How to clean garden furniture?
July 7, 2011 7:21 AM   Subscribe

How do you clean last winter's grunge off plastic outdoor furniture (chairs, tables)?

Everything we've tried so far just smears the dirt a lot, and makes it even harder to remove. Do you have a favourite trick?

(BTW, if quoting a specific brand, a couple of words of description would be helpful to readers not sharing your geographic market - thanks.)
posted by aqsakal to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How sturdy is the furniture?
I power wash (pressure wash) my lawn furniture. That works great and is easy on my back.
posted by Flood at 7:26 AM on July 7, 2011

Spray them with some dilute bleach (or one of the commercial cleaners which is just this plus some soap) and let them sit in the sun - it's magic.

Personally, I've found that with power washing it's difficult to find the line between removing the dirt and removing the first layer of plastic from the furniture (resulting in a somewhat rough edge).
posted by NoDef at 7:39 AM on July 7, 2011

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser if it is plastic or metal. Powerwash if wood.
posted by Gungho at 7:50 AM on July 7, 2011

Seconding the Magic Eraser. Even the generic ones from the dollar store work great. You might want to test a small area first because they can cause a little bit of a faded look on colored plastic if you're really vigorous with your scrubbing.

If you don't want to try the Magic Eraser, I've also had good results with Pine Sol (or generic equivalent) diluted in water and applied with a scrubby sponge (the kind you use for non-stick cookware).
posted by amyms at 8:14 AM on July 7, 2011

TSP has always worked for me. Comes in liquid or powder.
posted by futz at 9:01 AM on July 7, 2011

posted by futz at 9:02 AM on July 7, 2011

Response by poster: Many thanks, folks. We'll try these out (except for the power wash, which we don't have).
posted by aqsakal at 9:26 AM on July 7, 2011

I swear by Cillit Bang for just about anything. I used that on a stove hood that had about 2 cm of crusty old grease once I found that if I let it sit for a bit, I barely had to use any elbow grease.
posted by romakimmy at 9:32 AM on July 7, 2011

Response by poster: Cillit Bang did the trick! (But diluted bleach wasn't a bad solution, either.)
posted by aqsakal at 8:51 AM on July 17, 2011

Mr. Clean Eraser and a little Bon Ami makes fast work of it and gets into those pesky crevices very easily. I don't like the generic versions of the sponge. Mr. Clean sponge degrades pretty fast, and the generic ones even faster.
posted by merci420 at 10:19 AM on February 19, 2012

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