Grimy patio chairs and dirty tables are nothing but uninviting. To prevent outdoor furniture from reaching this state, make it a point to do routine cleanings. It is vital to keep your outdoor furniture clean and dry throughout the year to preserve its look and maintain its function.

How Do You Clean Outdoor Furniture

Make sure to clean patio furniture at least four times a year using methods ideal for their specific material. Today we’ll go over some excellent cleaning processes for wood, plastic, metal, glass, and wicker furniture. Give them a try and see how they can turn back the time on some of your favorite pieces.

Furniture Types and How To Clean Them

Each type of furniture material calls for a specific cleaning process. Consider this to prevent staining and other kinds of damage and to ensure optimal cleaning outcomes.

Wood and Wicker Furniture

Breathe new life into your dirty wood or wicker furniture pieces using these cleaning methods. Remove grime using a mixture of oil-based soap and warm water. You can also go DIY by mixing one-quart water, quarter-cup ammonia, and two tablespoons of vinegar to create a homemade cleaning solution. When using commercial wood cleaners, read the instructions carefully. Some products may be too strong for certain wicker and wood furniture and require diluting. To maintain your outdoor wooden furniture’s look, wipe it down daily to remove dirt, moisture, and debris. Hardwood furniture, in particular, requires yearly sanding and application of a layer of finish such as stain, oil, or polyurethane. You also need to hose it down every couple of weeks to prevent dirt buildup within nooks and crevices.

Metal, Iron, and Aluminum Furniture

Restoring shine on metal outdoor furniture pieces calls for some specific cleaning strategies. For instance, aluminum furniture cleaning requires a method that addresses oxidation in particular. A pre-cleaning ritual that focuses on the removal of these imperfections has to take place. Use a mixture of white vinegar and water or metal polishing paste to wipe off the markings. Note that ammonia and TSP are not ideal for these types of furniture. The same goes for alkaline cleaners since they may contribute to oxidation. When it comes to metal pieces, it’s all about protecting the natural luster. This is accomplished through frequent washing and removal of scuff marks using a soft, damp cloth. Always use non-abrasive cleaning products for these materials.



Fight off the rust and damaged paint with sanding and remove metal residue using a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Before repainting using rust-resistant paint, prep the surface using rust-resistant primer. Powder-coating and sandblasting are excellent options for providing added protection to wrought-iron furniture. While those are processes metal furniture may go without, automotive wax is another story. These are great after-cleaning protectants for your precious metal pieces.

How Do You Clean Outdoor Furniture - power washing

Glass Furniture

Maintaining the sparkle and shine of those glass patio tables is not as hard as it seems. The first step is to wipe the glass using a soft cloth dampened with a non-abrasive cleaning solution every day. Never use scrub brushes on these materials unless you plan on crying over the scratch marks. Your dish detergent should get the job done as well as any glass-specific commercial cleaning product. Once the initial cleaning is done, spray a glass cleaner or a homemade spray on the glass surfaces using a paper towel, soft cloth, or microfiber towel. Also, wipe down the glass’ underside every month to prevent unremovable grime. Don’t forget to clean the frames as per their material type. Patio furniture covers are a must for glass pieces because of how obvious they make dust and dirt look. If these pieces get dirty, there’s a good chance your guests won’t miss it. The good thing about that is it’s unlikely you’ll miss cleaning it off, too.

Plastic and Hard-Resin Furniture

For these types of furniture, the DIY route usually gets the job done. You can make a mild homemade cleanser by mixing a half-cup of baking soda and a gallon of water. You may also opt for three tablespoons of detergent mixed with a gallon of warm water. On the other hand, colored plastic requires a quarter-cup of white vinegar to one quart of warm water. Steer clear of bleach and chlorine for mixtures used on plastic furniture since these can burn through the material. For stains holding on for dear life, a clean rag dampened with white distilled vinegar should do the trick. Sprinklings of baking soda on a wet sponge should be similarly effective at addressing stains on hard-resin pieces. Avoid using abrasive cleaners on these items since they will leave scratch marks.

Use a Patio Furniture Cover To Protect Your Furniture

Cleaning aside, outdoor furniture maintenance requires knowing when it’s time to place patio furniture covers. After all, there will be times when the outdoors won’t be so outdoor-furniture-friendly. The winter season and the peak of summer are some of the harsh-weather stretches during the year when these accessories will prove especially useful.