Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cleaning those resin chairs

A short break for a household tip on cleaning white resin chairs.

We've had most of our white resin chairs for more than a decade--I'd say 14 years at least. After all that time they're still in good structural shape and sturdy and except for the nasty black stains there'd be no reason to throw them away. We've got six that sit out in the weather 24/7/365. It doesn't take long for them to look just terrible. Granted, I'm not always out there cleaning them either. Today cleaning them was at the top of the household chores list.

After searching the Internet for suggestions and finding that none of them worked I headed for Home Depot. Kenny, the very doubtful Home Depot clerk, didn't think they had anything that would work.

"Are you looking for something you can just wipe on and it'll do the job?" Kenny asked.

"Of course, aren't we all?" I responded.

Kenny's laugh sounded like "Yeah right. Aint gonna happen lady."

Well, Kenny left me in the aisle of cleaning chemicals and I started reading labels. I decided to take a chance on a gallon of this Clorox Pro Results Outdoor Cleaner for about $8.00. I wasn't hopeful because painting straight Clorox bleach on one chair and Clorox Bathroom cleaner on another only minimally improved the look of the chairs and actually gave portions of the chairs awful beige blotches. But I took a chance on trying another Clorox product.

I had hosed all the chairs with a strong blast of plain water but otherwise I didn't scrub anything. After all, I was looking for an easy fix. Then I put on my gloves, poured a bit of this cleaner into an old plastic bowl and started painting this thick glop onto the chairs using a wide foam brush. It didn't take a full minute before the change was obvious. After less than 5 minutes I was very pleased. There were a couple of places that needed a second coat such as the edges of pressed designs but overall the results were astounding. Another blast with the power sprayer and these chairs looked great. I'll use far less than the gallon I purchased to finish all the chairs. They won't ever look new again but I'm not afraid to sit on them and I won't be embarrassed to have visitors see them. The picture here shows each attempt after hosing. I didn't think to take a shot while they were at their worst--but trust me---they were really bad after sitting on the deck all winter.

So for the price of one cheap resin chair Clorox Pro Results Outdoor is keeping 10 of them out of the landfill and I have time to blog and watch the House Education Committee hearing.

UPDATE: Did the same with the green Adirondack resin lounges. They were already looking chalky from age but the Clorox Pro Results Outdoor didn't make them any more chalky and got rid of the black stains. I also took a chance on spraying them down with a bit of Turtle Wax 2001 Super Protectant (akin to Armor All for the interior of a car). Worked like a charm. Again, they don't look new but they look clean and green again.

Oh, and don't let that foam brush sit in the Clorox Pro Results Outdoor too long while you're cleaning those resin chairs. It'll start to dissolve the foam.


Meredith said...

Good to know! I have been using the generic Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on my outdoor plastic stuff with great success.

Kay Brooks said...

Glad the Eraser works for you. I can't do much scrubbing or my carpel tunnel kicks in.

I cleaned the green resin Adirondack chairs and then sprayed them with auto vinyl protectant. They look vastly improved. I updated blog post with a photo.

Now on to cleaning the deck itself.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tip on the Clorex Pro Outdoors cleaner. I had tried everything -- and with a lot of elbow grease I found a couple of cleaners that got some of the stains off. As suggested, I bought a paint brush and brushed the clorox on - first at 50% dilution and then right out of the jug for tough stains. My $4.00 home depot chairs are finally white again, and my better set is nice and white again too.

Kay Brooks said...

Yeah! Glad it worked for you too.

nys said...

FABULOUS!!! I'm so excited! It worked amazingly well, and my chairs are looking incredible... Thank you for the tip. I'm telling everyone I know!

nys said...

Fabulous! Thank you so much for the tip. I tried it exactly as you described, and to my amazement my chairs actually look decent again!

lgalderfish said...

So thankful to find your post on-line. Our resin chairs are at least 12 years old and very dirty. I didn't think they would ever come clean. I also have used all sorts of products to no avail. I purchased the Clorox Pro Outdoor Bleach and my chairs are in much better condition! I did have to rub a little with my kitchen sponge (which I also used to apply the product), but they are at least usable. Was about to throw these chairs away. Thanks for the tip! I really appreciate it!!! :D

lgalderfish said...

Thank you so much for the tip!!! I was ready to throw my resin chairs away. They are in much better condition. I applied the product with a kitchen sponge and had to use a little 'elbow grease' in some areas. I don't have a pressure washer so I just used a garden hose. I cleaned the resin chairs on our concrete patio and then cleaned that also. Awesome product. I also purchased at Home Depot for under $6.