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?
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?
- 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?
- 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?
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?
Q: Can I Power-Wash My Poly 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?
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?
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?
Q: How Should I Store My Poly Outdoor Furniture?
Q: Is Plastic Furniture Recyclable?
Q: Is My Outdoor Furniture Waterproof?
Q: What Should I Do If My Poly Furniture Breaks?
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?
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!