Patio Furniture Cleaning & Care Guide

High-quality outdoor furniture is built to weather the elements for years. That doesn’t mean, however, that a little 4C can’t help to extend its useful life and keep it looking great longer. 

Maintaining these pieces doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require an understanding of how to clean and care for different types of materials and a commitment to do it on a regular basis throughout the year. 

How to clean outdoor furniture

No matter how careful you are, something is bound to spill on your patio furniture. Maybe someone drops guacamole on the cushions of your sectional deck sofa or tips over a glass wine onto the dining table in your screened-in porch.

 Suntan lotion is bound to get wiped onto poolside sunloungers at some point, and those are just of few of the ways people can muck up your pristine outdoor setting. Mother nature has plenty of tactics too. Wind, rain, sun, trees, bugs, 


critters and many more things can dirty up and damage your furniture if you don’t take preventative steps and clean it regularly. But woods, metals and plastics all need to be attended to a little differently.

Woods – Cleaning tips for wooden outdoor furniture

Most wooden garden tables and seating are constructed from hardwoods that can be cleaned and cared for in a similar fashion.

1. Remove light debris with a soft nylon bristled brush

2. Clean the surface using a sponge or damp cloth with mild household soap and lukewarm water

3. Soak up any excess water with a microfiber or lint-free cloth

4. Allow the wood to dry naturally

5. Using outdoor furniture covers

If you’re letting the woodgrain patina (typically fade to a lighter color), then you can get by with cleaning wooden patio furniture once or twice a year. If you want to retain the wood’s natural brown color, 

you’ll need to clean it more regularly 

and treat it with furniture oil and possibly a light layer of sealant .The frequency is dependent on your climate and if the furniture is sheltered. Drier climates or areas with more sun exposure 

will require more frequent maintenance. Spills should be cleaned immediately to minimize potential staining.

Metals – General guidelines to clean metal patio furniture frames

Metallic patio furniture looks amazing when new, but can become a point of embarrassment if neglected and allowed to rust or stain. Most frames are easily cleaned in a similar fashion, 

but each metal has its own characteristics and nuanced care.

1. Remove any upholstered cushions or decorative throw pillows

2. Lightly spray the metal outdoor furniture frames with a garden hose to wash away the most significant pieces of dirt and debris

3. Wipe the metallic surfaces down using a soft cloth soaked in soapy water

4. Rinse the cloth off and repeat wiping with clean water

5. Dry with a microfiber or low abrasion cloth

Be sure to pay attention to the underside as well as any joints. Avoid using any acid, solvent or alcohol-based cleansers or abrasive brushes or pads that may scratch the surface.

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