Cleaning plastic patio chairs becomes a must, especially after a particularly harsh winter, since the elements can make the furniture look dingy and cause it to loose much of its durability. You may feel the need to replace furniture with newer, often more expensive items, amounting to several thousand dollars a year. Maintaining and cleaning is not only easy, but can add years to the life of plastic furniture and extend their useful life.
Prepare the Chairs for Washing
The best way to clean plastic patio chairs is with washing soda, or sodium carbonate, also called soda ash, which is easily available at a local hardware or grocery store. Half to 3/4 of a cup of soda added to a gallon of hot water makes the solution that will be used to clean the chairs. Eye protection and vinyl gloves are important in case of spills or splashes. Before the solution is applied, the chairs need to be wiped clean, either with water alone or a mild dish soap which then needs to be rinsed with a water hose. If the furniture has cushions or other fabric with it, those items can be removed beforehand and washed separately, either by hand or in a washing machine. To ensure that the fabric does not mildew or grow any mold, the fabric has to be fully dry before putting back in the patio, either by putting it under the sun for a few hours or exposing to a fan and then putting under the sun to dry thoroughly.
Clean with Sodium Carbonate
The sodium carbonate solution can be applied to the plastic patio chairs either with a garden sprayer, or applied on to it with a towel and rubbed clean. In addition, rags and sponges can also be used. The solution, once applied, must remain on the furniture for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how much cleaning the chairs require. Then the patio chairs should be rinsed thoroughly and let to dry well in the sun. If dark blemishes or stains still remain, the process may be repeated. To cover any scratches on the chair, a spray paint that can bond to plastic can be used.
The most useful tool for plastic patio cleaning is water. The use of a pressure washer is a great way to remove much grime and dirt from furniture. In addition, great care should be taken not to expose furniture to too much sun in the summer, and although a few hours a day will not do it much harm, leaving them for extended periods of time can damage the plastic. In addition, if furniture is to be left outside overnight, leaning the chairs up against something will ensure that no water collects on them in case of dew or rain, which could cause water stains.
Regularly cleaning plastic patio furniture can extend its useful life and keep it looking great for years, eliminating the need to replace old furniture with new every spring. Cleaning once a month is ample to keep the plastic patio chairs looking like new.