Keeping your patio furniture clean can help your favorite outdoor lounge space stay comfy and welcoming all year long. But what you may not know is how to clean patio furniture and keep it in good condition all year round.
But fear not, patio dwellers and denizens of the outdoors. Keep reading for our top tips for cleaning outdoor furniture and keeping your furniture looking fantastic between cleans.
How to Clean Patio Furniture: A Step-By-Step Guide
Now that you know the general rules of keeping your patio furniture clean and preventing grime with covers or through off-season storage, it’s helpful to have a guide on how to clean outdoor furniture. Here’s your step-by-step guide:
- Prepare your cleaner – A mild dish soap mixed with warm water does nicely for cutting through the grime and built-up dirt. Mix your cleaning solution in a bucket and then apply it using a clean, soft rag or sponge, or use a spray bottle for direct application.
- Remove loose dirt – Clean off the loose dirt and grime with either a rag or soft-bristled brush. For wicker furniture or woven rope furniture, you can also use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove dirt from the weave.
- Scrub – Scrub the furniture with a soft brush or clean rag, paying special attention to joints, nooks, cracks, and crevices where dirt and grime tend to collect. If you struggle to remove dirt from small spaces, try using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Clean outdoor cushions, canvas, and accent pillows – Wondering the best method for how to clean outdoor cushions? In some cases, to clean patio furniture cushions, you can remove the covers and immerse the cushion lining in soapy water. If not, gently scrub the fabric with a sponge or soft-bristled brush. Be sure to remove outdoor patio cushions and accent pillows from the furniture base to clean the undersides.
- Rinse – The next step is to remove the dish soap or mild detergent and water completely from the furniture. You don't want any residue to remain as this can lead to spotting and staining.
- Dry – Some patio furniture can sit and dry in the sun or shade and does not need to be dried off. Materials like wicker and aluminum can air or sundry well. However, wood furniture needs to be toweled off to remove excess water and prevent spotting. Then, it can be left to dry the rest of the way in the sun.
Using Prevention to Keep Your Patio Furniture Clean
There’s an old saying that goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The same applies when it comes to keeping outdoor furniture clean. Keeping your furniture safe from dirt, dust, pollen, and other outdoor flotsam goes a long way to keeping it clean—and making those periodic deep cleans more manageable. Here are three preventative steps to take now.
#1 Buy High-Quality Patio Furniture
The best way to prevent furniture from getting too weathered and dirty is by investing in high-quality furnishings that take an active role in their own maintenance by using:
- Weather-resistant cushion fabrics like Sunbrella
- Durable, weather-safe woods and metals
That said, no matter how well-made your furniture is, you also need to know how best to maintain it. For example, how you care for teak furniture differs from how you should maintain aluminum furniture or coated metal furniture.
Knowing your materials and their care instructions will keep you from causing more harm than good to your outdoor furniture by cleaning it with abrasive or harsh cleaners that can cause:
- Wear to weatherproof finish
#2 Spot Clean Patio Furniture On Sight
Address any spills or stains immediately once you notice them. To spot clean sudden stains or signs of grime between more extensive cleaning, gently blot problem areas with either a clean cloth or a paper towel instead of scrubbing to prevent additional staining.
Even after a quick clean, be sure to remove all dish soap and water from the surface of your furniture by drying it with a clean cloth or towel. Standing water or mild detergent residue can stain furniture.
#3 Cover and Store Your Patio Furniture
Covering or storing your outdoor patio furniture when you aren’t using it is a key preventative measure. Furniture covers work great for overnight use or during bad weather. In the off-season, moving your furniture into your garage or storage shed will effectively extend the life of your pieces and greatly reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do. If you don’t have the space, a self-storage unit might be the solution.
Know Your Patio Furniture Materials
When you think about how to clean outdoor furniture, the material matters. For example, a beautiful teak wood table might require different care than something crafted of wicker. Research different materials to determine the best ways to keep them clean. This will ensure that you’re doing everything the right way, and it’ll help to preserve the furniture, too.
