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The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Patio Furniture

Castlery|Mar 20, 2024

Outdoor furniture adds comfort and style to your outdoor spaces, making them perfect for relaxation, gatherings, and leisurely activities. However, exposure to the elements can take a toll on your furniture's appearance and longevity.

To ensure your outdoor furniture remains in tip-top shape, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through effective techniques to clean various types of outdoor furniture materials so you can enjoy the beauty of your urban outdoor oasis for years to come.

Laidback yet refined, @thismodernstyle has created an inviting spot on her front porch with the Sorrento Outdoor Sectional Sofa.

How to clean wooden outdoor furniture

Built to weather the elements, the Sorrento Outdoor L-Shape Sectional Sofa is also big on comfort. @hotpinkpineapples and her furry companion seem to agree.

Wooden outdoor furniture exudes a natural charm and sophistication, but it requires special care to maintain its allure and prevent deterioration. Here's a step-by-step guide to cleaning your wood outdoor furniture:

Step 1: Gather the necessary supplies

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Mild soap or wood-specific cleaner

  • Water

  • Microfibre or soft cloth

  • Sandpaper (if needed for deeper stains)

Step 2: Remove debris and dust

Begin by brushing off any loose dirt, leaves, or debris from the furniture's surface using a soft-bristled brush. This step prevents scratches during the deep cleaning process.

Step 3: Prepare the cleaning solution

Mix a small amount of mild soap or wood-specific cleaner with water according to the product instructions. Avoid harsh chemicals that may damage the wood's finish.

Step 4: Clean gently

Dip the cloth into the cleaning solution and wipe down the furniture gently. Avoid using abrasive materials that could scratch or harm the wood. Clean in the direction of the grain to maintain the wood's natural beauty.

Step 5: Rinse and dry thoroughly

After cleaning, rinse off any soap residue with clean water. Allow the furniture to air dry completely before applying a sealant and using it again. This ensures no water spots or mould growth.

Step 6: Addressing stubborn stains

For stubborn stains or discolouration, lightly sand the affected area and reapply the cleaning solution. Sanding helps restore the wood's surface and removes any blemishes.

How to clean metal outdoor furniture

@homewithharper has created such a breezy nook with the Sorrento Outdoor 3-Seater Sofa & Sorrento Coffee Table that we’d love to sit and sip on iced coffees here too.

Metal outdoor furniture, such as aluminium, wrought iron, and steel, is known for its durability and sturdiness. Despite this, it's still important to clean it regularly to prevent dirt build up and rust.

Step 1: Gather the necessary supplies

  • Water

  • Mild dish soap or all-purpose cleaner

  • Soft sponge or cloth

  • Garden hose (if available)

Step 2: Dust off and wipe

To clean metal furniture, dust off any loose dirt and wipe down surface with a damp cloth.

Step 3: Gently scrub

Most of the time, using water and a gentle scrub is enough to remove any dirt. For stubborn grime, create a mixture of water and mild detergent, and scrub gently with a soft brush.

Step 4: Rinse and dry thoroughly

With all the dirt scrubbed off, rinse the piece thoroughly and leave it out to dry completely to prevent rust. You can then decide if you want to apply a thin coat of automotive wax to provide an additional layer of protection against corrosion and enhance the metal's shine.

How to clean wicker furniture outdoor furniture

The Malta Outdoor Build-Your-Own Lounge Set features a wicker weave and rounded features. Picture credits: @peonyandhoney

Wicker is a style of weaving, not a material itself. It can be crafted from various materials such as rattan, bamboo, or synthetic fibres like resin wicker. Understanding the type of wicker used in your furniture is crucial, as different materials require slightly different cleaning approaches.

Step 1: Gather the necessary supplies

  • Soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment

  • Mild detergent or wicker cleaner

  • Water

  • Soft cloth

  • Toothbrush or small brush

Step 2: Dust off and vacuum

Begin by gently brushing the wicker furniture with a soft-bristle brush to remove loose dirt, dust, and cobwebs. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment can also be used to reach into crevices, corners, and depths of the weaves.

Step 3: Clean woven areas

Wicker furniture often has intricate woven patterns that can collect dirt. Use a toothbrush or a small brush to clean these tight spaces with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Gently scrub in a circular motion, being careful not to unravel the weave.

Step 4: Rinse and dry thoroughly

Thoroughly rinse the furniture with a hose or a bucket of clean water. Gently pat the furniture with a clean, dry cloth to remove excess water. Allow the furniture to air dry in a well-ventilated area, preferably in indirect sunlight.

Also, invest in furniture covers to shield your outdoor furniture from harsh weather conditions when not in use. Before placing the covers on your furniture, ensure they are clean and completely dry to prevent mold and mildew growth. Shake off any loose debris, then wipe them down with a damp cloth. Make sure the covers are secure to prevent them from blowing away in strong winds.

Indulge in the magic of alfresco dining on the Sorrento Outdoor Dining Table with Chairs. Picture credit: @jaimelyncarney

Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to preserving the beauty and longevity of your outdoor furniture. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enjoy your outdoor oasis to the fullest, whether it's wooden, metal, or wicker furniture. With the right care, your outdoor furniture will continue to provide comfort and style for years, enhancing the charm of your outdoor spaces.

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