Best Ways To Clean Your Plastic Furniture

Best Ways To Clean Your Plastic Furniture

Looking to make your plastic furniture shine? You don’t have to settle for dull and discolored outdoor pieces. Here we show you the best ways to clean your plastic furniture and help keep it looking its best. With our tips, you’ll be able to enjoy eye-catching outdoor decor for years to come!


Understanding the Type of Plastic Furniture

When cleaning plastic outdoor furniture, it’s important to consider the type of plastic material used. Most outdoor furniture is made from one of three types of plastic: polyethylene, polypropylene, or PVC.

  • Polyethylene is known for its durability and flexibility, making it great for items like patio chairs and tables that receive heavy use. It is also resistant to staining, UV rays, and moisture.
  • Polypropylene is a bit lighter in weight than the other two types, making it ideal for cushions or lightweight furniture sets.
  • PVC (or vinyl) is often used to make patio umbrellas as it provides more insulation against rain, sunlight, and wind than other materials.

Before you clean your plastic outdoor furniture, identify which type of material has been used so that you can choose the right cleaning methods. For example, many general-purpose cleaners are not suited for PVC or vinyl surfaces as they may discolor the material with time or cause the surface to become brittle.

Preparation for Cleaning

Before you begin cleaning, it is important to prepare your plastic furniture and the area around it. You should first remove any loose dirt and debris from your furniture before cleaning. For example, if dirt has accumulated around the legs of a chair or table, use a soft brush or cloth to vacuum away the dirt.

Once these surfaces have been cleared, it is important to protect any non-plastic surfaces that may be nearby. Cover any bamboo floors and counters with a drop cloth or similar protective covering before cleaning your plastic furniture.

Finally, you should choose a mild dish soap or all-purpose cleaner suitable for plastic furniture. These cleaners come in liquid form and are readily available at most stores. Be sure to read the label carefully to ensure that you purchase one specifically designed for use on plastic furniture.

If you are unsure about how to properly clean your plastic furniture, or if you simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, it is always a good idea to consult with expert cleaners who have the experience and knowledge to get the job done right.

Removing Dust and Dirt

Cleaning your plastic furniture may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is understanding what works best for the specific material and taking some preventative measures that will make regular cleaning easier.

Start by removing any dust or dirt that has accumulated on the surface. Depending on which type of plastic you have, you may want to opt for specialized cleaning products and brushes that are designed specifically to treat this type of material. If that isn’t an option, try a soft cloth dampened with water along with a mild non-abrasive detergent or soap. Rinse with plain water afterward and then use a microfiber cloth for drying to avoid streaking or scratching the surface. Remember to never use harsh chemicals, bleach, or abrasive scrubbers as these can do more harm than good by damaging protective coatings and causing discoloration or deterioration.

For stubborn spots and stuck-on food particles, you can also try mixing a paste made from baking soda and warm water and then gently rubbing it over the affected areas before rinsing completely.

Cleaning Stains

Stains on plastic furniture are unsightly and can impact their overall appearance. The best way to remove stains from plastic furniture depends on the type of stain and the type of plastic. In general, start with the gentlest method for treating a stain and work up to more aggressive treatments if necessary.

Cleaning Mild Stains
Mild stains, such as dirt or small marks, can be cleaned using a mild detergent and warm water solution. Dampen a soft cloth with the mixture and gently wipe away the stain. Avoid using an abrasive scrubbing tool or too much friction as these can scratch or damage the surface of the plastic.

Removing Ground-In Stains
Ground-in or set-in stains may require some extra effort to remove from your plastic furniture. Mix a few drops of liquid dish-washing detergent into warm water and hydrogen peroxide solution in equal parts in a spray bottle or bowl.

