Garden Furniture, Gardening

How to Clean Garden Furniture

No matter how hard you try, with garden furniture being kept for outdoor use, it’s bound to get a little grubby from time to time. From battling the changing of the seasons and all types of weather conditions to being used regularly by all the family (even pets!), keep your beloved outdoor furniture clean with our useful tips. 

What’s the easiest way to keep garden furniture clean?

Cleaning your outdoor furniture doesn’t need to be a time-consuming chore. The easiest way to keep your garden furniture clean is to follow these simple steps.

What you’ll need:

  • A bucket of warm water
  • Gentle detergent or natural washing-up liquid
  • Garden hose
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • An old towel

Cleaning method:

  1. Strip the furniture set of any cushions or throws and put them aside.
  2. Mix in a couple of drops of detergent or washing up liquid to your bucket of warm water.
  3. Using your soft-bristled brush, gently rub the warm soapy water over your furniture set to loosen any dirt that may be sticking to the material. Don’t forget to replace the bucket with fresh water when needed.
  4. Once the garden furniture has been gently scrubbed, take your garden hose and hose off any remaining dirt or soap.
  5. After rinsing, turn off your hose and use an old towel to dry the excess water. Let your furniture air dry before you put your cushions or throws back on and start using it again.

How to clean outdoor wood furniture

wooden garden furniture picnic table in a garden

If you require a light cleaning of your wooden garden furniture, it’s best to use a soft cloth and warm soapy water to gently remove dirt. If you decide a deeper clean is required, the method listed above can be replicated with the addition of scrubbing only in the direction of the wood grain. For more challenging stains that aren’t removed by either method, we recommend that you give the wood a very light sanding in the direction of the wood grain and repeat the rinsing process again.

If you wish to maintain your wooden furniture set to the point where it looks almost new, a sealant can be used to treat the wood. This will preserve the colour and provide added protection. Prior to sealing, you’ll need to wash the furniture, sand it in the direction of the grain, and then apply the sealant. Always consult the manufacturer for recommended products and be mindful that sealants should be reapplied every few years depending on the wooden furniture’s condition.

How to clean rattan garden furniture

To clean rattan garden furniture, our simple method above can be used with the addition of using a toothbrush to gently remove dirt from those smaller and harder to reach areas surrounding the rattan weave. For more in-depth guidance on cleaning and protecting rattan garden furniture, read our detailed guide ‘How to clean rattan garden furniture’.

How to remove mildew stains from outdoor furniture fabric

If you’ve left your fabric garden furniture outside for extended periods of time in humid or damp conditions, dark spots of mildew may start to form on the fabric. If this is left untreated, mildew may turn to mould and an unpleasant, musty smell will develop. Keeping your furniture fabric clean and storing it in a non-humid and well ventilated area will prevent mildew and mould from forming, therefore allowing you to enjoy your furniture for longer.

To remove mildew stains from garden furniture fabric, follow these simple steps:

What you’ll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Damp sponge or cloth
  • Nylon brush

Cleaning Method:

  1. Spray white vinegar over the mildew spots on the fabric and allow it to work its magic for an hour or so. It’s best to do this on a warm sunny day.
  2. Once an hour has passed, use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe away any leftover residue.
  3. If the stain is stubborn to remove, spray it again with more white vinegar and rub using your nylon brush. Allow the solution to sit again and then use your damp cloth or sponge to remove residue.

How to protect your garden furniture 

rattan garden furniture daybed on the patio in a cottage garden

Cleaning your garden furniture will help to extend its life and keep it in a reasonable condition for longer but there are other ways that you can protect your furniture from damage. 

Furniture covers

Furniture covers are ideal for those who choose to store their garden furniture outside all year long. Uncovered furniture is much more prone to dirt, damage or corrosion so if you want to enjoy your furniture for longer, it’s worth considering investing in one. Before ordering, make sure to measure up the dimensions of your set to prevent ordering the wrong fit. We offer a variety of furniture covers, designed to fit various shapes and sizes of furniture.

Spot cleaning

Keeping an eye on your garden furniture when it’s uncovered is a good idea. Some stains such as bird droppings or sunscreen should be cleaned immediately after spotting. Without needing to clean your whole furniture set, use a damp cloth with warm soapy water to spot clean affected areas before they cause permanent staining or corrosion.

Storing indoors

If you’re able to, storing your garden furniture indoors during the winter months will prove beneficial. Harsher weather conditions will put your furniture through its paces so without an adequate cover, opt for storing your furniture inside in a non-humid space.

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