<- Back<- Back<- Back

Tips on How to Clean Outdoor Furniture

Steve Thompson
July 1, 2022

Outdoor furniture is often made with weather-resistant materials. But if you just leave it out in the rain, it can get dirty and look old. You can maximize the durability of your patio furniture by periodically cleaning the items and storing them indoors when necessary. Here are important points to know about how to clean outdoor furniture.

Decide what to wash by hand

Learning how to clean outdoor furniture begins with studying product guidelines found on labels and in manuals. This information will prepare you to either wash materials with machines or by hand. Certain patio items, such as umbrellas, should never be washed in a machine unless instructed by the manufacturer.

Cushions are outdoor items that are often best cleaned by hand, sometimes with the help of water pressure. If cushions are not going to be used for a while, they should be stored in a dry place. Living near the ocean contributes to salt buildup, which can degrade outdoor furniture over time.

Regardless of where you live, it's helpful to rinse outdoor furniture with soap and water then gently apply a damp cloth. Weather-resistant outdoor furniture should still be cleaned once or twice a year. Certain materials, such as powder-coated aluminum, should be cleaned every few months.

Use appropriate cleaning methods for different materials

Wood furniture is best cleaned with mild oil-based soap mixed with warm water, while cracks are filled with sealant. Other cleaning ingredients may include ammonia and white vinegar. It's a good idea to regularly wipe down wood furniture to maintain a shiny finish.

For metal furniture, avoid using ammonia, as white vinegar mixed with warm water is a safer cleaning solution. Use a microfiber cloth to dry metal surfaces.

Plastic furniture can be cleaned with a 1:1 mixture of baking soda and warm water. Do not try to remove stains on plastic with steel wool or scouring powder.

Examine your concrete

It's a good idea to periodically examine the concrete of your patio to make sure there are no serious cracks developing. If there are, you can seal them with affordable solutions. The larger cracks can be filled in with epoxy resin. The same is true if you have concrete furniture on your patio. Many people have invested in concrete tables and benches as a low-maintenance solution.

There are a wide variety of ideas with a concrete backyard when it comes to patio furniture. Mixing green imagery with concrete structures provides an interesting blend and contrast between nature and technology. Concrete is usually best cleaned with a scrubbing brush, soap, and warm water mixed with vinegar or baking soda.

Protect outdoor furniture with covers

An effective way to protect your outdoor furniture is with covers, which can be used to protect tables of various shapes. Simply by using robust weather-resistant patio covers, you can keep your outdoor furniture dry on rainy days. If you decide to store items with their covers, avoid storing damp items in a dark place. These conditions facilitate the spread of mold and mildew, which is unhealthy.

Without covers, outdoor furniture can become covered with debris, which can alter its color. Items like cushions can become soaked with water, which can lead to mold and mildew.


Use this guide on how to clean outdoor furniture to get started on your patio furniture cleaning project. If you need help with any deck waterproofing projects, contact the pros at West Coast Deck Waterproofing.