When choosing patio furniture, buyers are given so many options to fit their lifestyle, their climate, their location, and their preference. Outdoor furniture made from the good old wood is timeless and classic. It’s beautiful, strong, durable, and depending on the species, is highly weather-resistant. There are also furniture made from aluminum and stainless steel that will give your patio a contemporary twist. Aluminum is known for its excellent corrosion resistant quality and stainless steel is very sleek and will add a modern touch to your space. There are also wrought iron furniture that is reminiscent of Victorian style gardens with metal benches. Tea time is a must on a glass top table with a wrought iron base. There’s also concrete which is the sturdiest and heaviest material. While you think it’s just this boring slab of gray, it comes in a variety of finishes you can choose from and is easy to maintain.
Then there’s plastic patio furniture. Your run-of-the-mill monoblock chairs and tables that have been described as the world’s most common plastic furniture. Don’t be fooled though, plastic furniture now comes in different styles and in different colors. While you discover and go through the different options for plastic patio furniture, you can also learn the different plastic materials and how they are cleaned and maintained.
Abbreviated as PP, it is the material that a monoblock chair is made of. Polypropylene is an addition polymer made from the propylene monomers and is used in a variety of applications. One such application is that of furniture. Polypropylene furniture is a cheaper alternative to high-end materials like wood. It is lightweight, easy to clean, durable and is weather-resistant when subject to different conditions. Choosing UV resistant furniture further makes it a durable choice.
Cleaning PP furniture is such a breeze and does not even need any special cleaners. You can easily hose it down and just let it dry. For stubborn stains, you can use a mixture of warm water, laundry detergent and a capful of bleach per liter of water and give your furniture a good scrubbing. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser also does wonders for hard to remove stains. Cleaning and wiping with a soft cloth on a regular basis can make it look as good as new.
Bonus Tip: If you’re tired of the look of your PP furniture, you can update it in a different color using spray paint. Use a satin finish which doesn’t fade as fast as its glossy finish counterpart. You can also use a fine sandpaper to remove light dents and scratches which PP furniture is prone to.
Also known as all-weather wicker or synthetic resin wicker, it is intended to look like real wicker but is more durable than natural wicker. Wicker isn’t actually a material but a weaving technique which uses cane-like materials such as bamboo, rattan, and reed. Real wicker has a comforting allure to it that is both homey and warm. It’s lightweight as well and often paired with a fabric cushion for a more comfortable feel. As much as it is loved, it doesn’t do well in outdoor conditions which is why people came up with resin wicker.
Resin wicker is made from different types of plastic: polyethylene, nylon, PVC, and HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene, the latter being the most durable. HDPE is harder and can withstand higher temperature which are properties that make resin wicker furniture better than natural wicker for outdoor use.
Like any other plastic furniture, resin wicker requires little maintenance and is very straightforward when it comes to cleaning. A simple blast of water from a hose or vacuuming on a regular basis will ensure that no dust is stuck in between the layers of a weave. Mild detergent and a small soft brush followed up with a spray of water are all it takes to clean it. Bleach mixed with water to remove mold and mildew or bird droppings will also help. Others choose to apply a bit of car wax on the outer layer to give it a bit of shine.
Recycled plastic, also known as plastic lumber is a material that resembles wood but is made entirely out of 100% plastic. It is widely used in decking and in outdoor furniture such as benches and porch swings uses synthetic wood. Plastic lumber is made from a mixture of either virgin plastic or waste plastics. It can also be shaped and bent using regular woodworking tools. It is waterproof making it resistant to rot, mold, and mildew as well as insect damages.