How to Clean Patio Furniture

Keeping your patio furniture clean can help your favorite outdoor lounge space stay comfy and welcoming all year long. But what you may not know is how to clean patio furniture and keep it in good condition all year round.

But fear not, patio dwellers and denizens of the outdoors. Keep reading for our top tips for cleaning outdoor furniture and keeping your furniture looking fantastic between cleans. 

How To Clean Patio Furniture: A Step-By-Step Guide 

Now that you know the general rules of keeping your patio furniture clean and preventing grime with covers or through off-season storage, it’s helpful to have a guide on how to clean outdoor furniture. Here’s your step-by-step guide:

  1. Prepare your cleaner – A mild dish soap mixed with warm water does nicely for cutting through the grime and built-up dirt. Mix your cleaning solution in a bucket and then apply it using a clean, soft rag or sponge, or use a spray bottle for direct application.
  2. Remove loose dirt – Clean off the loose dirt and grime with either a rag or soft-bristled brush. For wicker furniture or woven rope furniture, you can also use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove dirt from the weave.
  3. Scrub – Scrub the furniture with a soft brush or clean rag, paying special attention to joints, nooks, cracks, and crevices where dirt and grime tend to collect. If you struggle to remove dirt from small spaces, try using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  4. Clean outdoor cushions, canvas, and accent pillows –  Wondering the best method for how to clean outdoor cushions? In some cases, to clean patio furniture cushions, you can remove the covers and immerse the cushion lining in soapy water. If not, gently scrub the fabric with a sponge or soft-bristled brush. Be sure to remove outdoor patio cushions and accent pillows from the furniture base to clean the undersides.
  5. Rinse – The next step is to remove the dish soap or mild detergent and water completely from the furniture. You don't want any residue to remain as this can lead to spotting and staining.
  6. Dry – Some patio furniture can sit and dry in the sun or shade and does not need to be dried off. Materials like wicker and aluminum can air or sundry well. However, wood furniture needs to be toweled off to remove excess water and prevent spotting. Then, it can be left to dry the rest of the way in the sun. 

How To Keep Patio Furniture Clean

There’s an old saying that goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The same applies when it comes to keeping outdoor furniture clean. Keeping your furniture safe from dirt, dust, pollen, and other outdoor flotsam goes a long way to keeping it clean—and making those periodic deep cleans more manageable. Here are three preventative steps to take now.

#1 Buy High-Quality Furniture

The best way to prevent furniture from getting too weathered and dirty is by investing in high-quality furnishings that take an active role in their own maintenance by using:

  • Weather-resistant cushion fabrics like Sunbrella
  • Durable, weather-safe woods and metals 

That said, no matter how well-made your furniture is, you also need to know how best to maintain it. For example, how you care for teak furniture differs from how you should maintain aluminum furniture or coated metal furniture. 

Knowing your materials and their care instructions will keep you from causing more harm than good to your outdoor furniture by cleaning it with abrasive or harsh cleaners that can cause:

  • Stains
  • Scratches
  • Wear to weatherproof finish 

#2 Spot Clean On Sight 

Address any spills or stains immediately once you notice them. To spot clean sudden stains or signs of grime between more extensive cleaning, gently blot problem areas with either a clean cloth or a paper towel instead of scrubbing to prevent additional staining. 

Even after a quick clean, be sure to remove all dish soap and water from the surface of your furniture by drying it with a clean cloth or towel. Standing water or mild detergent residue can stain furniture.

#3 Cover and Store 

Covering or storing your outdoor patio furniture when you aren’t using it is a key preventative measure. Furniture covers work great for overnight use or during bad weather. In the off-season, moving your furniture into your garage or storage shed will effectively extend the life of your pieces and greatly reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do. If you don’t have the space, a self-storage unit might be the solution. 

Elevate The Outdoors With Harbor Classic

When your outdoor patio furniture is made from high-quality materials that are designed to stand up to outside grime and inclement weather, you’re guaranteed to have an easier time keeping them clean—and enjoying them for years to come.  So, check patio furniture buying guide articles to know what materials are best for your patio. 

The stylish, inspired designs in the collections from Harbor Classic offer quality, beauty, and durability, for living solutions that transform your outside into an oasis. Discover more today.



HGTV. Are You Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture the Right Way?

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