HDPE Outdoor Furniture Cleaning & Care Guide
People are turning to HDPE furniture as a durable and sustainable furniture option. It beats both wood and metal in durability, resistance, and stylishness. You find this type of outdoor furniture in establishments and residential spaces for many reasons.
This durable furniture option is resistant to the elements. It does not soak rain or precipitation and thus will not crack, bend, swell, or grow mold. It is also resistant to sun exposure and UV rays and, therefore, will not fade or become brittle.
Additionally, it comes in a variety of color options and patterns. Therefore, it is easy for businesses and residentials to find furniture in desirable themes and color codes. The possibility of uniqueness is never-ending.
And since HDPE is easy to mold into various shapes, it brings customization to the table. More people are making unique requests for outdoor furniture, and manufacturers can fulfill them using HDPE.
But perhaps the most valuable part of having HDPE outdoor furniture is the little need for maintenance. This high-quality material outdoor furniture demands little care and maintenance. You could go for weeks without cleaning, and it would still look great.
But It Doesn't Mean You Should Neglect Your HDPE Outdoor Furniture!
No matter how resistant and durable your HDPE furniture is, you should not neglect it. Long-term neglect could lead to staining, making it harder to clean the furniture and ready it for use. Additionally, the furniture will lose its luster.
Therefore, you need to keep up with cleaning and maintenance activities to ensure your HDPE furniture looks great. The information below is a detailed guide on cleaning and caring for this type of furniture. This guide will prove helpful whether you have Adirondack chairs, tables, or stools.
How To Clean HDPE Furniture Surfaces
Cleaning outdoor furniture is a simple process that does not require a lot of supplies. You will just need soap and warm water. We recommend cleaning your outdoor furniture on a sunny or warm day to facilitate faster drying.
You will also need clean water to rinse the furniture after cleaning. In addition, equip yourself with a sponge or cloth to clean the surfaces.
Cleaning HDPE furniture surfaces
The process should go as follows for cleaning HDPE furniture surfaces:
- Mix mild liquid soap in a bucket or container with warm water. We recommend mild dish soap since it is inexpensive and readily available at your local store.
- Use a clean cloth or sponge to soak the mixture, then rub it onto the surfaces to remove dirt and dust. The sponge or cloth needs to be wet to damp. You don’t need to cover the surfaces in water to clean them.
- Wipe the surfaces in small overlapping circles to ensure you reach all the dirt thoroughly.
- Now, you can rinse with clean water. You can use a hose or a clean cloth dipped in clean water.
- Lastly, set aside your furniture to dry.
You can also disinfect your furniture every once in a while, but you need to do it safely using bleach and water.
If you’ve gone months without disinfecting your furniture, here are a few steps to help you.
- Mix ⅓ parts bleach with ⅔ parts water into a container.
- Use a clean cloth or sponge to apply the bleach mixture onto the surfaces of the furniture.
- Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes.
- Then you can rinse with clean water.
As long as you purchase the furniture from a trusted supplier, this process will not affect the color of your HDPE furniture. Sanitizing should only be done every few months just for upkeep purposes.
The legs of your outdoor furniture are often exposed to more dirt and mud. In addition, your outdoor furniture may have been outside for too long, letting the mud and other debris cake onto a spot. Unfortunately, the sponge or cloth won’t get the job done.
But, you don’t need harsh abrasives to get rid of this dirt. Instead, invest in a high-quality soft bristle brush. Use the same soap and water mixture to gently brush off any stuck debris or mud from the surfaces and legs of your HDPE furniture. Then rinse with cold water and rest the furniture against a surface for proper drying.
How To Clean Metal Hardware On HDPE Furniture
Before you go back to your weekend activities, you should examine the metal hardware on your HDPE furniture. Some HDPE pieces come with metal hardware to secure the pieces together or allow movement.
These metal fastenings are often made from stainless steel. It is a strong and resistant metal that requires special cleaning activities to ensure that they last. You want the hardware to last just as long as the lumber pieces to prevent damage and weakness.
Therefore, if your HDPE furniture has stainless steel hardware, here is what you can do to clean them.
- Mix mild dish soap with warm water in a bucket.
- Use a soft bristle brush to scrub the fastenings gently. Do not apply too much water or pressure to avoid scrubbing off the protective coating on the metal.
- If you notice any signs of corrosion, use the same mixture and tools to remove the residue.
- Then, you can rinse thoroughly with clean water. Ensure that these components dry well and quickly; you can use a dry cloth to dab some of the water away on a cold day to prevent rusting.
How to Clean Aluminum Parts On HDPE Furniture
Some HDPE furniture pieces also come with aluminum parts to allow functions like swiveling. It can also be for decorative purposes.
Aluminum is a strong metal, but it will need maintenance more regularly, thus a proper scrub. Before cleaning the aluminum parts, ensure they are not hot from sun exposure to prevent burning yourself. In addition, follow these steps:
- Mix warm water with mild dish soap in a bucket.
