How to Clean Outdoor Furniture of All Kinds

by | Mar 29, 2024 | Tips | 0 comments

Would you like to prolong the lifespan of your patio furniture? Uncover the top methods for cleaning and upkeep of every variety of outdoor furniture, ranging from plastic to teak. Through our detailed guide, you can maintain a spotless outdoor area while safeguarding your investment.

Materials Needed for Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

Clean outdoor furniture is important for creating an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space as well as keeping it safe from harm. The materials needed for cleaning outdoor furniture depend on the type of materials used to make the furniture and how much dirt is collected. In general, you will need cleaning products, water, and household items like a broom or brush, garden hose, bucket and a few rags. Here are some tips on what you’ll need:

  • Cleaning Products: Choose gentle soap or mild detergent to clean your outdoor furniture. For tougher stains or areas of heavy dirt accumulation, you may need to use a stronger cleaner. Always make sure that whatever cleaning product you choose will not damage your furniture’s paintwork or finish before using it.
  • Water: Most of the time garden hoses are used for cleaning outdoor furniture but if your hose does not reach then it may be easier to use buckets of water for rinsing items off after washing them with soap or detergents.
  • Brush/Broom/Cloth: A brush is best suited for heavier dirt particles collected in small areas while a broom can clear away dust which has settled on tables and chairs over time. Cloths are best used in combination with cleaning products and can help remove stuck-on grime from the surfaces of the pieces being cleaned. Be sure to use clean cloths at all times when dealing with kitchenware- they should never be reused!
  • Garden Hose: This is generally most people’s first choice when it comes to cleaning their outdoor furniture because it’s relatively easy and convenient. You’ll need one with variable spray settings so that you can easily rinse off chairs and tables without damaging them in the process – this can also help speed up the drying process afterward so that no moisture gets trapped inside wood or metal parts making them prone to corroding over time if not properly taken care off!

Cleaning Process for Plastic Furniture

Cleaning outdoor plastic furniture is easy, but how you clean it depends on the condition of the item. For furniture that still has its color and isn’t too dirty, a simple cleaning with warm water and mild soap may be enough to restore the original luster. The most important part of this process is to dry the piece thoroughly. Otherwise, mold may form on it if left in damp conditions.

For dirtier plastic pieces, something a bit more powerful may be needed. Consider using a strong household cleaner like Soft Scrub or bleach diluted with water for tougher spots. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after use to remove all soap residue or any hint of bleach smell from the furniture. Additionally, you should use extra caution when using stronger products to protect any nearby vegetation from harmful chemicals and fumes.

Finally, once the cleaning is complete and your plastic furniture is free from dirt or any unsightly marks, it’s time to polish! This step will give your outdoor plastic furniture an extra layer of protection against dust and dirt build-up that comes with regular use in an outdoor environment. A good all-purpose wax can work wonders on adding luster back into your outdoor plastics so they look new again!

Cleaning Process for Wood Furniture

Cleaning wood outdoor furniture is best done twice a year and more often if you notice mildew on the wood. Before you start, inspect the furniture and remove any insects or pests that may have made it their home.

Begin by brushing off dirt, leaves and debris to prevent any further damage. If necessary, use a gentle detergent and water with a soft brush. Use long strokes along the grain of the wood to avoid scratches or abrasions. Rinse with clean water from a hose and allow your furniture to dry in the sun or wipe dry with a soft cloth.

If your furniture has mildew or mold present on the surface, use a solution of three parts vinegar to one part water as an all-natural cleaning option, paying close attention to deep crevices and stains where mildew can hide. Allow it sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing gently again with a soft bristle brush or cloth following the grain of the wood once more. Rinse off with clean water and air dry in direct sunlight – this will keep mold at bay after cleaning thanks to freshly exposed pores in your wood that are now free of dirt, allergens, bacteria and mildew spores.

Cleaning Process for Metal Furniture

Metal furniture requires a slightly different approach for cleaning than other materials like wood and plastic. To effectively clean metal pieces you should use the following process:

  1. Start by gently brushing any muck and grime off of the furniture with a soft bristle brush or microfiber cloth. Concentrate on areas where there is visible dirt or debris.
  2. For heavier dirt or stains, mix together a solution of warm water and mild dish soap in a bucket. Dip the cloth in the solution and wring it out before wiping over the furniture, working from top to bottom to avoid streaks. Re-dip your cloth into the soapy solution as needed.
  3. Rinse off any remaining soap from your metal furniture with cool water either from a hose or bucketfuls of fresh water, wringed out from your cleaning cloths (for more delicate pieces).
  4. Once dry, remember to condition your metal furniture regularly to prevent rusting!

Cleaning Process for Wicker Furniture

Due to its intricate weaving, wicker furniture may take more time for cleaning than other forms of outdoor furniture. To keep your wicker furniture in top condition, use the following steps:

  1. Sweep the surface with a dry, soft brush to remove any dirt or debris that may have collected on the furnishing.
  2. Dip a clean cloth in warm water mixed with mild dish soap and wipe off the surface thoroughly. For hard-to-remove dirt and stains, you can use a soft bristle brush.
  3. Rinse with cold clean water using a fresh cloth or sponge until all soap residue is gone.
  4. If you’re dealing with mildew spots, mix 1 cup of bleach or vinegar with 2 gallons of cold water and dampen a sponge to scrub away at the affected areas before rinsing off with clear water once more.
  5. Dry completely if needed – allow to air dry if possible and make sure no moisture is left in any area which could cause discoloration or warping over time. Make sure you restore it back outside when fully dried!

