How to Refresh Your Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor plastic furniture typically ages over time due to oxidation. The release of chemicals that react with oxygen and ultraviolet light upon exposure to environmental factors such as air and sunlight causes photo-oxidation. So, how can you restore plastic outdoor furniture to like-new condition?

There are various methods for freshening up plastic outdoor furniture. To clean the plastic and get rid of the dull coating, use soapy water or a vinegar solution that has been properly mixed. When dealing with tough stains, baking soda, commercial cleaners, and a little wax can be effective solutions.

Why Does Plastic Outdoor Furniture Turn Dull and Fade Over Time?

Plastic furniture is prone to fading and dulling over time, despite being made from durable materials. And while you save money by purchasing long-lasting outdoor furniture, faded plastic does little to improve the look of your home’s exterior.

The outer layers of your favorite chair can become ugly and faded as a result of chemical reactions created by prolonged exposure to air and sunlight.

How to Clean Plastic Furniture of Oxidation

Here’s how to get rid of the annoyingly dull appearance of your outdoor plastic furniture.

Clean the surface

A thorough cleaning will help remove the dull coating. For this task, you will need soapy water, a sponge, or a soft cloth. It is best to avoid using rough materials like scourers on plastic surfaces since they will cause even more scratches.

Your outdoor plastic furniture should be liberally sprayed with soapy water before rinsing it with cool water. 

Clean off any mold and/or mildew

Mold and mildew are notorious for destroying the appearance of plastic patio furniture. Mold and mildew accumulation have to be cleaned before outdoor plastic furniture can be renewed.

Use a water-vinegar solution for this step. Pour white vinegar into a bucket of water and gently mix. Next, spray the mixture liberally on the plastic furniture and give it 30 minutes to sit. 

Use a soft cloth to gently rub the mold patches after giving the vinegar on the plastic surface enough time to react with the mold. Repeat this step as many times as needed before giving your plastic furniture a thorough hose-down.

Use baking soda

Baking soda does wonders for removing tough stains. 

For this stage, you’ll need a sponge, plenty of baking soda, and a bowl of warm water. Dampen the sponge with water, then powder it with baking soda.

Gently rub the sponge on your plastic furniture. Note that the amount of baking soda used should depend on the type of stains. You’ll need to use extra baking soda when eliminating a substantial build-up.

Let the baking soda sit for a few minutes, then rinse off, using high pressure from your hose. If any stains remain, repeat this process.

Let the chairs and tables air dry completely before using them. 

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Washing liquid plus bleach

It can be challenging to remove oxidation and mold from plastic furniture. If you’re still having problems with stains on your furniture, you can try washing it with a combination of dish soap and bleach.

However, since ammonia reacts with bleach to produce chlorine, it is best to use dishwashing liquid without ammonia in order for this method to work.

Grab a sponge, and fill a bucket with a gallon of warm or hot water, dish soap and bleach. Mix 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid to 3 ups of bleach with the hot or warm water.

Using a soft cloth or sponge, rub down the oxidation stains, beginning with the larger areas and working your way slowly to the less affected areas.

It’s also possible to use bleach on its own (without dish soap). Before using a sponge to clean the plastic chairs and tables, mix 14 cups of your preferred household bleach into a gallon of warm water thoroughly. 

Warning: Wear protective clothing when using bleach because it can be corrosive and harmful to bare hands.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

You’d be surprised at what a straightforward Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can do for those stains on plastic furniture that seem insurmountable! Watch the magic happen as you dampen the eraser with some water and rub the stains in a circular motion. 

How To Maintain The “Clean Look”

You’ve worked hard to freshen up your plastic outdoor furniture. Who wants to do that again, right?

Help your furniture retain its shine – and make it easy to keep clean – with a good old-fashioned car wax.

The goal is to use wax that won’t need to be frequently reapplied and that will protect your outdoor furniture.

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