How To Clean Outdoor Furniture And Cushion?

How To Clean Outdoor Furniture And Cushion?

Want to keep your patio furniture in pristine condition?

Not sure how to clean your outdoor furniture?

Or are you looking for reduced cleaning frequency ideas?

Bang on, you are at the right spot. Be it kids, dust, weather conditions, pets, or your everyday use, furniture gets dirty, affecting the façade and endurance. Thus, keeping the outdoor furniture clean and tidy is essential, enhancing the house’s aura. We usually think of ideas that help keep the furniture appealing all the time and involve reduced cleaning frequency. But how to clean patio furniture? 

Here are some material-specific ideas that will protect and make your patio furniture look fresh and gleaming for years to come.


Whether the outdoor sitting area is spacious or snug, timely cleaning and caring are musts. Though it should not be complicated or time-consuming, the outdoor furniture should always be available at a moment’s notice.

Whether you are using outdoor furniture daily or just a few months out of the year, debris and pollutants build up on it naturally. Hence, routine cleaning and maintaining the same is important to build up furniture’s lifespan and usability. Failing to care for the outdoor furniture may result in damaged pieces.

Having said that, the cleaning process should not be extravagant. With a minimal cleaning process, things should sort out. 

After all, who would mind relaxing in a beaming, spotless outdoor glider chair and enjoying the refreshments on a new table? 

Well, whichever way you have decked your rocking outdoor furniture, for best results, clean your furniture four times a year. Read ahead to know how to clean your outdoor furniture with minimal effort.

How To Clean Outdoor Furniture - Wood And Wicker

How To Clean Outdoor Furniture

Whether your outdoor furniture is made up of wood or wicker, here are some cleaning strategies that would help you rescue your furniture from dirt.

  1. Beginning with wood, teak is the best wood for outdoor use. Available in golden-brown color, changes in silver-gray tone naturally. It should be kept stained and varnished to prevent the teak from rotting.

  2. For gentle cleaning, apply a mixture of soap (mild oil soap preferred) and warm water to clean the teak.

  3. Add some bleach to the above mixture for mold removal and clean the teak (do not forget to wear gloves during the application to protect your skin).

  4. Gently scrub the entire wood with the help of a soft brush or sponge and the prepared mixture to clean the whole furniture.

  5. Take a hose, switch it to a soft setting, and remove the remaining dirt and soapy water.

  6. Wipe it with a dry towel and let it air dry.

  7. After cleaning, if the surface is dry, use 220 grit sandpaper to make it smooth.

  8. You can apply a thin coat of furniture wax for additional shine and protection.

    Wood And Wicker Furniture Cleaning

Note: Avoid power washer for cleaning, as it may intensify the natural cracks, attracting water inside, leading to erosion. Allow the wooden furniture to dry for at least two full days.  

When we talk about outdoor wicker furniture, usually, the furniture is made of HPDE or all-weather wicker. Not just does it look highly durable, but it is stylish too. Here are a few steps to follow when cleaning wicker furniture:

  1. Set aside the cushions or any other fabric and dust off the debris first.

  2. Take a bucket of warm water, and add a few drops of gentle soap.

  3. With the help of a soft brush (maybe a toothbrush), gently rub the mixture back and forth.

  4. Take a hose, set it at high pressure, and hose off the left-over dirt.

  5. Wipe off the remaining water and let the furniture dry naturally.

How to clean Metal, Frames, and Legs for Outdoor Furniture?

To preserve the sparkle of the outdoor metal furniture, proper cleaning of metal, frames and legs of outdoor furniture is essential. For instance, oxidation is the most common issue when furniture with aluminum parts.

How to clean Frames and Legs For Outdoor Furniture?

Just follow these easy steps to keep your metal furniture in tip-top condition and maintain its natural luster.

  1. Wash aluminum furniture regularly. When mixed with warm water in a ratio of 1:3, a gentle cleaning solution does wonder.

  2. Dip a soft cloth into a non-abrasive cleaning product and remove the scuff marks until clear.

  3. Dampen the cloth with naphtha or mineral spirits and clean off the metal residue.

  4. With the help of a garden hose, remove the excess detergent solution.

  5. Before using the metal furniture, allow it to dry.

For additional protection, choosing wrought-iron furniture sandblasted or powder-coated is worth it. Consider applying a coat of automotive wax (for iron, you will need two coats) for after-cleaning protection. Moreover, before painting the metal furniture, use a rust-resistant primer and rust-resistant paint to improve and repair the metal.


Do not use alkaline cleaners (which cause oxidation) and chemicals such as ammonia and trisodium phosphate (TSP) as they may lead to corrosion.

