Spotless sanity: How to clean and maintain your outdoor furniture

The furniture in your home is safe, secure and often enjoys the pampering care of the brush, vacuum cleaner and even the wet cloth once in a while. But what really needs extra care is the furniture outdoors in the patio.

Having been exposed to the fury of the elements all year long, patio furniture often needs that extra bit of attention to keep it going for long. Different materials need to be cared for in different ways to sustain their beauty and utility. But the basics of it are simple, easy to follow and will help save both the attractiveness of your home and the cash in your wallet.

Outdoor furniture enhances the beauty of your outdoor living spaces, but exposure to the elements can lead to dirt, grime, and wear. To keep your outdoor furniture looking pristine and extend its lifespan, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. In this article, we'll explore effective cleaning methods and maintenance tips for various outdoor furniture materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and fabric. Let's dive in!

1. Wooden Furniture:

a. Dust regularly with a soft brush to remove debris.
b. Use a mild soapy solution and a sponge to clean stains.
c. Apply teak or wood oil to protect and maintain the natural finish.
d. Seal or cover during harsh weather conditions to prevent damage.

2. Metal Furniture:

a. Wipe down with a mixture of mild soap and water to remove dirt.
b. Remove rust with a mixture of baking soda and water using a soft cloth.
c. Apply a coat of clear automobile wax to protect against corrosion.
d. Store or cover during the winter months to avoid rust formation.

3. Plastic Furniture:

a. Wash with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent.
b. For tough stains, use a baking soda paste with water.
c. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface.
d. Store in a shaded area or cover to prevent sun damage and fading.

4. Fabric Furniture:

a. Vacuum regularly to remove dust and debris.
b. Spot clean stains using a mixture of mild detergent and water.
c. Check manufacturer instructions before machine washing removable covers.
d. Store cushions indoors during wet weather to prevent mold and mildew.

5. General Maintenance Tips:

a. Check for loose screws or bolts and tighten as needed.
b. Avoid dragging furniture to prevent damage to legs or frames.
c. Use furniture covers during extended periods of non-use to protect against the elements.
d. Consider applying a protective sealant or coating to maintain the furniture's quality.

So let’s get down to understanding the business of cleaning and maintaining outdoor furniture.

Brush away dirt with acre and gentleness

One simple way of taking care of your patio furniture is by brushing away dirt and cleaning them gently on a regular basis. This does not require either much time or great effort. Simply use a nylon cloth or duster along with a leaf blower to just clear the surface. This ensures that dirt won’t stick nor accumulate into something that is hard to get rid of in a few months time. Simple regular care has great benefits compared to the once in a year extensive makeover!

Use a gentle hose to remove stuck dirt and try pressure wash

Hose-away dirt that is stuck on the surface and cannot be removed using just the dusters. Do not ever try to forcefully remove the stain using brute strength or by scratching it mindlessly. This only helps destroy the surface of the furniture. Water is often the best way to cleanse and pressure wash is becoming a popular way of cleaning outdoor furniture. But once you do get this done, sun dry the furniture and then double check it to make sure everything is bone dry.

Scrub off stubborn stains using the right agent

Mild soap and water are excellent agents to scrub off the sticky stains, irrespective of the material of outdoor furniture. It could be aluminum, metal, wrought iron, wicker, plastic of wood, the technique works for all. But makes sure that use very mild soap and the leave the furniture dry.

Polish, Protect and Pain- 3 P’s that never fail

Once you are done with the cleaning part, make sure the wooden and wicker furniture along with the metal and aluminum stuff are properly polished with a protective coating of wax or appropriate agent to protect them from the elements. This offers the automatic protection for a long time. In case you see faults in metal and wooden furniture like rust and irregularities, restore them to prevent the spreading of damage and repaint.

Know the material of your outdoor furniture and treat them accordingly

Apart from teak and cedar, wooden furniture should be stored indoors during the winter. This helps a great deal in protecting and making them look great for years together. Other material like resin and plastic are less harmed by changing weather patterns. While aluminum is an exception, other metals should be kept away from extreme and prolonged exposure to moisture.

By taking care of outdoor furniture and cleaning them regularly, you not only add glittering shine to your own home, but make sure that your investment pays off well. Just remember that if you are bothered enough to clean the furniture inside your home regularly, then it should be no different in case of the expensive stuff on your patio!


Cleaning and maintaining your outdoor furniture not only keeps it spotless but also preserves its appearance and durability. Regular care ensures that your outdoor furniture remains in top condition, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor living spaces to the fullest. With these simple cleaning and maintenance tips for wood, metal, plastic, and fabric furniture, you can keep your outdoor oasis looking pristine and inviting for years to come.

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