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How To Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture

If you enjoy having an outdoor...

If you enjoy having an outdoor space, chances are you have invested in some furniture to make your porch, patio, or yard more comfortable to lounge in. 

If you've decided to go with plastic as your material of choice, you're in luck because it's easy to keep it clean and look great. 

A little time and research are all it takes to learn how to clean plastic outdoor furniture.

Keeping Furniture Clean

There are many reasons to keep your furniture clean, but aesthetics are among the most important. Dirty furniture is sure to give your yard or patio a forlorn look. 

Regular cleaning will be absolutely essential to help maintain its new appearance and make the rest of your home look classy and desirable. 

How To Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture


In fact, keeping things clean is a great way to boost the resale value of your home.No matter your reason for sprucing up, cleaning plastic furniture is a breeze. 

It's easy to make your plastic patio furniture look new again with simple cleaning supplies and a little elbow grease.

How To Clean Plastic Patio Furniture

Plastic is an excellent material for outdoor furniture thanks to its durability, waterproof qualities, and easy-to-wipe surfaces. 

Your preparation to start cleaning will likely be minimal, but here are some things together before getting started:

  • A bucket for soapy water, vinegar, mix, or your preferred cleaning solution.
  • A towel or sponge for scrubbing.
  • Clothes you won't mind getting dirty or wet.

Once you have some preparations in place, you can get started.

Assessing the Damage

Maybe your plastic patio furniture looks a little dingy and could use a thorough wipe-down. On the other hand, perhaps you've recently experienced a storm, or you're preparing for a deep spring cleaning. Cases like these will often require a bit more attention.

How To Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture


The best thing you can do is to get outside and assess the damage. Pull your furniture out, and if you have a yard, arrange it so you can see it from all angles. 


If you can't see the original color of the plastic underneath dirt and debris, you may need to rinse everything down before you start.

Choose a Solution

In many cases, hot, sudsy water made with dish soap is all you need to really get the job done. 


If your furniture looks like it will need some disinfecting or has acquired unsightly stains, you might need to get more aggressive. 


Here are a few other solutions you can put together right at home:

  • Mix 1 gallon of warm water with half a cup of baking soda to help remove thick debris and create a mildly abrasive surface on your rag or sponge.
  • A few tablespoons of dish detergent and a gallon of warm water can be very effective for stains.
  • When in doubt, mixing about 1/4 to half a cup of cleaning vinegar and warm water is an excellent disinfectant.

One thing to keep in mind is that plastic furniture can get scratched fairly easily, so you don't want to use anything too abrasive. 

How To Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Chemicals like strong bleach and chlorine can also damage plastic surfaces if you aren't careful. 


If you are uncomfortable creating your solution, you can buy cleaners specifically designed for outdoor furniture.

Brush or Spray Down Surfaces

Once you have prepared your solution and have assessed how much cleaning you will need, you should start by brushing or spraying down the furniture to remove excess dirt or leaves. 


Having a hose, in this instance, could be helpful if you have space to spray things down. 


Give yourself plenty of room here. If you don't have a yard to work in, try moving things to a driveway or even the parking lot of your apartment complex.

Gently Wipe or Scrub All Surfaces

The key to scrubbing or wiping down your furniture is not to get too excited. Plastic furniture is durable and easy to take care of, so you shouldn't need to get too enthusiastic or risk scratching it. 

How To Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Make sure to get beneath the arms and all the way down the legs. Once you finish, you might consider adding a layer of wax to help protect it.

Tips on How To Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Clearly, cleaning plastic furniture is fairly straightforward, but there are a few tips you can take into account to make the process easier.

Remember, mixing cleaning products together is rarely a good idea, especially if you're not sure what's in them. Not only can they cause damage to your furniture, but they can also be hazardous to your health.

Make sure you move all porous materials well out of the way of your cleaning because wet surfaces like these are a risk for mold and mildew. Any furniture that isn't made of plastic, or if you have any cushions for your chairs, it's important that you keep them dry. 

Clean from top to bottom, and do your best to get along all the nooks and crannies. This is where dirt tends to hide, and if the rest of your furniture is clean, it will stand out even more if you miss it. If you need to, you can even use a toothbrush or pipe cleaner to hit these hard-to-reach spots.

Once your furniture is clean, you can help keep it that way by remembering to move it to a protected area for storms and during the off-season.

If you don't have a shelter in place to store it, try to move it close to the building where it can be more protected.

How To Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture

Why Clean Furniture Matters

Keeping your patio furniture clean isn't just a matter of hygiene. It will also help keep your home looking fresh and welcoming. 


In general, keeping things nice and tidy will help boost the aesthetic of your house. Regular cleaning can keep stains at bay and even help you avoid pests. 


Learning how to clean plastic outdoor furniture is a significant first step when it comes to making your home look and feel great. Remember, the more often you clean, the easier it will be to maintain.


Spring Nee

Spring Nee is an outdoor furniture expert with 18 years of experience.


She has extensive experience in outdoor design, including choosing furniture materials, following trends, and adding useful elements.


As a thought leader in the outdoor furniture industry, Spring has been a regular contributor to various blogs, magazines, and design forums

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