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How To Clean Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

How To Clean Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

Let's face it: patio furniture gets dirty! However, maintaining these pieces of outdoor furniture doesn’t have to be difficult in this day and age, but it does require an understanding of how to clean and care for patio furniture. 

Dust, pollen, and weather elements (not to forget kids, pets, and regular use!) may impact the appearance and longevity of your patio furniture, so knowing the proper technique to keep it looking and feeling new is essential. 

In this guide, we’ve shared some tips for cleaning patio furniture and all the material you'll need to clean it. We've covered everything from removing stubborn stains from fabric to getting into the weave of your wicker furniture.

Let’s get started!

Why is it important to clean your patio furniture?

Cleaning patio furniture isn't always a pleasurable experience, but it also doesn't have to be time-consuming or difficult. Moreover, cleaning your outdoor furniture is essential for the longevity and appearance of your furniture.

How To Clean Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

Whether you use your patio furniture every day, every weekend, or only a few months a year, debris and pollutants will accumulate on it over time. While the most are harmless, some can cause major damage to your patio furniture.

Even though patio furniture is built to resist the elements of life outside, insects, mold, dust, and changing weather conditions can shorten the lifespan and usage of your furniture over time.

How to clean patio furniture?

No matter how careful you are, something is bound to spill on and ruin your patio furniture. Your guests may accidentally spill sauce over the cushions of your patio sofa or, even worse, tip a glass of wine onto the patio dining chairs. Most frequently, people mistakenly wipe suntan lotion onto poolside sun loungers. These are just a few ways they might ruin your otherwise perfect outdoor setting. 

Moreover, natural conditions such as wind, rain, sun, trees, bugs, birds, creatures, and a variety of other factors can cause your patio furniture to become dirty and damaged if you don't take good care and clean it regularly. On the other hand, wood, metals, wicker, and plastic require special cleaning techniques.

How To Clean Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your patio furniture.

Tips on cleaning all-weather wicker patio furniture 

First and foremost, let's discuss how to clean wicker furniture. All-weather wicker is the most commonly used outdoor patio furniture.

All-weather wicker is not only attractive and versatile, but it's also very easy to clean and durable, which we love! Mainly, patio sofas and sectionals are all made from all-weather wicker. 

It’s recommended to keep things simple while cleaning your wicker patio furniture to avoid damaging the wicker.

Step-by-step guide
  • Fill your bucket halfway with warm water and a couple of drops of mild soap or detergent. 
  • With a dry brush, first, loosen all the dust. Then, dip your brush into the bucket of solution, and gently rub into the weave of the all-weather wicker in up and down strokes, starting at the top and working your way down. 
  • Continue carefully scrubbing the pieces until completely clean. Throughout the process, change the water in the bucket as needed. 
  • Set your hose on high pressure, and remove any residual dirt and soapy water.
  • Allow your furniture to air dry after gently toweling off any excess water. 

Tips on cleaning teak wood patio furniture

Teak furniture grows a lovely silvery gray patina with time, which is cosmetic rather than a sign of dryness or physical damage. The natural oils of teak wood help it stay strong and resilient in different environments, and thus, it requires minimal maintenance. Teak is so weather-resistant that it doesn't need to be stored or protected with tarps during the winter. 

Make sure you clean your teak wood patio furniture on a regular basis to keep it from discoloring and mildew build-up.

Step-by-step guide
  • Fill a bucket halfway with warm water, a few drops of mild soap, and a pinch of bleach (optional). 
  • To protect your skin, put on gloves and dip your brush into the solution. Start stroking from the very top and work your way down. 
  • Continue carefully scrubbing the piece until it is completely clean. Throughout the process, change the water in the bucket as and when needed. 
  • Put your hose on a low setting and take off the leftover dirt and soapy water.
  • Gently towel off any excess water and allow your furniture to dry naturally.
  • If the surface of your teak furniture is rough after cleaning, you can smooth it down with 220 grit sandpaper. Sanding across the grain will harm the surface, so make sure you sand in the direction of the grain.

