Removing Stains from Plastic

by Amy Gordon
(last updated March 28, 2016)

Plastic today is as inseparable a part of modern urban life as pollution, because it is such a wonderfully versatile material that one can do anything with. However, in our enthusiasm for all things plastic, we often forget that it requires maintenance if it is to retain its durability and looks. The good news is that a few basic steps can actually keep plastic surfaces and objects in your home stain free, so that removing stains from plastic is no longer a difficult task.

Once a week, clean your plastics with a solution of warm water and mild detergent. The process is simple: just apply the solution on the surface and wipe it off until the soapy feeling disappears. Alternatively, you can use an all-purpose household cleaner. However, take care to use scrubbers that are non-abrasive. Also, use only non-scouring powders; otherwise you can scratch the plastic surface while cleaning. Quite apart from aesthetic considerations, scratches leave the surface prone to staining. One way to protect plastic surfaces from staining is to apply a coat of cleaner wax, which then must be reapplied at regular intervals. In any case, here are some tips on removing stains from plastic. The good news is that you won't have to struggle with common domestic stains like drinks and crayon.

  • Food and beverage. Though beer will not cause stains on plastic, tea and coffee will. Also in the staining category are acidic fruit juices and water. However, most of these stains disappear if treated with a solution of water and a mild detergent or a standard household cleaner. Remember to use a soft scrubber. For food dye and such chemicals as gelatin, spills must be blotted immediately. In case of residual stains from food dyes, apply rubbing alcohol to them and allow it to sit for some time. Next, pour some chlorine bleach on the area and let it sit for a few minutes. Finally, rinse the area with water. If you are not comfortable with using chlorine bleach, use a solution of white vinegar and water.
  • Ink. Other than food, about the only substance that causes serious stains on plastic is ink, particularly of the indelible variety. Usually, a combination of strong household cleaner and water is enough to treat such stains. Once you spray on the cleaner, wait for about ten minutes and then blot it with a clean, damp cloth and rinse. You can also try applying chlorine bleach, but don't leave it on for more than two minutes and rinse it thoroughly afterward.
  • Oils. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the affected area. Once it has dried and hardened, blot it with a soft damp cloth and rinse away the residue.

Though I know how to remove many kinds of stains, I can't tell you how to remove hair dye stains from plastic. That is because it can't be done, so do not get hair dye or any other bleach stains on to your plastic laminates. Also, while removing stains from plastic, do not use solvents that are highly inflammable near a heat source. Heat can also warp or melt plastic.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

MORE FROM AMY

Cleaning Books

These useful tips can help you to keep all of your books clean and inviting for everyone in the family. Dust, mold, mildew, ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Thermos Flask

Thermos flasks, because of their depth, can be as hard to clean as bottles. You can scrub out a thermos with a cloth at the ...

Discover More

Removing Stains from Sinks

Stainless steel sinks can get stained, which can make your kitchen ugly and unhygienic. The color of the stain is significant ...

Discover More

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Like New Bona's hardwood floor cleaner is the #1 choice of professionals. The no-residue formula is specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment. Check out Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill today!

MORE CLEANING TIPS

Removing Stains from Vinyl Tablecloths

While vinyl is a really durable, and easy to maintain material, that doesn't mean that you won't need to do some periodic ...

Discover More

Removing Grout Stains

Mold and mildew tend to build up between bathroom tiles. To remove these growths, you'll need to scrub first with water, then ...

Discover More

Cleaning Huge Limescale Buildups

If you have a water source in your home then chances are you face the potential problem of limescale buildup. Cleaning huge ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
  • Ask a Question
  • Make a Comment
  • Free Printable Forms
  • Free Calendars
  • Share