Your outdoor oasis is an escape from the bustle of everyday life, and you likely have a collection of furniture and décor that you use for entertaining, dining and relaxing throughout the warmer months. Over time, weather can do some serious damage to your outdoor furniture turning it into a ramshackle mess if not treated properly. There’s a good chance, after all, that no one wants to eat from a dirty table or lounge on a dilapidated chaise. Keeping your outdoor patio furniture in pristine condition requires routine cleanings: one at the beginning of summer, one at the end, and perhaps one or two cleanings in between depending on the use of your outdoor space.
How To Clean & Protect Your Outdoor Furniture
Cleaning your outdoor furniture may seem like a chore, but it should be given the same TLC as your interiors.
If you have wooden furniture:
Steeping tea bags in boiling water and using a cloth soaked in the tea will help to remove old layers of polish, and help your furniture shine.
For wooden tables or armchairs that have stains, try rubbing in a small amount of non-gel toothpaste and wipe off with a damp cloth.
If your wood has suffered from ink stains, mix equal parts water and baking soda into a paste and rub gently with a soft cloth until the stain disappears.
If you have plastic deck chairs:
Mix ¼ of bleach with a large bucket of hot water and use a scrub brush to remove any stains.
You can also mix vinegar, dishwashing soap or laundry detergent with water to fight tougher stains.
If you have metal furniture or décor:
Any cleaning on your metal items will be to the protective top coat, which is best done with a soft cloth soaked in soapy water.
The problem with this top coat, however, is that it will wear down over time from the elements. Ensure you clean up any animal droppings from your furniture as soon as you notice them, as the acidity of these droppings will quickly burn through the finish.
It’s also good practice to inspect your metal furniture and décor at the beginning of the season for rust and other wear.
If you have wrought iron furniture:
Start off by vacuuming your furniture, and then proceeding to clean with a simple water and dish-washing soap mixture.
If the paint has started to chip off your furniture, ensure you sand down the affected spots and re-paint as soon as possible. If left exposed for too long, the underlying metal will rust.
If you have wicker furniture:
Regular dusting with a soft cloth, microfibre duster or feather duster will keep your wicker furniture clean.
Opt for a soft-bristled paintbrush or the brush attachment of your vacuum for a deeper clean.
Mixing a ¼ cup of vinegar with ¾ of water will create an effective solution to eliminate mold and mildew. Simply soak a soft cloth and wipe your furniture down.