Test this mixture on an inconspicuous area of your furniture first before applying it to ensure that it doesn’t discolor, damage, or warp your furniture’s finish. Spray or apply this solution lightly onto the stained area with a soft cloth and then blot with an absorbent paper towel until all excess moisture has been absorbed; don’t rub! Rinse with clean warm water when finished.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew

When it comes to cleaning plastic furniture, mold, and mildew can be tricky problems to tackle. To get your outdoor furniture or other items looking like new again, you’ll need to first remove mold and mildew from the surface. Here are some tips for cleaning molded plastics:

  • Start by creating a solution of one part bleach and three parts water on the affected surface. Allow this solution to sit for about 10 minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush.
  • After scrubbing, rinse off the area thoroughly with a garden hose or another type of running water.
  • To finish off, use a sponge or cloth towel dampened with more of your bleach and water solution to wipe down the entire area once more – this should help prevent any further mold growth and keep your furniture looking great! Cleaning Scratches and Scuffs

Accidents happen, and if your plastic furniture has been scratched or scuffed it can be disheartening. Fortunately, there are a few relatively easy ways to restore its original appearance. To clean scratches and scuffs in plastic furniture, you’ll need the right tools and supplies.

You may have heard of the ‘toothpaste trick’ for cleaning plastic, however, we recommend using a specialized cleaner specifically designed for plastics. Lingo Plastic Reviver is an excellent choice and works by removing the top layer of oxidation from the plastic, producing a near-perfect finish. It’s easy to use: just spray on with even pressure then polish off with a soft cloth. This should remove scratches and leave the plastic-looking like new again!

If you need to smooth out deep scratches on your furniture, try using steel wool or even an acrylic scratch-filler marker (such as 3M Scratch Remover), which can be found at most hardware stores. You will want to start with jewelers grade steel wool (#0000) dampened with water and rub it into the scratch slowly in one direction – being sure not to press too hard or rub too long in one spot– then rinse off any remaining residue with soap and water before buffing dry with a clean cloth.

If the scratch is still visible after steel wool treatment, use an acrylic scratch-filler marker appropriate for your furniture material (plastic or composite) to make minor repairs – basically give your furniture a “tattoo cover-up”.

Proper Maintenance Techniques

Keeping your plastic furniture clean is essential to preserving its lifespan and appearance. Since plastic is more susceptible to discoloration from UV light, it can be more difficult to ensure that it stays looking new. Therefore, it’s important to use the proper maintenance techniques for cleaning and caring for your plastic furniture.

It’s important to follow the regular practice of wiping down your outdoor plastic furniture with either a damp cloth or sponge before using a specialized cleaning solution that is designed for plastics. Do not use any harsh chemicals such as bleach, vinegar, or ammonia because those can damage the surface of your furniture or strip away any protective treatment that was previously used on the materials.

Begin by spraying the surface lightly with water before adding a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid onto a soft cloth. Then gently scrub in small circular motions over the entire surface until you notice an improved look and feel. Rinse off all the solution thoroughly with clean water and dry completely with a soft cloth before allowing it to air-dry completely outdoors in an area away from direct sunlight exposure.

Protection Techniques
To help protect your plastic furniture against UV rays and other environmental elements, applying an all-purpose plastic sealant or protective coating on the surface could help prevent further discoloration down the line. Before applying anything, make sure you read the product instructions closely and apply only as directed for maximum results.

If you are unsure which protection technique is best suited for your needs, contact an expert who specializes in this field for assistance since not all products are designed with equal levels of protection in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to clean plastic furniture?

The best way to clean plastic furniture is to first use mild soap with warm water and a soft cloth. Then, rinse the furniture off with clean water and allow it to air-dry.

Can I use a power washer to clean my plastic furniture?

No, you should not use a power washer to clean plastic furniture as the high pressure of the water can damage the surface.

Can I use harsh cleaning chemicals to clean my plastic furniture?

No, you should not use harsh cleaning chemicals on plastic furniture as they can damage the surface. Instead, use mild soap with warm water and a soft cloth.


It is important to recognize that different plastic furniture materials require different cleaning procedures. Therefore, before starting the cleaning process, determine what material your furniture is made out of and then select the appropriate cleaning method.

Many substances such as vinegar and baking soda are useful for tackling surface dirt or stains, while bleach can be used to remove tougher molds or mildews. Regardless of your chosen method, make sure you test in a small area first for colorfastness and wear gloves to protect your hands from both chemicals and rough scrubbing that can be required to reach stubborn dirt and stains. With the proper supplies and time spent on upkeep, plastic furniture can last for years if properly cared for.

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