How to Clean White Plastic Chairs (Keep Plastic Outdoor Chairs Fresh)

If you have white plastic outdoor chairs, you know how quickly they can become dirty and grimy. But don’t let dirty furniture ruin your outdoor experience: there are ways to clean those white plastic chairs.

Cleaning white plastic furniture may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Your patio will look new with a few simple steps and the right cleaning products.

Why Does White Plastic Garden Furniture Become Dirty So Easily?

White plastic garden furniture is prone to becoming dirty easily due to its light color and material.

  • Garden furniture is exposed to various elements such as rain, wind, dust, and bird droppings. These elements can accumulate on the outdoor furniture, making it look dirty and stained.
  • White plastic is a porous material. It can also become discolored over time due to exposure to sunlight, which can cause yellowing or fading. 

All outdoor furnishing needs regular cleaning to look good. But, especially white plastic outdoor chairs can quickly lose their original shine without cleaning.

How Often to Clean White Plastic Outdoor Furniture?

It is recommended to clean white plastic outdoor chairs at least once a month to maintain their appearance and prevent dirt build-up.

However, suppose the pieces are exposed to harsh weather conditions, such as rain or extreme heat. In that case, it is recommended to clean them more frequently.

If the patio set is used frequently, cleaning them after each use or at least once a week is recommended.

Regular cleaning can be done easily with dishwashing soap and water.

Tips for Cleaning White Plastic Furniture

There are several methods for cleaning white plastic outdoor chairs and tables.

It’s important to choose a method that’s appropriate for the level of dirt and grime on your pieces.

Test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire chair. 

1. Cleaning Plastic Patio Furniture with Dishwashing Soap

Cleaning plastic furniture with dishwashing soap is the easiest way.

  • Mix a solution of hot water and a few drops of dishwashing soap in a bucket.
  • Dip a sponge or cloth into the solution and scrub the surface. Pay extra attention to any areas with stubborn stains.
  • Rinse with a garden hose or bucket of clean water, dry them with a dry cloth, or let them air dry.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners or brushes, which can scratch or damage the plastic. 

2. Using Laundry Detergent to Clean Plastic Lawn Furniture

Another way to clean your white plastic outdoor chairs is by using laundry detergent instead of dishwashing soap (both these methods are gentle yet effective at removing dirt).

  • Test on a hidden area first to ensure the detergent doesn’t cause discoloration or damage to the plastic.
  • Mix a small amount of laundry detergent with warm water and scrub the pieces with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water after cleaning to remove any detergent residue.

3. Clean Stained Plastic Lawn Furniture with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural way to clean plastic patio pieces without using harsh chemicals that can damage the material.

  • Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1 quart of warm water to clean stained plastic lawn pieces until it dissolves.
  • Then, apply the mixture to the stained areas with a soft cloth or sponge.
  • Let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it with water.

4. Plastic Furniture Cleaning with White Vinegar

White vinegar is an eco-friendly and affordable cleaning solution.

  • Mix one part white vinegar with three parts water and apply the solution to the pieces. The easiest way is to use a spray bottle.
  • Scrub gently using a sponge or cloth and rinse them with clean water.

Note: Add a few drops of dish soap to the vinegar solution for extra cleaning power.

5. Removing Tough Stains from Plastic Outdoor Chairs with Oxygen Bleach

Use oxygen bleach instead of chlorine bleach to clean white plastic patio chairs and tables.

Oxygen bleach is a gentler and safer option that can effectively remove stains and dirt without causing any harm to the plastic. 

Test it on an area out of sight for desired results.

  • Mix the bleach with warm water according to the package instructions.
  • Use a sponge or soft brush to apply the bleach solution, working in sections. Wear protective rubber gloves since bleach should not be put on the skin directly.
  • Let the solution sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with a water hose or pressure washer.
  • Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.

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Oxygen Bleach vs. Chlorine Bleach

Oxygen bleach is kinder, less harmful, and more environmentally friendly than chlorine bleach.

Oxygen bleach is often found in powdered form, which you mix with water to activate it.

Initially, the only bleach on the market has been chlorine bleach, like Clorox. Chlorine bleach can irritate or burn the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth.

How Can I Prevent My Plastic Patio Chairs From Becoming Dirty?

You can follow a few simple steps to prevent your plastic garden chairs and tables from becoming dirty.

  • First, keep your patio setting out of direct sunlight, which can cause fading and discoloration.
  • Cover your pieces with a tarp or protective cover when not in use. This will prevent dirt from accumulating on the surface. 
  • Regularly clean your outdoor setting with mild soap and water. This will remove any dirt or stains that have accumulated on the surface.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools, as these can scratch the plastic and make it more susceptible to dirt and grime buildup.
  • Consider applying a protective coating to your chairs to help prevent dirt and stains from sticking.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe To Use A Pressure Washer On Plastic Outdoor Furniture?

Using a pressure washer on a plastic outdoor setting can be safe if done correctly.

Plastic is generally more durable than other materials but can still be damaged by excessive pressure or high temperatures.

  • Use a low-pressure setting and keep the nozzle at least 12 inches from the surface to avoid damaging it.
  • Additionally, using a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush is recommended to remove dirt or grime before using the pressure washer.
  • Test on a hidden area first to ensure the pressure washer won’t damage the plastic before proceeding with the entire piece.

The Bottom Line

Cleaning plastic outdoor furniture doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore.

Taking a little extra time can make a huge difference in the appearance and longevity of your furniture.

So grab your cleaning supplies and get to work.

Humidity can affect plastic lawn furniture and quickly cause problems. Even mold can get into them if they are not cleaned. We have another piece of article on how to remove mold off all kinds of outdoor furniture.

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