How to Take Care of Poly Outdoor Furniture
If you’ve recently purchased poly outdoor furniture, you’ve already discovered the joy of owning durable, attractive outdoor furniture that holds up to the elements, as well as regular use. Poly furniture is designed to hold its shape and color, which means it’s a gorgeous addition to any backyard environment — this isn’t your grandmother’s patio set! While poly outdoor furniture won’t require painting or sealing like like any other outdoor furniture product, you’ll still need to take care of it to keep it looking beautiful.
Customers who purchase poly outdoor furniture are often pleasantly surprised they don’t have to do much to keep their furniture looking like new. But, because they’ve spent so many years cleaning and maintaining traditional wood or aluminum outdoor furniture, they often come back to us with questions about the best upkeep for their poly furniture. Recognizing you might not know where to begin, we’ve compiled a list of FAQs regarding poly furniture cleaning and maintenance.
Q: What’s So Great About Poly Furniture?
A: Poly furniture contains high-density polyethylene plastic, which is the name for the type of plastic you’d find in milk jugs. When consumers recycle their milk jugs and similar items, one way the recycled plastic can find a new life is in getting manufactured into “wood-look” pieces. There’s no lumber included in these pieces. It’s all high-density polyethylene plastic, which means it’s easily moldable and stands up well to moisture, sunlight and frequent use. Craftspeople can then transform those versatile pieces into a wide variety of outdoor furniture options.
Besides wearing well, poly furniture resists mold, mildew and other bacteria, which means it’s not likely to develop those nasty black patches so common to other items you leave outside. It can also handle being out in the rain, so you won’t have to make a mad dash outside before every summer storm that heads your way.
Q: What’s Unique About Poly Furniture?
A: We think poly furniture is an ideal option for anyone who wants beautiful outdoor furniture that will stand up to the test of weather, sun and regular use. But what makes it unique?
- It holds its color: Poly furniture doesn’t need restaining or resealing. It features a UV protective agent that prevents it from fading from exposure to sun and moisture. That means whatever color it is when you buy it is the same color you will see five years later. Of course, periodic cleaning helps keep the surface color stable, so don’t forget to periodically wipe it free of dirt and debris — more about that later.
- It’s not easy to damage: Poly furniture doesn’t splinter or rot the way wood does. It won’t blow away in a storm or get scratched when your children run past it with sticks, baseball bats or bicycles. The only thing that can damage poly furniture is fire. This statement often confuses people because they immediately picture a big bonfire. However, that’s not the danger we’re talking about here. What we see happen more frequently is that someone will place a citronella candle on or near poly furniture, and the heat from the flame melts and disfigures the plastic. So, if you’re using poly furniture, make sure to keep tiki torches and outdoor candles a safe distance away from your furniture. Opt for other insect repellents if the presence of pests is a concern.
- It’s low-maintenance: Poly outdoor furniture doesn’t require a lot of maintenance to keep it looking beautiful. There’s nothing you’ll need to do to maintain the integrity of the furniture itself. There’s no sealing or painting to add to your to-do list, and you won’t need to sand it or treat it with anything to keep its appearance. The best way to maintain your poly outdoor furniture is to clean it periodically. Keeping your furniture clean prevents the buildup of dirt and debris — which can temporarily alter the color of the furniture.
Q: What’s the Best Way to Clean My Poly Furniture?
A: When customers think about how to clean outdoor furniture, they may immediately picture harsh chemicals, buckets, brushes and a lot of elbow grease. But that’s not the case when it comes to cleaning your poly outdoor furniture. Wondering how to clean poly outdoor furniture? Grab a bucket and some dish soap, and head outside.
- Choosing a warm, sunny day for this task, combine warm water and mild dish soap in a bucket.
- Remove any cushions, tablecloths or other decorative items from your poly furniture. You can — and should — clean these separately.
- Dip a clean rag into the water-and-soap solution. Then, gently scrub the surface of your poly furniture, paying careful attention to any grooves in the material where dirt could get caught.
- Once you’ve finished scrubbing, rinse the furniture with clean water from your hose and allow to air dry.
Q: How Do I Handle Tough Stains?
A: Typically, poly furniture is stain-repellent, which means it’s not prone to stains. However, over time, you may find your poly furniture may accumulate some debris or dirt that’s difficult to get off with soap and water. This phenomenon may happen if you live in an area where wind or frequent storms kick up dirt or dust. Or, it may be more likely if you use your furniture daily, especially if you’re eating and drinking while using it.
So, when stains do occur, what can you do to remove them?
- Combine 1/3 bleach with 2/3 water.
- Remove any decorative items on the furniture, such as cushions or tablecloths, to avoid accidentally staining them with the bleach solution.
- Apply the bleach/water mixture to your poly furniture, then let it sit on the surface of the furniture for a few minutes. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to work the bleach/water mixture into the grooves in the surface or to loosen difficult stains. Don’t worry — this won’t damage the surface or change the color of your furniture!
- Rinse thoroughly with a hose, then allow to air dry.
Q: Do I Need to Clean My White Poly Furniture More Often?
A: When it comes to how to clean white poly furniture, the process itself is the same. However, you’ll want to clean white poly furniture more than once a season. White poly furniture — as well as similar light colors — will require more frequent washing to keep it sparkling. A regular wash with soap and water will prevent the hassle of deep scrubbing when a small stain becomes a big eyesore.
Q: Can I Power-Wash My Poly Furniture?
