How to Remove Oxidization from Plastic Chairs

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If you have expensive plastic Adirondack chairs or cheap folding plastic chairs for your lawn, deck, or patio, you are probably quite happy with their overall durability.

After all, plastic is pretty tough, mainly if high-quality plastic is used. It is highly resistant to impact, it won’t really degrade due to sunlight, and it is excellent for warding off moisture.

However, you may still face problems with outdoor plastic furniture, and one of them is oxidation.

We want to look closer at the issue of your plastic chairs oxidizing, what causes it, and how to remove oxidization from plastic chairs.

Why do Plastic Chairs Oxidize?

Oxidization is something that is associated with metal. Most of you probably know the term rust, which occurs when metal oxidizes.

When it comes to plastic, it is much the same. That orange, yellow, or brown tinge that builds up on plastic is oxidization.

This happens when various chemicals contained in plastic react with moisture and oxygen. Interestingly enough, the presence of different mold spores can also cause plastic to oxidize.

It’s a natural thing that happens to all outdoor plastic chairs over time. However, there are ways to prevent this from occurring, and there are some excellent ways to remove oxidization from your otherwise good-condition plastic chairs.

Preparing Plastic Chairs to Remove Oxidization

Before you can start removing the oxidization itself, you need to prepare and treat your plastic chairs; this means giving them a good cleaning.

Use warm and soapy water, along with a cloth or soft sponge, and wipe away any dirt that you can see. Don’t use a brush or a rough sponge, as you will scratch the plastic and end up worse than before.

If you have high-quality plastic chairs, you may even be able to use a pressure washer to blast away any and all dirt and grime.

If you have weak or thin plastic chairs, it may be best to avoid the pressure washer, as that pressured water could quite literally break the chair.

If you can use a pressure washer, try it; jet-pressured water might be strong enough to blast away oxidization.

Assuming that you aren’t going to pressure wash the chair, you need to kill off any mold that may have built up.

To do this, you can spray the chair with vinegar, wait for half an hour, and then wipe it down, or you could also use a professional mold remover.

How to Remove Oxidization from Plastic Chairs

3 Ways to Remove Oxidization Stains from Plastic Chairs

There are 3 methods you can use to get rid of those nasty stains on your plastic chairs. Let’s take a look.

1. Baking Soda and Wax

For this method, you need a sponge, some basic wax, and baking soda. Use warm water to wet the sponge and generously sprinkle baking soda on it.

Ensuring that you are fairly gentle, give the chair a good rub with the baking soda-covered sponge. Keep rinsing and adding more baking soda as needed.

Use fresh water to rinse the chair thoroughly, and then let it dry. You can leave it in the sun or just towel it off.

Now that the chair is dry use something like carnauba wax and use a special microfiber cloth to apply it to the chair. You can then buff it for that polished look.

2. A Heat Gun

If you have access to a heat gun, this is probably the easiest way to do it. Turn the heat gun on, point, and shoot.

It might not be that easy because you need to point the heat gun at the chair long enough for the surface to just start melting to get it all glossy but not long enough so that it melts and starts to bubble or burn.

Keep moving, and don’t hold it in one place for too long. This should remove any and all oxidization and should leave the chair looking brand new.

3. Using an Oxidization Remover

If you are in a pinch and just need to clean small spots, you could use an oxidization remover such as CLR (a product designed to remove calcium, lime, and rust).

It will work for small spots, but you may want to avoid using these products on the whole chair.


Because your plastic chairs have some oxidization on them, it doesn’t mean that you need to throw them out. Cleaning it off is fast and straightforward.

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