How to Clean Outdoor Plastic

Outdoor plastic chairs, tables and other furnishings see a lot of dust, dirt and debris.

Your outdoor plastic is out in the elements most of the year--rain, snow, ice and direct sunlight. Not only do you find grime and dirt buildup on the plastic outdoor items, but also mold and mildew. Cleaning outdoor plastic requires a substance that will not only clean the surfaces, but disinfects them as well.

Rinse any loose dust and dirt from the outdoor plastic with a water hose that has a sprayer. Wear rubber gloves and an apron or other cover-up to keep from getting wet.

Mix 1 cup of dishwashing soap, 1 cup of chlorine bleach (if the outdoor plastic is colored, use white vinegar instead of the chlorine bleach) and 1 cup of warm water in a bucket. Agitate the mixture with a long-handled brush.

Pour the soap solution into a spray bottle. Use a funnel to keep from spilling the solution. Not all of the solution will fit into the spray bottle.

Spray the soap solution on any stains and spots present on the outdoor plastic.

Let the soap solution set for 10 minutes.

Dip a scrub brush into the bucket of soap solution and apply the mixture to the outdoor plastic surfaces.

Scrub the outdoor plastic with the brush to break up and remove any dirt, dust and grime buildup. Use a sponge on areas where the scrub brush can't reach.

Rinse the outdoor plastic thoroughly with a water hose.

Let the outdoor plastic dry in direct sunlight.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Apron or other cover-up
  • Water hose with sprayer
  • Bucket
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Chlorine bleach or white vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Long-handled brush
  • Funnel
  • Spray bottle
  • Scrub brush
  • Sponge

Warning

  • If your outdoor plastic is not white, use white vinegar in the soap solution instead of the chlorine bleach. The bleach may discolor the plastic.

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.