How to Clean White Plastic Chairs

White plastic chairs are a popular furniture choice for many households due to their lightweight, stackable, and weather-resistant properties. However, without proper care, these chairs can quickly become dingy, stained and dirty. Cleaning white plastic chairs regularly is important to help them retain their bright color and appealing look. With the right techniques and cleaning solutions, you can easily remove grime, dirt and stains from white plastic chairs.

Supplies Needed for Cleaning White Plastic Chairs

Before getting started with cleaning your white plastic patio chairs, make sure you have the following supplies on hand:

  • Mild dish soap or detergent
  • Warm water
  • Soft-bristled scrub brush
  • Clean cloths or sponges
  • Bucket
  • Garden hose
  • All-purpose cleaner or degreaser (for tougher stains)
  • Protective gloves
  • Old toothbrush (for hard-to-reach areas)

Preparing White Plastic Chairs for Cleaning

Take some time to prepare your white plastic chairs before cleaning to make the process easier and more effective:

  • Remove any cushions, pillows or other removable parts from the chairs and set aside. Clean these separately later if needed.
  • Clear away any debris, leaves or dirt from the surface of the chairs using a dry cloth or brush. This prevents abrasions while scrubbing.
  • Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap or detergent. The warm soapy water helps lift dirt and grime.
  • Have clean cloths or soft scrub brushes ready to wash the chairs with the soapy water.
  • Work in a shaded area to prevent the soapy water from drying out too quickly.
  • For stubborn stains, have a degreaser or all-purpose cleaner on hand.

Cleaning the Surface of White Plastic Chairs

Here are the general steps for washing the surface of white plastic patio chairs:

1. Rinse Away Loose Debris

Before scrubbing, use your garden hose to rinse away any loose dirt, pollen or debris on the chairs. The stream of water helps dislodge surface-level grime.

2. Scrub With Warm Soapy Water

Dip your soft scrub brush in the bucket of warm soapy water. Gently scrub all surfaces of the chair, including the legs, back, seat, arms and crevices. The soapy water will cut through grease and lift away stubborn dirt. Take care not to scrub too vigorously on delicate chair surfaces.

Rinse periodically to check your progress. Pay extra attention to highly soiled areas.

3. Rinse Away All Soap Residue

Once the chairs look clean, thoroughly rinse off all soap residue using your garden hose or clean water. Make sure to reach every nook and cranny where soap could be lingering.

4. Let Air Dry

After rinsing, allow the chairs to completely air dry before stacking or storing. The lack of moisture prevents mold or mildew growth.

Cleaning Tough Stains on White Plastic Chairs

For challenging stains like grease, food residues, mold or mildew, use the following techniques:

  • Bleach solution – Mix 1 part bleach with 4 parts water and use a clean cloth to gently dab the stain. Rinse thoroughly. Do not use bleach on colored plastic chairs.
  • All-purpose cleaner – Spray a small amount directly on the stain and let sit for 5 minutes. Use a stiff scrub brush to scrub the stain off. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Baking soda – Make a paste with water and baking soda. Rub the paste onto the stain using an old toothbrush. Let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. The abrasiveness lifts stains.
  • Vinegar – Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Lightly mist over stain and let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing with a brush.

Always spot test cleaners on an inconspicuous area first to check for any damage to the chair surface.

Maintaining White Plastic Chair Cleanliness

To keep your white plastic patio chairs looking freshly cleaned, use these maintenance tips:

  • Wipe down chairs with a damp cloth after use to remove food, dirt and grease accumulation.
  • Periodically rinse chairs with water to prevent buildup of pollen, dust and debris.
  • Use chair covers when chairs are not in use to protect from outdoor elements like rain, bird droppings and falling leaves.
  • Avoid placing chairs directly on grass or soil which can lead to ugly staining on chair legs and seats.
  • Stack chairs properly to allow airflow and drying if stored outside.
  • Inspect chairs for signs of mold/mildew and use diluted bleach to clean away any spots.
  • Re-clean heavily used chair seats and backs every 2-3 months.

With frequent, simple cleaning, you can keep your white plastic patio chairs looking like new for many years. Proper maintenance also prevents permanent staining or damage.

FAQs About Cleaning White Plastic Chairs

How do you clean white plastic outdoor chairs?

Mix warm water and mild dish soap in a bucket. Use a soft-bristled scrub brush dipped in the soapy water to gently scrub the surface of the chairs. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all soap.

What removes yellow stains from white plastic?

For yellow stains on white plastic chairs, make a paste with baking soda and water. Use an old toothbrush to rub the paste onto the stains. Let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. The baking soda will help lift and cut through the discoloration.

How do you get mold off plastic patio chairs?

Mix one part bleach with four parts water for a safe bleach cleaning solution. Use a sponge or cloth dipped in the diluted bleach to gently dab and wipe mold off plastic patio chairs. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Should you use bleach on plastic outdoor furniture?

Yes, bleach can be used safely on plastic outdoor furniture in small quantities. Mix 1 part regular bleach with 4 parts water. Spot test first and never use undiluted bleach. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning. Take care when using bleach on colored plastic furniture.

What is the best way to clean plastic patio chairs?

The best way is to wash chairs with warm, soapy water using a soft scrub brush. Pay attention to crevices and hard-to-reach spots. Rinse thoroughly when done and allow chairs to completely air dry. For tough stains, use targeted cleaners like baking soda, vinegar or all-purpose sprays.


Regularly cleaning white plastic patio chairs helps maintain their optimal appearance and lifespan. Annual deep cleaning, combined with periodic wipedowns after use and protective covering, will keep them stain-free and bright white for many years.

Be sure to use mild dish soaps, clean water and soft bristle brushes when scrubbing to avoid abrasions. For challenging stains, try targeted solutions like diluted bleach, baking soda pastes or vinegar. And always thoroughly rinse chairs after cleaning.

With the proper cleaning techniques and products, it is easy to keep your white plastic chairs clean and looking like new. Maintaining their appearance also adds to the enjoyment of your outdoor living space all season long.