How to Clean Outdoor Plastic or Metal Furniture

Spring is in the air and it’s time to spruce up outdoor furniture. A little soap, water and elbow grease will have your plastic or metal furniture looking good as new in no time. Then you can have a seat on your clean outdoor furniture and enjoy a glass of sweet iced tea and the warm weather.

Outdoor Metal Furniture

Fill a bucket with warm water and add two squirts of liquid dish detergent. Rinse off all the loose dust and debris by blasting the furniture with water from the outdoor hose (don’t forget the underside of each piece).

Use a nylon scrub brush and dip into the soapy water and start scrubbing the metal furniture from top to bottom. Focus on any intricate design work which is often cut into metal, that’s the places dirt likes to hide.

Rinse well with the water hose, then turn each piece up on it’s side to drain and dry. After the drip-dry, use a dry cloth or paper towels to dry around joints or other places water may collect and cause rust.

To protect outdoor metal furniture from the elements and prevent rusting, apply a thin coat of car wax and buff off with a soft cloth. If any parts of the metal furniture move, like a porch glider, apply a squirt of WD-40 to all hinges and moving parts to keep them rust-free and squeak-free all summer.

Outdoor Plastic Furniture

Rinse, wash, rinse and dry plastic furniture much the same as metal with the exception of adding a little bleach to the water when washing white plastic pieces. Plastic furniture tends to gets tiny scratches (like on arms and legs) in which dirt loves to collect and stubbornly refuse to budge. Liquid bleach will get the grime out, remove stains and keep the pieces mold and mildew-free all summer. Add ½ cup bleach to the soapy wash water and scrub with a nylon bristle brush. One of the ‘magic’ erasers will also do the trick if you prefer not to use bleach. Turn the plastic furniture pieces (white only) on their sides in direct sunlight to dry. The sunlight will help whiten and brighten the plastic. A thin coat of car wax can also be applied to outdoor plastic furniture to help repel stains.

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