How to Clean Oxidized Plastic Patio Chairs? [11 Proven Methods]

Have you been stressing over oxidized stains on your plastic patio chairs and looking for ways to remove them? Well, not anymore. I have some ways you can treat and clean your oxidized plastic patio chairs. 

Using plastic chairs in your patio gives your patio furniture a personal touch and is an excellent way to save money. Plastic patio furniture is comfortable and therefore made to last, according to Patch. Further, Patch adds that plastic patio furniture is resistant to sun, rain, snow, chlorine, and saltwater. Plus, unlike metal, plastic is rust-proof and requires less maintenance. 

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While all this is true, plastic outdoor chairs left on the patio for extended periods with sun exposure tend to oxidize, meaning the shine fades, making the chairs look dull and unappealing. Oxidized plastic leaves behind an unpleasant look and increases the possibility of faster degradation.

But the best part is that you need not replace them when they oxidize; instead, you can clean your oxidized plastic furniture and make them as new as ever. So, I have some of the best and easy solutions, including home remedies and commercial supplies.

JUMP TO : First Wash of Patio Chairs | Cleaning Using Home Remedies | Cleaning Using Commercial Products | Last Coat of Patio Chairs|

  • Key Takeaways

      • If you’re plastic patio chair gets oxidized, you don’t need to throw it away. 
      • Clean the oxidized plastic chairs using home ingredients or even commercial products.
      • To prevent oxidation, you can apply UV protectants to your chair. 
      • To retain the shine and freshness, apply wax or polish every year. 
      • If possible, do not keep plastic lawn chairs in the sun for too long. 

    Want to know what they are? Keep reading to find out.

    11 Ways To Clean Oxidized Plastic Patio Chairs

    Now, the primary cause of oxidation in plastic is the reaction between the chemicals in plastic and oxygen. Therefore, in the long run, continuous exposure to sunlight can oxidize the plastic, developing white patches and fading of color. The good news is that you can restore plastic furniture, including plastic lawn chairs. 

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    Tip: Try to clean your plastic patio furniture periodically, including during spring and home improvements.

    With that, let us one by one discuss the best remedies for cleaning your chalky plastic lawn chairs.

    Realted Read: List of 27 Types of Beach Chairs

    First Wash: Using Soap And Water. 

    The first and foremost step before trying out any of the following solutions is to wash your plastic chairs with soap and water. For the first wash, 

    1. Begin by removing the dirt and debris using a smooth, dry cloth followed by a wet cloth. 
    2. While wiping the chair, at the same time, mix some liquid soap and water, creating a solution. 
    3. Then, rinse the chair with the solution and wash it thoroughly
    4. Once done, wash off the solution using plain water and let the chair dry. 

    You should wash off the soapy solution entirely because it should not sit on the plastic for too long. 

    So, after the first wash of your plastic chair, you can try the following solutions to remove oxidation from your plastic furniture

    Using Home Remedies

    And so, let us start with some easy and effective home remedies using the readily available ingredients from your pantry. 

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    Baking Soda

    When it comes to removing oxidation and tough stains, baking soda does wonders. Baking soda is a mild abrasive and mixing it with water produces an alkaline paste, which is safe and does not scratch the plastic chairs. The paste successfully removes oxidation marks, including any stains and residues.

    For baking soda to work, 

    1. You can either form a paste with baking soda and water or smear some baking soda on the chair. 
    2. Now, work the paste into the plastic using a damp sponge.
    3. Try gently rubbing the parts with oxidation residues until they disappear. 
    4. Once you remove the residues, take a water hose and wash off the paste thoroughly. 
    5. If your plastic chair appears to be heavily oxidized, let the baking soda sit for 20 minutes on the chair and rinse afterward.

    Additionally, you can also mix baking soda and bleach to remove oxidation. Just repeat the same procedure. 

    Caution -Do not let the mixture of baking soda and bleach sit on the plastic chair. Wash off this mixture immediately after you remove oxidation. 

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    Another readily available ingredient is vinegar because it is cheap and can remove dirt, kill molds, and clean oxidation from your plastic patio furniture. For cleaning, you should consider using white vinegar because it is mild and will not damage your chair. 

    For this method, 

    1. Combine ¼ cup of white vinegar with ¾ cup warm water and make a solution. 
    2. Take a spray bottle and transfer this solution into the bottle.
    3. Now, spray the solution all over the chair and use a soft brush to rub the solution, removing the oxidation.
    4. After gently working the solution, allow it to settle for at least 25-30 minutes. 
    5. Lastly, using enough water, rinse the chair thoroughly. 

    Laundry Detergent 

    Unlike vinegar or baking soda, laundry detergent cannot work on heavily oxidized marks. Although, it can remove mild residues, reviving the shine of your chalky plastic lawn chairs.

    To use laundry detergent, 

    1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of laundry detergent to ½ cup of hot or warm water, forming a solution.
    2. Either transfer this solution to a spray bottle or directly apply it to the chair. 
    3. Using a soft brush, gently rub the solution until it removes the residues and stains. 
    4. Now, rinse the solution with normal water. 


