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! ...

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