How to Clean Chalky Plastic Lawn Chairs

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Plastic lawn chairs are durable, affordable, and easy to swap out to match any updates you make to your patio or outdoor decor. However, they require regular cleaning to keep their sheen and avoid the dull, chalky look they can take on as the sunlight and continuous exposure to the elements fade their color.


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It's easy to restore plastic lawn chairs' shiny, attractive finish, and you likely already have everything you need to tackle the task under your kitchen sink or hiding in your laundry room.

Things You'll Need

How to Clean Chalky Plastic Lawn Chairs

Step 1: Create a Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Vinegar is an excellent multipurpose cleaner that can be used to lift tough stains and loosen tough grime. After wetting down your chairs with a garden hose, create a vinegar cleaning solution by adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to a standard-sized bucket of warm water. Give the solution a quick stir.


Step 2: Scrub Away the Stains

Dip a soft-bristled cleaning brush into your warm water and vinegar mixture and gently work the solution over each chair. As you work the brush back and forth across the surface of the chairs, give extra attention to any area with visible stains and grime. Depending on how long it has been since you last cleaned your chairs, you may need to increase your scrubbing pressure to effectively remove set-in stains. Rinse the vinegar mixture from your chairs with clean water before moving on to the next step.



While it might be tempting to break out the bleach when your lawn chairs are looking extra rough, using bleach on any nonwhite plastic chairs can cause discoloration.

Step 3: Use Laundry Detergent to Remove Resistant Stains

If your chairs still show some staining or grime after scrubbing them with a vinegar solution, laundry detergent can help. To create a laundry detergent cleaning solution, add 2 tablespoons of your favorite brand of laundry detergent to a gallon of hot water and mix thoroughly. Dip a soft-bristle cleaning brush in this solution to scrub away any remaining stains. Once you've thoroughly scrubbed away the resistant stains, rinse the chair with clean water, making sure to remove any remaining laundry detergent suds.


Step 4: Use Baking Soda to Address Chalkiness

Once you've removed dirt and grime stains from your chairs, you'll need to address the chalkiness that results from sun damage. Baking soda is an excellent solution. Dampen a sponge in a bucket of warm water, sprinkle it with baking soda, and start scrubbing. Continue to dampen your sponge, sprinkle it with baking soda, and scrub until your chairs are clean. Rinse your chairs thoroughly with clean water to remove any baking soda residue.

Step 5: Use Wax to Keep Your Chairs Shiny

Give your chairs a little time to air-dry completely following their baking soda scrub. When they're totally dry, use a car paste wax to help keep them shiny. Dip a soft, dry cleaning cloth in the wax and rub it all over each chair. Let it sit on the surface of the chairs for about five minutes and then buff it away with clean, dry cloth.