It’s that time of the year.
Time to gather some close friends, cook some good food and enjoy the warm weather.
But if your patio furniture has been sitting outside or under a cover all winter and spring, it’s probably not in “guest-ready” shape.
So before you send out invites for your next backyard BBQ, get your chairs, tables and benches looking great with these helpful patio furniture cleaning tips.
Before you Begin
Prior to putting in some much-needed elbow grease, you have to make sure your patio furniture is ready for scrubbing.
That means getting rid of any leaves, sticks or debris that have accumulated over the dormant months.
I find that using a broom or a dry towel works the best for this task. Or if you have a more difficult project on your hands, a leaf blower may be your best bet!
If your patio furniture is looking a bit dull and drab, some scrubbing is probably necessary. But before you bring out the suds, you need to know what material your pieces are made with.
Here are some common patio furniture materials and how to clean them.
Most metal furniture is made with stainless steel or wrought iron. These materials are durable and fairly easy in terms of upkeep.
To clean metal patio furniture you’ll want to use a sponge or a brush that’s not too abrasive.
Mix a 1/4 cup mild dish soap and a gallon of water, and use your sponge/brush to give the furniture an all-over scrubbing with the solution.
Then, rinse off your chairs, benches and tables with a hose.
If you detect rust on your patio furniture, you can use some steel wool to remove the oxidation. And if the rust is pretty prominent, you can follow this process with a paint job to prevent it from rusting further.
Plastic and resin are other popular choices when it comes to patio furniture. The good news? It’s also often the easiest to maintain!
Grab your favorite all-purpose cleaner (mine is Mrs. Meyer’s Lemo Verbena Multi-Surface Cleaner) and wipe down the furniture with a damp cloth or sponge.
Don’t use anything too rough—you don’t want to scuff the surface!
Here’s another tip. If your patio furniture is super dirty, you may want to hose it off first before tackling the project with your all-purpose cleaner.
While wood patio furniture may look nice and refined, it isn’t always easy to care for.
Using a power washer is a no-go because it can damage soft wood or remove stain. And a hard-bristled brush? Same thing.
Your best bet is to use some soapy water—the same solution of mild dish soap and water will work fine—and a soft sponge to remove any grime or dirt. And if you’re dealing with wicker, a toothbrush can help you get between all of those weaves.
Composite wood furniture is a bit easier to manage. Tough stains? Don’t be afraid to use a little more pressure or a brush that’s a tad more abrasive.
It’s often hard to keep indoor fabric clean. And when it comes to outdoor furniture, it’s even more difficult thanks to the elements.
Always refer to manufacturer instructions for cleaning seat covers, outdoor pillows and more. But if you can’t find those, try shaking out the item and spot treating stains if need be.
A lot of pillows and cushions also have removable covers that you can throw in the wash. These are my kinds of outdoor fabrics… the easier the better!
All About The Upkeep
I hate to make assumptions… but something tells me that cleaning patio furniture isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do.
So instead having to complete the task over and over again, you can reduce the need for frequent cleaning with some tips!
Tips For Easier Maintenance
- Find chair, table or firepit covers to protect against the elements. Lots of these covers are also machine-washable which makes your job a whole lot easier!
- If possible, opt for low-maintenance patio furniture materials like plastic. Less time cleaning means more time entertaining!
- Pests and bugs can also harm furniture. Keep your patio free from food and garbage to make the area less attractive.
- If possible, take your furniture inside during the colder months if it’s not in use.
But no matter what you do, sometimes, you just need to do some replacing. Below, click on the pictures to check out some top patio finds for summer.
Even if it’s not a blast, cleaning your outdoor furniture will get you ready for all of that summer fun!
I hope these tips will get you on the right track to host fun backyard BBQs, birthday parties, outdoor picnics and more.
From my home to yours,