Gardening, Home & Garden, Household, Uncategorized

Refinishing Plastic Patio Chairs

This weekend was packed full of visiting our families. My great uncle turned 80 so we had a birthday picnic for him, and we visited with my husband’s family since his aunt and cousins from New England came to visit for a few days.

A few weeks ago, my husband stopped in to see his parents, and found some white plastic patio chairs that he liked. His mom and dad did not have any use for them anymore, so we took them home with us when we left their house this weekend. We wanted some chairs to sit on our back porch so we could enjoy coffee when we wake up on the weekends and watch the sunset over the mountain in the evenings. We also wanted some easy-to-transport chairs to take down to our fire pit at the bottom of the yard when we have picnics.

Today was a really warm day. After I was finished pulling weeds and picking sugar snap peas, I thought that playing with the hose to wash off the chairs sounded refreshing! The chairs are in quite good shape, they just had some pollen and the like stuck to them.

First, I mixed up a bucket of scrubbing water. I made up my own concoction for this. I turned on the spigot with warm water, then dumped in some white vinegar. I did not measure, just poured until I felt like stopping. Next, I added five drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oil. (I had to get new water halfway through my washing adventure, and I excluded the lemon oil in the second bucket. It cleaned fine without it.) Last, I squirted in some Dawn dish detergent. (I like the soap suds!)


I ventured outside into the heat and carried a couple of the chairs onto our driveway. I started out wiping them down with a rag made of one of my husband’s old shirts. I decided that was too big and bulky, so I ran inside and grabbed a sponge. That was a wise adjustment! The sponge made it much easier to get into the nooks and crannies of the chairs. I also discovered that spraying the chairs with the hose first helped to loosen some of the pollen, dirt, and spider webs and made them easier to scrub.

So, I continued, spraying and scrubbing, spraying and scrubbing. The spritz from the water bouncing off the chairs felt nice on my legs! Unfortunately, the wasps and horseflies enjoyed the water on the driveway and my legs as well!

By the time I was finished wiping down our seven newly acquired chairs, I was sweaty and tired, but they looked pretty good! When I clean things, I like to really see a difference in whatever it is I am working on. Seeing these chairs go from green to clean gave me a feeling of accomplishment!


Even though our chairs are cleaned, they are not completely finished. We are planning to paint them and make them look like new! (Which will require a second blog post, of course!)

I would love to know what you use to clean outdoor furniture! Do you use cleaner from the store, or create your own grime-busting concoction? Feel free to comment and share your ideas!

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