A: Poly furniture is unsealed and unstained, which means its color and appearance should stand up to the sun, rain and regular use. In most cases, poly furniture won’t need more than a gentle scrub to keep it looking like new. But, since it’s outdoor furniture, it will still accumulate dirt and dust on its surface. Because of that, once a year, it’s a good idea to break out the power washer and use some added scrubbing to lift the dirt from your furniture.
It may not be a timesaver, but using a power washer is a less strenuous way to break up stains and tough dirt on your poly furniture. When using a power washer on your poly furniture, always keep the machine’s pressure below 1,500 psi to prevent any damage from the jets of water. You’ll be able to break up the tough dirt spots with a quick power wash, then follow the steps above for scrubbing your furniture thoroughly.
Q: How Do I Clean My Cushions?
A: If you own cushions to complement your poly furniture, you can also keep these clean with minimal effort. Ideally, you should regularly brush or shake your cushions to avoid dirt or debris accumulating on them. No one wants to curl up in a chair with a good book, only to discover the cushion behind their back is filthy.
Whenever you clean your furniture, you’ll also want to clean your cushions using the same dish soap/water mixture described above. Avoid allowing them to contact the bleach mixture if you opt to apply that to your furniture, making sure to rinse and dry furniture thoroughly before replacing cushions.
The manufacturer can also provide more detailed directions about cleaning your cushions.
Q: How Do I Maintain My Poly Outdoor Furniture?
A: One of the best things about poly furniture is that it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Because it’s not sealed or stained, you won’t have to reseal it or update its stain to keep it looking like new. You also won’t need to worry about it getting nicks or gashes in it the way wood furniture would. This durability makes poly furniture an ideal option for families with children or anyone who does a lot of outdoor entertaining. After all, your outdoor furniture is there for your long-term use, and you don’t need to waste time worrying about its longevity.
However, there are some things to remember when it comes to maintaining polyethylene furniture:
- Never place hot items, such as cooking dishes or candles, on poly furniture. Remember, it’s plastic. Fire and heat will melt it.
- Don’t forget to clean your furniture! You don’t need to do it every week, but plan to clean it several times a year to prevent minor stains from setting in. A good rule of thumb is to clean your furniture once each season — winter, spring, summer and fall.
- Avoid placing flowerpots or other items that could stain on poly furniture.
Q: Will Exposure to Saltwater Damage My Poly Furniture?
A: High-density polyethylene plastic is water- and weatherproof, and won’t corrode even if you live along the coast, where your furniture may encounter salt spray. Even the chrome-plated fasteners used to hold the furniture together are durable and resistant to corrosion. If you live near the coast, you should be vigilant about regularly rinsing the furniture, paying careful attention to the fasteners, to prevent the buildup of salt.
Q: How Should I Store My Poly Outdoor Furniture?
A: Poly furniture is solid furniture, so there’s no reason to worry it will blow away during a storm. However, there’s no reason to put that to the test. If you are anticipating severe weather, such as a hurricane or storms containing high winds, hail or large amounts of snow, it’s a good idea to cover or store your furniture indoors. Wondering where to store outdoor furniture? Many of our customers opt to store their poly outdoor furniture during the colder winter months because they want to protect it when they aren’t using it. Since poly furniture resists mold and mildew, you can easily store it in a shed or basement with a tarp or cloth over the top to protect it from dirt or dust.
Q: Is Plastic Furniture Recyclable?
A: In many cases, it is possible to recycle plastic furniture, but call to check if your local curbside pickup service will accept such bulky items. If your poly furniture has outlived its use, you might need to take it to your nearest recycling facility, or search for a recycler near you to come pick it up.
Q: Is My Outdoor Furniture Waterproof?
A: Yes, your poly outdoor furniture is waterproof and stands up well to rain and snow. It’s not prone to mold or mildew, either, so you won’t have any of that unsightly black stuff building up on your beautiful furniture.
Q: What Should I Do If My Poly Furniture Breaks?
A: Polyethylene plastic is durable and long-lasting. In most cases, our customers find their poly outdoor furniture outlasts other traditional outdoor furniture materials. However, even the best furniture may occasionally break or need repair. After all, the point of this furniture is to use it! But, in rare cases, it’s crucial to know how to fix damaged polyethylene.
In some cases, you may be able to make minor repairs to the furniture yourself, but remember poly isn’t like wood. You won’t be able to sand or drill into it in the same way, and attempting a DIY fix could result in a bigger problem than the one you set out to resolve in the first place. When you purchase your poly outdoor furniture, make sure to familiarize yourself with your warranty and keep the details somewhere you can access them if you need them. Warranties will vary depending on the manufacturer, but many poly furniture products come with extensive warranties.
Q: Where Can I Purchase High-Quality, Affordable Poly Outdoor Furniture?
A: AmishOutletStore.com offers a wide selection of poly furniture for all your outdoor needs. What do you get when you buy from us? You get high-quality products that fit any budget and any outdoor design. Whether you’re looking for a rocking chair, lawn chairs, table or cricket chair, we offer a wide selection of options. And, when you purchase poly furniture, you can select from a variety of color choices, so your furniture will coordinate well with existing items or your desired color scheme. When you buy poly furniture from us, you’re investing in attractive, durable furniture that will last for years to come.
In the past, purchasing Amish products could only happen with a trip to Pennsylvania, Ohio or one of the other locations where Amish craftspeople do business. Today, you can buy beautiful Amish-made pieces from the comfort of your home. Owned and operated by the Hilty family of Smithville, Ohio, AmishOutletStore.com offers American made pieces at competitive prices. Besides our selection of poly outdoor furniture, we also offer a wide variety of traditional Amish wood furniture, including tables, chairs, beds and desks.
In the market for new furniture? Check out our complete selection online!