Cleaning Plastic Handrails

Plastic resins make durable handrails and outdoor furnishings. The materials typically have a protective coating that makes cleaning a breeze. Don’t use alkaline cleaners, such as trisodium phosphate, or abrasive cleansing powders on plastic handrails. These cleaners can scratch the finish, which will attract dirt and make cleaning more difficult in the future. Instead, use mild household cleaners to remove dirt, grime and water spots.

You need bucket, liquid dish detergent, microfiber cloth, chlorine bleach, vinegar, spray bottle, butter knife and toothbrush. Fill a bucket with warm water and add three to four squirts of liquid dish detergent. Dip a microfiber cloth in the bucket and wring it out. Wash the handrail thoroughly with the cloth, scrubbing to remove scuffs and stains. Rinse the cloth in clean water and wring it out. Wipe the handrail to remove any soap residue.


Add 1 cup chlorine bleach to the cleaning solution to remove stains, such as food dyes. Apply the solution to the stain and wait 10 minutes. Rinse and wipe dry. Do not mix chlorine bleach with vinegar or ammonia, as toxic fumes may result.

Mix one part vinegar to four parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on white or gray water spots. Wait 10 minutes to allow the acid in the vinegar time to break down the minerals in the spots. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry.

Wrap the butter knife in the microfiber cloth or use a toothbrush to reach nooks and crannies. Scrub out dirt and grime.

Tips and Warnings

1. Microfiber cloths have tiny fibers that catch dirt, requiring less effort and cleaners for good results.
2. Constant exposure to sunlight may yellow your plastic handrail. Replacement is the only solution.

Tags: cleaning tips, home improvement

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