How to Clean Patio Furniture

Patio furniture can suffer damage from nature in many forms – dirt and mildew build-up to rust spots and sun fading – so learn how to effectively maintain its condition with these few easy steps for continued freshness and good condition.

Vinegar can be an effective mildew-remover for fabric and plastic patio furniture. To increase its cleaning power, combine a cup of ammonia with quarter cup of baking soda.

Plastic and Resin

Plastic and resin patio furniture are budget-friendly options, as well as being one of the easiest materials to keep clean. A soft brush or sponge, combined with all-purpose cleaner (such as those sold for pool maintenance) should suffice for wiping down these pieces, while baking soda may help break up stubborn grime build-up – simply rinse well afterwards and dry with a soft cloth!

Fabric requires special consideration when cleaning. A solution of 1/4 cup mild dishwashing liquid or soap mixed with one gallon of water should be used, then scrubbed using either a soft-bristle brush or scouring pad to achieve best results. If there’s any mildew or mold growth, try Tilex mildew remover; to loosen stubborn stains like tree sap you could try Goo-Gone; in cases with porous weave such as true wicker or rattan weaves such as true wicker or rattan weaves avoid oversaturating its surfaces in cleaning solutions as this could damage its weaves over time.

To guard resin and molded wicker furniture against UV rays, moisture, dirt and mildew build-up, coat it with either a clear water-repellent preservative or penetrating semitransparent stain (if available). Consult the manufacturer’s instructions as to when you should reapply this treatment.

Avoiding the need to refinish by protecting it from the elements from the start. Decor Outdoor suggests applying a thin coating of automotive paste wax over resin items to keep them from dulling; the same technique works on other materials including metal.

Metal and rust-prone wood patio pieces require more detailed cleaning than resin or plastic patio sets. For wrought iron, cast aluminum, or steel pieces, spray them down with all-purpose cleaner and use an all-purpose scrubber on soft brushes or scouring pads before rinsing off thoroughly. If any areas of rusting have already started on your wrought iron pieces, sand down any affected spots before repainting. When cleaning wood furniture pieces after you’ve polished it up thoroughly you should apply an oil-based stain which should be repeated annually or as needed to preserve its protection and beauty.


Your metal patio furniture can take quite the beating under the heat of the sun, from food spills and drinks being spilled onto it, or pets jumping onto it muddy animals, so regular and thorough cleaning will be necessary in order to extend its lifespan and restore its luster. A straightforward maintenance routine can help extend its lifespan and bring new life back into it!

When cleaning metal patio furniture, the best approach is usually a mixture of warm water and mild non-detergent soap applied using a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid scrubbers as these may damage or scratch the finish, then rinse well afterwards and dry your furniture afterward to avoid rusting or water spots.

Cast aluminum and wrought iron are popular choices when it comes to outdoor furniture construction, yet both materials can quickly oxidize when left exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Thankfully, many stains can be easily treated or removed with the aid of special metal cleaners combined with nylon scrubbing brushes or steel wool pads.

Whenever dealing with more severe cases of oxidation, it is imperative that treatment begin as quickly as possible. Doing this will reduce the amount of oxidation allowed to form and make removal simpler in the future. A solution of equal parts white vinegar and water or commercial metal polishing products are two excellent solutions.

Once your furniture has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised, use furniture touch-up paint or pen in its finish to touch up any scratches or marks on it. Furthermore, metal patio furniture should always be covered when not being used to prevent dirt build-up, raindrops and falling leaves from damaging its finish.

An inviting patio is essential to making the most of outdoor living spaces, and taking good care of metal patio furniture is both simple and beneficial in maximizing its longevity and giving you maximum return from your investment.


Plastic, resin and wicker furniture is easily cleaned using a garden hose and gentle soap or cleaner; for wood patio furniture however, hand cleaning is the preferred method. Move it into your driveway first for easier access; then use your garden hose to gently spray its frames until any dirt has been eliminated – taking care not to damage any painted or stained areas with high-pressure water spraying.

If there’s mildew and mold on your wooden furniture, use a sponge or soft brush to wipe away surface growth. You can boost vinegar’s cleaning power further by mixing it with half a cup of ammonia and quarter cup of baking soda to form an all-wood friendly mildew remover solution in a spray bottle.

After your wooden furniture has dried completely, adding a light coating of an oil-based outdoor wood preservative or penetrating semitransparent stain may help protect it from moisture and sun rays. Make sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions when applying or reapplying these products so they continue to maintain their beauty for many years to come.

Teak and acacia wood furniture tend to rot less often due to their dense structures; however, they still require special care and maintenance in order to look beautiful for years. Sandpaper with fine grain may help remove deep stains on furniture without harming its grain pattern.

Penofin Pro-Tech Wood Cleaner may also help protect and clean teak furniture. Both products can be found at hardware and home improvement stores; before making your final decision, be sure to test any product on an inconspicuous area of the furniture first.

Pressure washers should not be used on furniture made of teak, acacia and eucalyptus as their high-powered water jets can damage its delicate wood fibers as well as tear apart the weave in wicker weave furniture. Instead, opt for using a clean sponge or cloth dipped into a specific cleaner designed to tackle these types of furniture pieces.


Most outdoor furniture comes with fabric cushions, which can become dirty over time. A regular cleaning regimen should help to ensure they look their best; just remember to use the appropriate cleaner for every fabric type – some fabrics are easier to care for than others! Consult the care instructions on your cushion’s tag in order to identify which cleaners will be suitable.

Starting off fabric cleanup properly means clearing away loose dirt, leaves, or debris from cushion covers using brushing, shaking, or vacuuming methods. For optimal results use a handheld vacuum with crevice or upholstery nozzle.

If your fabric can be machine-washed, then using warm water and mild detergent should be enough to get it clean. As always, test any new cleaner on a small area first to make sure it won’t discolor or damage the material; for non-removable covers spread a plastic tarp for a clean work area.

To wash fabric cushions, fill a bucket with warm water and mix one teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent or one scoop of natural oxygen bleach into it. (Test this cleaner first on a small area to ensure discoloration or staining won’t occur.) Once applied to fabric cushions, use a soft bristled scrub brush to apply this solution and scrub away dirt or debris with it before using a garden hose for thorough rinsing to avoid stiffening of material.

Oil-based stains on fabric can be challenging to remove, but you may try blotting the stain with paper towel or cloth saturated in baking soda prior to applying cleaning solutions. As an alternative, try treating it with equal parts lemon juice and water before washing to help eliminate its smell.

To remove stubborn stains, mix one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent and one gallon of water and use this solution to scrub affected areas. If persistent stains remain, repeat this step or consider investing in stronger cleaning agents such as commercial fabric stain removers.