How to Clean Your Patio Furniture Without Ruining It

How to Clean Your Patio Furniture Without Ruining It

Patio furniture is outdoors 24/7, so it's exposed to all of the elements. Dust, pollen, bird droppings, and biological growth can also get on your patio furniture. Regular cleaning of the chairs, tables, and benches will protect them from excessive wear and tear and help them look as good as they did on the day you bought them. Use these tips to clean your patio furniture without ruining it.


Plastic patio furniture is easy to clean. Begin by rinsing it with your garden hose's sprayer attachment. This loosens dirt and pollen. Next, use an all-purpose, biodegradable cleaning product. This inhibits biological growth and gets rid of grease, oil, bird droppings, and dirt. Use a sponge or damp microfiber cloth to get rid of sticky substances, such as tree sap. Avoid using abrasives on plastic patio furniture.


Cast iron and stainless steel are popular types of patio furniture. They're often used as table bases and benches. To clean them, mix a one-quarter cup of gentle dish detergent with one gallon of water. Use a sponge or brush dipped into the soapy water to clean the furniture. If you notice any rust, remove it with steel wool. Rusted patio furniture should be painted with an appropriate paint for metals that are designed for outdoor use. A prompt painting should halt the progression of the oxidation.

Wicker, Bamboo and Wood

Wicker patio furniture is lightweight, making it a popular choice. Bamboo and wood are also widely used as patio furniture materials. To clean the grime off their surfaces, use a bucket of soapy water or some oil soap and a soft-bristled brush. A sponge may also work. You may need a toothbrush or nail brush to get between the reeds of the wicker. Diluted laundry detergent in a mix of one-quarter cup detergent to one gallon of water does a good job of removing dirt and grease from hardwood patio furniture. Avoid oiling the furniture after you wash it. Doing so could encourage more biological growth.


The fabric cushions, seat covers, or backs of your patio furniture should be cleaned with a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water. Be sure to read the tag on the products. Some of these items may have removable inserts that allow the fabric to go in the washing machine. The fabric portions of your patio furniture should be air-dried, preferably on a warm, sunny day.

Remove Biological Growth

If you notice biological growth on your patio furniture, the best way to get rid of it is with full-strength white distilled vinegar. Begin by using a toothbrush to remove as much of the biological growth as you can. Next use the vinegar and a hard brush to get the rest of the biological growth off the furniture. Diluted bleach is another option, but it will lighten fabric. Only use bleach if you can't get the biological growth off with soap or vinegar.

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