How to Clean Patio Furniture

You love spending time outdoors and your patio furniture is the perfect place to do so, especially on a warm, sunny day. Just like indoor furniture, however, your patio furniture can use a good cleaning from time to time to keep it looking great. 

Whether you’ve never even thought about cleaning your patio furniture or you think it an exercise in futility – it’s outside, after all – then these tips are for you. Here are a few helpful suggestions for cleaning all types of outdoor furnishings. 

Patio Furniture Cushions

Today’s patio furniture cushions typically have synthetic covers and polyester fill so they can withstand the elements. This makes them quite easy to clean. Weekly, hose the cushions down and stand them on end in the sun until they are dry. 

If there is mildew present, use a solution of 3 gallons warm water, a cup of bleach, and ¼ cup laundry detergent. Pour the solution over the cushion(s) and leave it to dry completely in the sun. 

Cleaning Different Types of Outdoor Furniture Materials

Outdoor furniture can be made using a wide range of materials. While these materials are durable, each type requires specialized care, so it lasts as long as possible. 

Aluminum – wash aluminum furniture with a mild detergent and treat with automotive wax at least twice a year. Keep in mind that sunscreen can stain many patio furniture materials, so use a towel to protect it if you have sunscreen on. 

Plastic – plastic doesn’t need much care other than periodic cleaning with mild soap and water. You can polish it, if you like, with automotive wax each season. 

Teak – outdoor teak furniture is long-lasting but avoid using teak oil on it because it attracts dust. Instead, use a mild soap and rinse well. Try to keep teak furniture in the sun as dampness causes it to mildew quickly. 

Vinyl – Use soapy water to clean vinyl outdoor furniture. Avoid using bleach as it can damage the surface.

Wicker – wicker furniture need only be cleaned once a year unless there’s a spill. Use a mild soap and water solution and a toothbrush to clean the piece well. Rinse and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before using it again. Avoid placing wicker furniture in the sun as it rots faster. Also avoid covering wicker with plastic as it mildews quickly. 

Wood – clean outdoor wood furniture once or twice a year with mild soap and rinse well. Use a scrub brush as necessary to remove stains or stuck-on debris. Store wooden furniture indoors in the winter if you can. 

Wrought Iron – use soap and water to clean wrought iron and then polish. Treat any rust spots as soon as possible to keep them from spreading. During winter months, store wrought iron furnishings inside or cover it with a tarp. Patio Tables – it can be difficult getting a patio table clean, especially if it’s made of glass. Streaks are almost always a problem. The trick is to turn the table on its side. Hose the table off, wash with a mild soap, and rinse well. Use a soft cloth to dry the table before standing it upright again.