Tips for Maintaining the Cleanliness of Outdoor Furniture

Maintaining outdoor furniture should be an important part of every homeowner’s routine. In order to keep outdoor furniture looking its best, several techniques must be employed, including both preventative and active maintenance. This guide will provide useful tips for keeping outdoor furniture clean, looking great, and lasting for years!

Preventative Maintenance Tips:

  • Limit exposure to direct sunlight if possible. Direct sunlight can fade the exterior of certain materials and can cause discoloration over time.
  • Avoid contact with water and other elements from rain or snow which can cause rusting, warping, mold growth, etc.
  • Regularly inspect metal fasteners and bolts that may become loose over time, as this could shorten the lifespan of the furniture greatly.
  • Using covers when possible is a recommended way of protecting your outdoor furniture from the elements.
  • Clean all pieces periodically with mild soap and warm water to prevent dirt buildup or staining due to pollen or other airborne agents.

Stain Removal Tips:

  • Blot spills immediately with a cloth or paper towel before they have a chance to set in place.
  • Attempt to remove stains using non-abrasive tools such as soft cloths or sponges soaked in hot water and mild soap solution– avoid scrubbing!
  • For more challenging spots like dried paint spills use mineral spirits on a cloth which should not damage the finish on most outdoor materials but always test first on an inconspicuous area before taking action on larger surfaces.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach which can cause discoloration as well as weakening of the material’s structure over time– stick with natural cleaning solutions whenever possible!

General Care Tips:

  • Always remember that regular care is essential for prevention of dirt buildup and eventual wear & tear on your furniture’s surfaces; avoiding these steps will lead to problems down the road so it’s better not to skip them!
  • Brush cushions frequently (at least once every couple weeks) if you have them made from synthetic fabrics such as polyester blends or micro suede that could require fluffing due to flattening from being outside all day long in rain/sunlight etc…
  • Inspect all pieces seasonally for signs of damage due to weather conditions; this is necessary especially if you live in an area prone to temperature extremes year round as both cold winters & hot summers can take their toll even if your piece is otherwise well cared for!

Importance of Regular Cleaning for Outdoor Furniture

Keeping your outdoor furniture clean is an important part of protecting it from sun, wind and rain damage. Regular cleaning with a garden hose and non-abrasive soap will remove dust, pollen and other pollutants which will help keep the surface in good condition.

Without regular cleaning, these pollutants get embedded into the material where they weaken the furniture’s fibers and increase the chances of breakage or fading. Furthermore, regular cleaning prevents dirt, mold and mildew buildup which can cause rusting or permanent discoloration on metal furniture.

Additionally it is important to ensure that wood furniture is regularly assessed to ensure that any damage caused by weather exposure has been identified and treated. A quality wood sealant should also be applied every one to two years based on environmental conditions in order to extend its life expectancy.

Hire a Cleaning Company

Hiring a professional cleaning company to clean your outdoor furniture may seem like a big expense, but it can provide to be a great asset in term of convenience and quality of results. Most reputable cleaning companies will arrive at your property with the right tools and supplies designed specifically for deep-cleaning outdoor furniture. This ensures that all dirt, debris, and dust is removed without causing any damage to the furniture’s surface. Additionally, experienced cleaners will be able to tackle both light and heavy soiling easily using specialized cleaning agents that are formulated for various kinds of materials such as plastic, rattan, aluminum or wood.

Also hiring professionals can save you time as they would have all the equipment required for the job including brush hoses, pressure washers and other special tools. These experienced cleaners have years of experience in dealing with different types of stubborn dirt and dirt. They have better knowledge on which cleaner is safe to use on specific materials so they can tailor-fit their cleaning plans accordingly.

Go ahead and spend some money on hiring professional cleaners so that you’ll enjoy your clean and neat outdoor furniture right away!


Cleaning outdoor furniture may seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and materials, you can get the job done quickly and easily. Always make sure to use cleaning solutions that are formulated specifically for outdoor furniture in order to protect its durability. Taking the time to properly clean your outdoor furniture can also help to ensure a long-lasting piece that you’ll be able to enjoy for many years.

Finally, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance of the specific type of outdoor furniture that you have chosen in order to ensure it is cared for properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of materials are safe to use when cleaning outdoor furniture?

You should use a mild dish soap and warm water to clean most types of outdoor furniture. For pieces made of plastic, resin, or metal, use a soft bristle brush and a solution of mild soap and warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, steel wool, and harsh scrubbing pads, as they can scratch the furniture surface.

What should I do to protect my outdoor furniture?

After cleaning, you can protect your outdoor furniture by applying a coat of paste wax or furniture oil. You can also use a furniture spray that contains UV protectants to help minimize fading from the sun. To keep your furniture looking its best, cover it with a waterproof furniture cover when not in use.

How can I remove mold from outdoor furniture?

To remove mold from outdoor furniture, first use a soft brush to scrub the surface of the furniture with a mix of warm water and a mild bleach solution (1 cup of bleach per gallon of water). Once the mold is removed, rinse the furniture off with clean water and let it dry completely. If the mold persists, use a stronger solution of bleach and water. After cleaning, protect the furniture with a coat of paste wax or furniture oil.