affordable ways to clean your furniture.

Warm Water and Liquid Dish Soap

If a simple wipe down isn’t good enough to get your furniture nice and clean, consider this inexpensive option. Add 3 or 4 squirts of dish soap to a few liters of warm water. This mixture can be used to give the furniture a good clean.

You can use a cloth to clean the chairs, or if the stains are tough, use a sponge. It will help remove the more stubborn stains. You may have to scrub a little bit. If the grime doesn’t come off immediately, apply the water and soap mixture, and let it soak for a few minutes. Then simply wash off the dirt with your sponge or cloth.

Don’t forget to rinse your chairs, or they’ll end up feeling sticky, and you’ll find dirt and dust getting trapped once again.

Toothbrush for Crevices

You may have some nooks and crevices that are hard to reach with a sponge or cloth. For this, you can use an old toothbrush. It will work quite well for removing dirt.

Bleach Your White Plastic Furniture

If your white plastic patio furniture has lost its luster, you could bleach it to get it back to its former glory. Don’t overdo it though, or you could ruin the appearance of your furniture.

Mix a quarter-cup of household bleach (industrial bleach could be too strong) with a large bucket of warm water. About 2 litres of water should be enough. Be sure to use cleaning gloves when working with bleach. Take a scrubbing tool and dip it into the warm bleach water.

Now, you can scrub away any dirt and grime and also help the chair return to its former brilliance. It is recommended that you let the solution sit on the furniture for a few minutes before rinsing them.

Important Note: Before applying the bleach to your furniture, do a test to see how it reacts to the bleach. Apply a little bit on a spot that won’t be noticed and leave it on for 10 or more minutes. Rinse it off and see if you won’t ruin your furniture with this method.

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Tim Parry

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