    If none of the above ingredients work, then only consider using bleach. There are two ways to use bleach against those tough oxidation stains: either mix bleach with hot water or ammonia-free dishwashing liquid. 

    Caution -Always wear rubber gloves while working with bleach because your skin may irritate if bleach comes in contact with it. 

    Once you have your gloves on, 

    1. Add ¼ cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water, mix, and create a solution.
    2. Using a soft sponge, apply this solution to the chair, especially on the oxidized area, and start rubbing gently. 
    3. After the oxidation residues disappear, wash off this solution carefully. 
    4. Do not let the bleach sit on the chair for too long since it may cause discoloration. 

    Note -Use bleach only on white plastic chairs. 

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    Bleach with Dishwashing Liquid

    If you have an ammonia-free laundry detergent, 

    1. Combine 2-3 tablespoons of detergent, ¾ cups of bleach (household), and a gallon of hot water and mix well. 
    2. Apply this solution to the oxidized parts of your plastic chairs using a soft sponge. 
    3. Gently rub until the dirt and marks disappear. 
    4. Lastly, wash off the solution using enough water. 

    Heat Gun 

    If you could get your hand on a heat gun, you could use it to make your plastic chairs seem new and fresh again. Although, before using a heat gun, ensure that your chairs are clean and dry. 

     You should test it at the bottom of your chair to get a hold of the gun’s closeness and speed required to achieve the best outcomes. For that, 

    1. Turn on the heat gun. Set the gun to high.
    2. Point the heat gun nozzle at the plastic and get it close enough until you notice the plastic starts melting. 
    3. Remember to keep the heat gun moving. Be it sweeping up and down the surface or making small circular motions.
    4. As long as it keeps moving, everything will be fine. Don’t go too slowly since it will cause the plastic to bubble and burn if it melts too much.

    Using Commercial Cleansers

    Now, the home remedies, most of the time, get the oxidation off of your plastic patio furniture. However, if the marks and stains are too stubborn, you may need commercial cleansers to remove the oxidation, making your chair brand new.

    Plastic Rejuvenator

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    You can find many products which help remove oxidation marks from your plastic chairs. One of them is a Plastic Rejuvenator. They are easy to use. You only have to read and follow the instructions given on the product carefully. 

    The instructions are simple,

    1. Clean and dry the chairs completely. 
    2. Now, take a small amount of the product on a soft microfiber cloth and apply it on the chair.
    3. If required, apply a second coat (only when the chair is fully dry).

    Intresting Read: Papasan Chair vs Mamasan Chair: Which is the Best?

    Bar Keeper’s Friend (powder) 

    bar keepers friend

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    Unlike other products, Bar Keeper’s Friend powdered cleaning agent is the most famous commercial cleanser. It cleans and eliminates oxidation from your chairs easily and within no time. 

    To use the cleanser, 

    1. Wet the plastic chair thoroughly or the areas that need cleaning. 
    2. Drizzle this powder over the wet surfaces.
    3. Using a wet or damp cloth, gently rub the powder on the plastic toward the brush lines and wait for a minute.
    4. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry the chair.

    Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze

    Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze

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    If you want to restore the shine and glaze of your patio furniture, you can try Meguair’s Mirror Glaze. It is easy to use and works best to eliminate scratches, stains, and discoloration. 

    While using this product, 

    1. Begin with a clean, thoroughly dried paint surface
    2. Buff tiny parts at a time until all stains and sanding marks are gone.
    3. Remove any excess immediately and reapply as necessary.



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    Most people would never think of using WD-40 to clean their plastic lawn chairs. However, WD-40 offers instructions for this on its website. To restore the appearance of your plastic chairs, use WD-40 as follows:

    1. Before using WD-40, clean and dry your chair thoroughly. 
    2. Once dry, spray the product on the chair and rub gently on the plastic until the stains disappear. 
    3. Remove any excess WD-40.

    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

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    Another super easy and affordable commercial cleanser is a magic eraser by Mr. Clean. It helps remove residue from plastic. Using this eraser is very simple, 

    1. Start by washing your plastic chair with water. 
    2. Wet the magic eraser thoroughly using warm water. 
    3. Now, gently start rubbing, in circular motions, the plastic surface with the wet eraser until the residues disappear.
    4. Once done, rinse the chair again and wipe dry.

    Last Coat: Polish or Automotive Wax

    Now, once you have cleaned your oxidized plastic patio furniture using the ways given above, you need to apply polish or automotive wax on the chair to retain its shine. 

    There are many types of wax available in the market to keep your plastic shining and fresh. The wax protects the chairs from dirt and debris, preventing oxidation in the first place.

    Note -You should apply wax on plastic only once or twice a year. 

    For applying any wax, 

    1. Take a small amount of wax on a soft cloth. 
    2. Apply the wax all over the chair.
    3. Lastly, wipe the wax with a dry cloth to get a smooth finish and glaze. 

    You can even buy UV protectants for your plastic lawn chairs to prevent oxidation.  

    Even after that, if your plastic patio furniture begins to oxidize, you don’t have to throw it away. The techniques discussed above can restore the new appearance of your furniture.

    Happy cleaning! Safe cleaning!

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