The Complete Guide to Cleaning Patio Furniture

The Complete Guide to Cleaning Patio Furniture

Care instructions are usually included for cleaning patio furniture. Over the years, these instructions have a tendency to get lost. Instead of throwing up your arms in surrender, use the following tips for how to clean your outdoor furniture.

Clean for the Type of Furniture

Slatted patio chair and small round table

You can clean most patio furniture with soap and water. A pressure washer with 1200 to 1350 psi is useful on a low setting for cleaning many types of patio furniture, as you can read in our guides to cleaning Plastic Lawn Chairs and Wrought-Iron Furniture. Read on to see gentler cleaning methods for specific types of patio furniture.

Wicker Patio Furniture

You can clean wicker patio furniture using a hose or pressure washer. Simply remove the cushions and spray off dirt and spills. If the wicker is especially dirty, use a sponge, mild soap, and cold water to wash.

Wood Patio Furniture

If your wood patio furniture has been coated with an exterior-grade varnish, it can be cleaned using soapy water. Be sure to completely rinse away suds with clean water and then allow the patio furniture to dry completely. Teak is the most popular type of wood furniture because it’s easy to maintain. Get the full rundown in How to Clean and Care for Teak Furniture.

Fabric Outdoor Furniture

Furniture such as hammocks and cloth chairs should be machine-washed using the gentle cycle. Add the appropriate amount of bleach to the wash cycle for white items and hang them outside to dry. For larger outdoor furniture pieces that can’t be machine-washed, check out our specific care instructions in How to Clean Canvas Furniture.

Waterproof Your Patio Furniture

Brown wicker patio sofa with thick cushions

Apply a paste wax to the frame of your patio outdoor furniture to keep it shiny and water resistant. If you shop specifically for weather-resistant wicker furniture, that makes upkeep even easier. For wood, make sure you use a product that won’t ruin the varnish. Many wood-friendly protective pastes and waxes are available to keep patio sets clean. For tips on protecting furniture fabrics from mildewing, read How to Waterproof Fabric Outdoor Furniture.

Store Patio Furniture That Isn’t Weather Resistant

Woven wicker chairs stacked together

Store patio furniture cushions indoors and keep frames covered during the off-season. Just one rainstorm can make outdoor cushions unusable. If they’re caught in the rain, hang patio furniture cushions out in the sun to dry off. Outdoor wood furniture, with the exception of teak and cedar, should be stored indoors during the winter. The same goes for fabric furniture. Umbrellas, especially, require maintenance after being in storage. Read How to Store a Patio Umbrella for Winter for details.

Apply Seasonal Care to Furniture Covers and Joints

Five varied umbrellas leaning against wall

Patio furniture covers need washing, and umbrella-frame joints need oiling. Wash covers using a soft-bristled brush, mild soap, and cold water. Use a spray lubricant on the joints of a wire-frame umbrella. If you have a wood-frame umbrella, use paste wax to restore its shine. Once the summer season is back, wash outdoor furniture covers and place them back on the frames. To avoid shrinkage, stretch covers over the frame before the fabric is completely dry.

Now you know everything you need to keep your current patio furniture in good working order. If you’re planning a full patio refresh and want to be proactive about care and cleaning, read How to Buy Outdoor Furniture That Lasts. Shop all your outdoor furniture and decor at Overstock to get FREE SHIPPING* on everything!

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