How to Clean an Outdoor Cushion? Fabric Cleaning

You must be pondering how to clean outdoor cushions. Whether you use your patio furniture daily or occasionally, cleaning outdoor cushions is essential. But note that you can clean outdoor cushions twice a season.

How to Clean an Outdoor Cushion

Here are some steps you should follow to keep your cushions clean:

  1. For routine cleaning, brush aside the loose grime.
  1. If you use removable covers for your cushion, remove the covers, soak in the cleaning solution, brush it gently, rinse it with clean water, and air dry.

  2. For deep cleaning, prepare a cleaning mixture by adding ¼-cup mild soap to 1 gallon of lukewarm water.

  3. With the help of a sponge or a soft-bristle brush, apply the mixture to the cushions.

  4. Allow the fabric to soak into the mixture.

  5. Later use a garden hose, set it on a low-pressure, and rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove the soap.

  6. Let the fabric dry naturally.

  7. For mold cleaning, mix bleach and water in a ratio of 1:3. (If the instructions on the cushion say ‘no bleach,’ then opt for bleach-free mildew and mold stain remover).

  8. Apply the mixture to mildew with the help of a spray bottle. Allow it to soak for 15 minutes. Later follow the above rinsing process using a clean towel and garden hose and let the covers air dry.

  9. In case of oil stains on the cushion, sprinkle cornstarch and let it absorb the oil from the fabric. Also, you can use a strong degreaser for greasy stains, pretreat the material for an hour and then follow the deep cleaning process.

NOTE: Do not run the cushion covers in the dryer as they need air drying only. Also, after each cleaning, apply a fabric protector. It protects the fabric against spill stains and makes cleaning easier.

When buying the patio furniture, check:

  • If the cushion covers are removable and washable in a machine.

  • Secondly, always check the washing instructions from the manufacturer before putting them into the washing machine.

How to Clean Plastic Patio Furniture?

Plastic patio furniture is lightweight, comfortable, and affordable. Be it a plastic patio chair or a plastic table; you need to take care and clean them regularly to make them last long without losing their shine.

How to Clean Plastic Patio Furniture


Though cleaning furniture regularly can be stressful, here are a few easy steps to follow to eliminate accumulated muddy spots on plastic patio furniture.

  1. If your plastic furniture has tough stains, mix mild dishwashing detergent with water, clean all the plastic furniture, and hose down to rinse.

  2. Mix ½ cup baking soda and 1 gallon of warm water for regular cleaning.

  3. For colored plastic furniture, add ¼-cup vinegar to 1 quart of warm water to clean.

  4. For stubborn stains, use white distilled vinegar and wipe down the part with the help of a clean rag.

  5. For mild cleaning of stains, you can sprinkle baking soda on it and wipe it with a wet sponge.

  6. Apply a coat of automotive paste wax after rinsing the plastic patio furniture.

NOTE: Do not use bleach or chlorine on white plastic furniture as it wears down the material. You can do a deep cleaning process thrice a season.


We are sure you wouldn’t like relaxing on a crabby chair, nor would you like to have a family gathering on a dirty table. To have the most welcoming outdoor living area, follow the below-mentioned tips and keep your outdoor furniture in fantastic condition for years ahead.

Follow a routine of regular cleaning of your outdoor furniture:

  • Keep a check on rust, mold, and mildew formation, especially in humid climates, and eradicate it within the time (if any).

  • When the furniture is not in use, keep it in a cool and dry area, or move it indoors. If the furniture is too heavy, take the cushions inside while using patio covers for the furniture.

  • Choose well-ventilated and durable covers resistant to moisture to protect your patio furniture.

  • During snow and rain, store your patio furniture indoors.

  • Consider fixing an overhead shelter, pop-up tent, or opaque patio cover to protect your outdoor furniture from direct sunlight.

  • Check if the furniture needs any kind of repair work.

  • During summers, keep your patio umbrellas close to avoid accidental damage.

  • Protect your furniture from the summer heat, rain, or winter by cleaning and protecting it with a sealant or fabric spray.

  • To avoid glass shattering, wrap the glass table tops or any other glass pieces in a thick blanket.

  • Depending on the type of furniture, apply a water-repellent finish for protection.

  • For wooden wicker’s additional shine and protection, use varnish and let it dry for at least two full days.

  • Though teak is durable, timely varnishing prevents it from rotting and weathering.

  • Using mineral spirits on metal helps remove rust spots, whereas primer on metal helps improve and repair the metal.


Whether your outdoor furniture consists of metal, plastic, or wood and wicker, spruce it up and the cushions with the cleaning mentioned above guide and enjoy your happy gatherings at any time. Our caring furniture tips would surely be an added advantage.