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How To Clean Your Outdoor Furniture

Things No One Told You About Building Your Own House


Keeping your outdoor furniture covered will prolong its life. With it being outdoor furniture, it is made to withstand the basic weather, but even so the less exposure, it has to the elements, the better. Aside from covering your furniture, particularly during cold and wet seasons, you will also need to clear away debris, dust, and dirt build up regularly. Sweeping or even spraying down your patio and outdoor furniture is a great place to start. When shopping for patio furniture, consider the upkeep. Find more information on what to look for in patio furniture here.


Metal is a very durable substance and thus is a great choice for outdoor furniture. With metal your biggest worry is rust. Most other stains and marks can be easily wiped away with a little dish soap and water. You can avoid the threat of rust with paint or another rust-resistant finish. However, these things can wear down and rust can prevail. If you do have a rust problem, use a metal sponge and some rust removal to scrub it away.


Plastic is an inexpensive and easy to maintain choice for outdoor furniture. This material is not as durable as metal but also not prone to rust. A simple all-purpose cleaner and cloth is all you need to wipe down this furniture and make it look like new.


For outdoor furniture that is wooden, you should avoid using a power washer as it can damage the wood. Using an oil-based oil with a soft brush or sponge will remove grime and stains without damaging. Hard and soft woods will react differently to cleaning, so be sure to know your wood and what it can handle. If you have a more fragile wood like wicker, you may need to scrub away grime with a gentle sponge or even a toothbrush to remove all of the build-ups. When cleaning your wood, work in small sections and dry entirely. Keep an eye out for any mold or mildew growth.


Fabric can be one of the trickiest materials to keep clean. Usually, the best method is to use mild dish soap and warm water to wipe away any stains or spots. Often time the manufacturer will have instructions for recommended cleaning methods—search your products for this instruction. If possible, remove the fabric to wash it. You may be able to wash it in a washing machine, depending on the fabric, or you may still need. Hang your fabrics out to air dry—a machine dryer may damage them. You can also spray a water-repellant protector on your fabric to avoid stains from the elements.

Sand, Repaint, Replace

When cleaning isn’t enough to make your furniture look new again, you may need to do a little extra work. Some outdoor furniture may need to be sanded down and stained again every once in a while. A new paint job may also spruce up the look. Or when all else fails, you may need to replace your furniture. Because of its consistent exposure, outdoor furniture may not last as long as other furniture.


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