- Soak a clean sponge or cloth into the mixture, then use it to clean the aluminum surfaces. Remove all the dirt thoroughly but do not use too much water to avoid water stains and prevent removing the protective coating.
You can then rinse thoroughly with clean water and set the furniture to dry. Again, you can use a dry cloth to dab some of the water droplets to facilitate faster drying and prevent corrosion.
How To Clean Outdoor Furniture Fabrics
If you have an HDPE sunbed, couch, or Adirondack chair with pillows, you need to clean the fabrics of these pieces. The pillow, cushion, and mattress covers need regular cleaning to prevent staining. These fabrics are often weather-resistant to prevent discoloration. But you still need to clean them to maintain luster and prevent weakening the fabric.
- Start by brushing or dusting off any loose dirt from the fabrics. It prevents embedding into the fabric and makes the item easier to clean.
- Use warm water and mild dish soap to wash the fabrics. It would be best if you could remove the covers to wash them separately. But if not, you can use a clean cloth soaked in the mixture to clean fabrics.
- Then you can use clean water to rinse these items. Ensure that you do not soak the pillows or cushions in water, as they will take longer to dry. Plus, they may not dry evenly, triggering problems like mold growth and bad smells.
- Stand the cushions and pillows on their side for drying. Ensure that they dry completely before setting them back on the chairs. If you can clean fabrics on a sunny day, the better.
If you spill something on the fabrics, it is best to clean it on the spot to ensure that they do not stain the fabric.
- Mix ¼ cup of mild dish soap with a gallon of water.
- Then use a soft cloth or sponge to apply the mixture to the spill. Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Then wash or clean the fabric as directed above and rinse with clean water.
Again set it aside to dry completely before using it again.
Care and Maintenance Activities For HDPE Outdoor Furniture
Cleaning your furniture is not enough to keep it looking good and lasting long. You also need to maintain these pieces.
In addition, you could be performing some practices that are harming the furniture instead of helping. Luckily, we have the best care and maintenance practices for HDPE furniture. Just follow these tips.
Store furniture when it's not in use
First, you need to store your furniture if you won’t be using it for a while. When winter and other cold seasons roll in, most people avoid using their outdoor setup and instead stay inside. If this is you, consider storing the furniture instead of leaving it outside all season.
Prolonged exposure to the elements slowly shortens the lifespan of your outdoor set. If you can make them last a little longer, you should seize the opportunity since these pieces are an investment.
Therefore, set up storage space for your outdoor pieces when not in use. Ensure that you store the furniture in a cold, dry place, away from exposure to sun and precipitation. When the sun is back out, you can clean and use them. It will secure longevity.
Always tilt your furniture at night.
Next, if you leave your furniture out at night, then rest or tilt them up against a wall or other structure. It is to prevent water pooling on the furniture.
Precipitation can happen at any time, even during summer. The lumber can sustain water stains when water pools on HDPE outdoor pieces. Additionally, prolonged exposure will trigger corrosion in the metal components.
Therefore, help the furniture drain water by resting it against a surface. If you have pieces with cushions and pillows, ensure they do not sleep outside, exposed to the rain. It will be a hectic morning for you the next day, trying to dry them out evenly.
Avoid harsh abrasives
When pollen, dirt, and other debris stick onto the surface of the lumber, they can be hard to remove. This can happen when the furniture is in storage. In addition, the legs often have sticky and hard-to-remove dirt.
Using abrasives such as steel wool and hard bristle brushes is not a good solution. These harsh abrasives will scratch the surface and leave them with permanent ‘scars.’
In addition, prolonged use of harsh abrasives will weaken the material and create color patches, making the pieces look unsightly. Therefore, avoid these and other tough materials when cleaning the pieces.
Avoid using acetone and other solvents
Are you thinking about using acetone or other strong chemicals to remove a stain? We understand where you are coming from. It is very annoying to see a stain on your chair or table because someone forgot to use a coaster or spilled something.
While acetone and similar substances will remove the stain, they will also strip the lumber of its luster and color. Some sustain a whitish coat on the area, while others fade completely. This makes the furniture look unsightly and can even weaken the lumber on that spot.
The same goes for metal components. You should never use acetone and solvents on metal either, as it can strip the protective coating and weaken the material.
You can find helpful tips on removing different stains from poly lumber online using readily available and mild ingredients. However, soap and warm water often do the trick.
Apply powder coating on metal components
After a few months of owning your poly lumber pieces, you should tend to the metal components. The best practice to keep metal from rusting and weakening is to apply a powder coat on the surface. Treating the metal parts ensures that the hardware lasts longer and holds its own against precipitation.
Avoid contact with oil-based products for fabrics
Next, avoid using oil-based products on fabrics. Oil weakens the material making it prone to tearing. Additionally, it can stain, making it look unsightly. Therefore, avoid oil-based products when dealing with fabric.
Flip cushions and pillows for even wearing
And finally, flip the cushions and pillows of your furniture to facilitate even wearing. Outdoor furniture will wear, and you should maintain the consistency and speed of wearing by flipping these cushions. This way, you can have items that last a little longer and don’t tear on one side.