Cleaning Home, DIY and Garden Non Featured

How to Clean Your Patio and Outdoor Furniture

ClickHowTo Team
Written by ClickHowTo Team

When you keep your patio clean regularly, it will look brand new all the time. It will be inviting and comfortable for your family and your houseguests. When it comes to making your patio deck look worthy of having company, you need to have the right tools before you begin. You should purchase products that can both clean and protect your furniture against individual outdoor variables such as; dirt, water damage, mould, wear and tear, bird droppings, and any scattered debris that might be in the way. Patio furniture consists of several different items, which includes plastic patio chairs, vinyl umbrellas, cushions, and furniture includes resin outdoor furniture, metal chair frames and umbrella stands, wicker patio sets, and powder coated frames.

To begin, clear the decks, so you have room to clean the furniture. Your patio furniture will wear down due to inclement weather conditions, such as the sun, rain, snow, and extreme temperature changes. Different types of furniture require different methods of cleaning. Maintaining the integrity of your patio furniture will also help save money because then your furniture doesn’t wear down too soon and you don’t have to buy a whole new set.

Teak wood furniture stand on the terrace

Whether the patio furniture is wood, metal, plastic, aluminium, fabric, or wicker, the first steps to cleaning the patio furniture are always the same. First, you have to sweep the patio and remove any leaves, and soil from the flower pots so that you can make the area and have better space to clean. If there is any weed growth, you should aim to pre-treat these with a good weed killer before the actual cleaning. If you are using certain kinds of chemicals, you should be careful because some can and will damage plants and grass, which is not okay. You need to vacuum the loose debris and wash down everything with soapy water and scrub with a brush. Then, you should allow it to dry, which further protects the furniture from rain or snow.

Depending upon the type of furniture that you own, you will have to clean it a certain way. Typically, you would spray the cleaning solution on every surface. Then, use a soft bristle brush to clean the surface. Then, you would rinse and repeat and make sure you remove any stubborn and visible stains.

For example, wood furniture made of red or white cedar, which is soft, don’t scrub against the grain, go with it. If you think your chaise lounge needs another cleaning, just use some dishwasher soap. When you see that the wood is dry, you should use a sanding sponge to smooth any rough spots. Just be sure to go with the flow of the wood. In the case of wood furniture, you might want to try one of the new wood stains that protect wood from the elements and prove to last longer. Sun and rain are enemies of outdoor furniture and stains are a good option because they won’t peel.

Next, in the case of metal furniture, which tends to rust, using steel wool or sandpaper is helpful to maintain a polished appearance. Make sure to clean and remove rust very carefully and efficiently. Rust can severely damage metal, and it can create permanent marks if not cleaned properly. If traditional methods are used to clean the rust off do not work, vinegar is also a good option.

Plastic furniture will clean up with dishwasher soap. Take a quarter cup of dishwasher detergent and up to 2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach per gallon of water and proceed to remove mildew stains. Rinse and let dry. When the furniture is dry, polish it with car wax. Aluminum furniture requires a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Clean the surface with dishwashing detergent and use a sponge to wipe away debris. When finished, rinse off with water and let dry. For wicker, use a sponge or a rag on traditional wicker that’s painted, so the paint doesn’t chip off.

For outdoor fabrics, a necessary cleaning with soap and water is usually safe. Some cushion covers may be removable so that you can wash it in the washing machine, but do not use the dryer because of shrinking. Mildew stains on this type of fabric are common, so try using one a cup of water, mixed with a tablespoon of bleach. Bleach will eradicate the stain without damaging the quality of the fabric. Outdoor cushions usually have a stuffing that rejects mildew, but you should still dry them as soon as possible. For covers with zippers, unzip and give them a shake and allow drying in the sun. Do not wrap the cushions in plastic because of mildew.

When it comes to removing mould and mildew, there are also different methods to cleaning patio furniture, depending on the colour of it. If the patio furniture is white, apply a solution of one part bleach and four parts water in a pump up sprayer. Leave it on for approximately 15 minutes, then rinse and allow for it to dry. With coloured furniture, apply a solution of a quarter cup white vinegar to one quart of water in a pump up sprayer. Follow the directions above and allow for it to dry.

Deck Cleaning

Just like with patio furniture, not all decks cut from the same material. Just make sure to treat the stains properly, and also be careful with how you wash off the deck. Some types of cleaning taint and degrade the quality of the wood. To protect your outdoor furniture from stains is imperative to use a product that will prevent any fading or cracking. Cleaning your patio can be a challenging and time-consuming task, but if you follow these simple instructions, and consistently maintain a clean deck and patio furniture, your outdoor patio will remain in excellent condition for many years to come.

About the author

ClickHowTo Team

ClickHowTo Team