Tips on cleaning metal, iron, and aluminum patio furniture

Metallic patio furniture looks great when it's new, but if it's neglected and allowed to rust or stain over time, it may become a source of embarrassment. All metal frames and legs of metallic patio furniture can be cleaned similarly, however some metal furniture has different qualities and needs to be treated differently. 

The most typical issue with aluminum parts is oxidation. Hence, before cleaning, it’s recommended to use a metal polishing product or a 1:1 solution of clear water and white vinegar to remove marks as much as possible. Alkaline cleaners promote oxidation, so avoid chemicals like ammonia and trisodium phosphate (TSP). 

To keep your metal furniture shining, make sure you maintain and clean it on a regular basis with the right cleaning products.

Step-by-step guide 
  • Use a detergent-to-water (1:3 ratio) solution in a bucket. 
  • Spot-clean each scuff mark with a soft rag until it is clear and shiny. 
  • Rinse the excess detergent solution using a garden hose. 
  • Leave it for drying. 

Tips on cleaning plastic patio furniture

Plastic furniture is generally light, fade-resistant, and can be molded into various shapes, textures, and designs. It also doesn't require any extra paints or sealants other materials do. Hence, this synthetic polymer material is easy to maintain and cost-effective. Having said that, cleaning and maintaining plastic furniture is mainly determined by its shape. 

To get rid of sticky spills and drips like tree sap, products like Goo Gone could come in handy. However, most of the time, just rubbing alcohol could be the best solution. It's difficult to wipe off these chemicals from plastic right after cleaning. And long-term exposure to the chemicals in some products will fade plastic and reduce the longevity of your patio furniture's appearance.

So, using the right products for cleaning your plastic furniture and wiping it off thoroughly after cleaning is essential. 

Step-by-step guide
  • To remove dust from the plastic furniture, clean it with cold, clear water or use a homemade soapy solution.
  • Scrub the furniture with a sponge dipped in one of the DIY cleaning solutions. 
  • A toothbrush can be used to clean hard-to-reach places. 
  • To avoid leaving ugly watermarks, thoroughly dry the furniture with a towel. 
  • Spray WD-40 on the plastic and dry it with a clean towel to restore the shine of the furniture.

Tips on cleaning patio cushions

Your patio cushions also catch dust and pollen over time. In fact, they tend to accumulate dirt faster than the rest of the furniture, especially if your set is left uncovered when not in use. Washing them frequently to prevent dirt and pollen from becoming permanently embedded in the fabric, is the ideal way to maintain it. 

Always check the instructions on the label inside the cushions before washing them. If it indicates machine washable, you're good to go: remove the cover and wash them on medium temperature with a cold rinse using your regular washing detergent. 

On the other hand, if the cushions or cushion covers aren’t machine washable, use the patio cushion cleaner spray or a scrubber to properly clean it.

Step-by-step guide
  • Loosen dirt from the cushions using a rag. 
  • Make a 1:3 detergent-to-water solution for cleaning. To get rid of mold, make a 1:3 bleach-to-water solution. 
  • Dip your rag in the solution and gently rub in circles outward from the center of the spot. 
  • Remove any moisture from the region by dabbing on it. 
  • Repeat as required until the region is clear, dabbing dry between passes.

How often should you clean patio furniture?

How often should patio furniture be cleaned is a regular question we get. And the answer is dependent on a number of things, including how often you use your furniture and where you reside. 

Maintaining your patio furniture on a regular basis, in addition to cleaning apparent spills or scratches as soon as they occur, will help extend its life. 

How To Clean Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

We recommend cleaning your patio furniture from top to bottom during peak usage seasons, such as summer, and before storing it for the cooler months when you won't be using it as much. 

To minimize a build-up of excess moisture, which can lead to mold, clean your patio furniture at least once a season, if possible.


Cleaning your patio furniture doesn't have to be as difficult or time-consuming as you might think.

Follow the above-mentioned simple cleaning guide to make your patio furniture look new throughout the year. From cleaning all-weather wicker to washing your outdoor fabrics, achieve the best results by following these tips.

Shop at La Casa Ventures now to find the perfect rustic outdoor furniture and patio pieces for your home!
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