Plastics in Sunshine

Many plastics deteriorate in direct sunshine. They may become hard or soft or brittle, or distorted. The reason is that the same rays which dull car paint and fade colored cloth also deteriorate plastics. The longer they are exposed to sunshine, the greater the deterioration.

Some plastics have been specifically formulated to minimize the effects of the suns rays, and are more suitable for outdoor use. But even plastic items that we might think should have this special formulation may not. And the damage is cumulative.

The plastic shroud or trim on your lawn mower or weed cutter, or your plastic Gasoline can, and even your hose nozzle may be damaged if allowed to remain in bright sunshine for extended periods of time.  It is best to put them in a shady spot after intermittent use and store them indoors away from windows during long periods of inactivity.

Not only the sun can effect garden plastics. Insects, Wasps, Bees, Spiders, and Mice can also cause malfunctions of hoses, sprinklers, sprayers, pumps, irrigators, and various other items.

Insects, wasps, and spiders can clog nozzles with their dead bodies and webs. Various bees and wasps build nests using paper and mud. Mice build nests in any crevice that will allow them entrance. Their excrement is an additional nuisance.

For these reasons, it is best to store plastics out of the direct rays of the sun when they are not in use. Garden hoses may be coiled in the shade of a tree or roof overhang, if an attachment covers the end to prevent entrance of insects and creatures.

The best storage is a plastic bag or container with a tight-fitting lid which will also exclude dust and dirt. Clear plastics also allow instant identification of their contents .