Never use harsh abrasive cleaners or brushes with metal bristles to clean outdoor furniture. These items can cause permanent scratches and could remove the finish, exposing the furniture to moisture that can cause more damage later on. You can keep metal clean with a simple wipe of a wet rag, while other materials may require a little bit more TLC.
Here are a few more specific types of furniture materials and how you can better keep each of them clean.
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture Cushions
From accent chairs and sofas to loveseats and sectionals, your outdoor cushions must be clean and sanitary. Many brands offer removable, machine-washable covers that make keeping the cushions clean a breeze.
However, if your cushions aren’t removable or you just need to do some spot cleaning, it’s easy to make a DIY cleaning solution.
- Simply mix one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with one quart of warm water and a tablespoon of Borax.
- Wet a sponge with the mixture or put it in a spray bottle to fully saturate the cushions on all sides.
- Allow the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes, then spray it off with a hose.
- Let the cushions air dry before putting them back on your furniture.
Wicker Furniture Care
When cleaning outdoor furniture made of wicker, you’ll want to use a gentle formula of ¼ cup of dish soap and two cups of warm water. Always wipe your wicker furniture with a soft cloth or sponge, then rinse it clean with your garden hose.
If your wicker furniture has any mold or mildew, you can add one cup of white vinegar to help remove it safely. A soft brush or toothbrush is great for scrubbing in those small nooks and crannies, but be sure to rinse it clean after you’re done.
A handheld steam cleaner is also a great way to clean wicker patio furniture that’s extremely dirty or dingy. The key is to follow up by drying the furniture using a hairdryer to help it keep its shape.
Teak Furniture Cleaning Tips
Teak wood is a durable, beautiful material that should last you many years. However, this outdoor furniture can still get dirty when it’s exposed to the elements.
To keep your teak furniture clean, wipe spills immediately using a soft, dry cloth or paper towel. Never scrub your teak furniture with a stiff-bristled brush or anything abrasive, as this can leave permanent scratches on the wood’s surface.
A simple mixture of extremely mid dish soap and clean water should do the trick when you’re cleaning outdoor furniture made of teak. Just like your wicker or metal furniture, you’ll need to rinse it clean with a hose, then make sure that it dries completely before using it.
Keep these tips in mind, and your outdoor furniture should stay clean and beautiful for many seasons to come.
Try Simple Cleaning Methods When Cleaning Your Patio Furniture
One can easily wipe most types of outdoor furniture clean. Make sure that you address spills immediately by blotting them dry with a clean cloth or a paper towel. You can use a combination of gentle dish soap and water to clean most all-weather wicker furniture.
Gently scrub the furniture to remove dirt and grime, then pat it dry with another clean cloth or towel. You can do the same thing with teak furniture. Just make sure that once you’re done scrubbing, you rinse the soapy residue clean with a garden hose. Avoid the use of chemicals to clean your outdoor furniture unless the product is specifically recommended.
With these simple tips in mind, you can easily clean your outdoor furniture and help keep it looking fresh and new all summer long.
Elevate The Outdoors With Harbor Classic
When your outdoor patio furniture is made from high-quality materials that are designed to stand up to outside grime and inclement weather, you’re guaranteed to have an easier time keeping them clean—and enjoying them for years to come. So, check patio furniture buying guide articles to know what materials are best for your patio.
The stylish, inspired designs in the collections from Harbor Classic offer quality, beauty, and durability, for living solutions that transform your outside into an oasis. Discover more today.
How to Clean Patio Furniture Conclusion
A great looking patio allows you to enjoy outdoor spaces like never before, but the outdoors can also be messy at times. So learning how to clean your patio furniture the right way will help keep your outdoor patio space looking its best so that you can spend plenty of time enjoying it on your own, with family, or when entertaining guests.
So use this guide on how to clean patio furniture to keep your outdoor pieces looking great and ready to be used.
HGTV. Are You Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture the Right Way? https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/outdoor-spaces/how-to-clean-outdoor-furniture