White plastic furniture, also known as white resin furniture makes an inexpensive option for outdoor furniture. It’s kid friendly, sturdy and less expensive than teak or wicker options. However, being outside in all weathers, it will quickly begin to discolor, to show stains and wear. It can also build up a chalky residue, a mix of the dust and dirt from outside, and chipping and wear from the furniture itself.
It can be very easy to mistreat your resin furniture, resorting to a quick spray with a garden hose or cleaning product. If you're not careful, your furniture can look dull and worn quickly. If it's not washed often, constant exposure to moisture runs the risk of mold spots appearing. But with only a little extra effort, you can keep your bright white patio furniture from showing its age before its time. Below are five different ways to keep your white plastic patio furniture looking bright and new.
Vinegar is a favorite inexpensive cleaning agent for homes. For this very simple method, hose down the chair to get off the larger clumps of dirt and dust. Next, fill a spray bottle or bucket with a solution that is one part white or apple cider vinegar with equal parts water. Spray or sponge the solution on to the furniture, and wipe off with a wet rag. Be aware that vinegar is an acid, and can irritate sensitive skin or get onto clothes. Use gloves if you are scrubbing with a bucket, and rinse thoroughly with a hose when you are done. Once you rinse, you can pat dry with paper towels, or leave to dry in the sun.
Bleach is a more powerful option than vinegar if the plastic furniture is yellowing with age, or has particular spots of discoloring stains. Using the exact same method as above, except substituting the vinegar for bleach, will ensure a bright white finish. Be aware, bleach is a much stronger chemical the than plain acetic acid in vinegar. It may discolor clothing, and will need to be cleaned off thoroughly before using, so wipe with clean water after treating with bleach. Never use bleach without gloves, and take extra precautions when using bleach on tables, or near anything else you might eat on or near. But it is the safest option if you notice mold spots on your white patio furniture, since the ammonia in bleach kills mold bacteria.
To get rid of particularly stubborn stains, marks, and spots, you may choose to use baking soda. Like bleach, it can also discolor your clothing, but it is much safer to use, and rinses off safely and easily. To use this method, mix a 3:1 mixture of baking soda and water. Three tablespoons of baking soda to 1 tablespoon of water.
The mixture should have the consistency of toothpaste, not too runny, but not powdery. Add more of either the water if it’s too dry, or the baking soda if the mixture is too wet, until you get the consistency right. Mix with an old toothbrush, spoon, or dull knife and spare yourself accidentally wiping the mixture onto your clothes. Using a sponge, toothbrush, or cleaning cloth to apply the paste to the spotted, moldy, or otherwise troublesome spot. Leave the mixture for about ten minutes, then take a dry cloth and wipe it off. Results will be clear.
Timing is everything when it comes to cleaning plastic furniture, especially when it’s white. We’ve already talked about how exposure to the elements can cause your plastic furniture to show its age long before it should. It’s important to regularly clean your plastic furniture as soon as you notice stains. However, you won’t always be able to do that. Using a simple household detergent mixture, mixed with vinegar, and bleach, if you notice black spotting.
For more mild stains, add detergent to a bucket with vinegar or bleach. For something a little stronger, for example, mold or grime, use a mild, oil-based soap like Murphy’s Oil. You can use Murphy’s in combination with the stain removing baking soda or bleach, or on it’s own. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are another option for quick, easy fixes.
Using abrasives on a resin surface is generally not recommended. However, as plastic furniture ages, it may develop a chalky residue that can flake off into your clothes or food. This is a mix of particles from the furniture itself showing its age, and the dust and dirt from outside. To protect patio furniture that is showing its age, you will need something a bit stronger than simple Murphy’s Oil and vinegar. Hosing the furniture down to get rid of any loose dirt, and then gently apply a Brillo pad will get rid of any loose flakes. Strong cleaners like Bar Keepers Friend should be used afterward. Rinse the furniture afterward and wipe it down.
There are many great cleaning options available for your white plastic furniture. But if you really want to return your old plastic to looking new, you can't do it without a bit of shine. Choose the most effective method for cleaning your furniture. Once your regular cleaning and stain removal has been done, spray your furniture with WD 40 or car wax.
This restores your white furniture to a glossy shine. You should follow that up by wiping the furniture with a dry cloth to avoid streaking, or getting anything greasy on your clothes or hands. This is especially helpful after the Brillo Pad treatment, since abrasives can leave your furniture looking dull, chipped and used.
Plastic furniture is a great option for your patio furniture. It’s great for families with young children, since it’s both durable and inexpensive. However, without proper care, exposure to the elements causes plastic to look dingy and old, discoloring much faster than other materials. Fortunately, these five tips can get your white plastic furniture gleaming its brightest and lasting for years, no matter your circumstances!
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