How to Clean Outdoor Furniture?

Published on Updated on MAINTENANCE by Andie Herrera


Summer’s almost here and it’s time to clean off those outdoor countertops, scrub down the grill, and start planning your cookouts. But before you do, there’s one more cleaning task you’re going to need to take care of. Over the winter, outdoor cabinetry and furniture can become quite dirty, particularly when left uncovered. As part of your normal spring cleaning ritual, you should make it a point to inspect outdoor pieces for dirt, mold, and mildew and clean them thoroughly. Keeping outdoor furniture clean and in good repair will extend the lifetime of the piece, protect guests against allergic reactions, and make your next gathering a sparkling success.

When preparing to clean outdoor furniture, you should know that not all materials are cleaned the same.

Depending on whether you’re cleaning outdoor cabinetry, grills and other appliances, or furnishing, you’re likely to encounter a variety of materials and not all are cleaned in the same way. In fact, what’s good for some surfaces may be harmful to others. Here are some of the more common outdoor materials and methods for cleaning them.

Cleaning Wood Outdoor Furniture

How to clean wooden garden furniture? How to clean teak outdoor furniture?

Right, basic cleaning for most woods is fairly straightforward. Use a soft nylon brush to remove debris, then clean the surface with mild soap and warm water, using a sponge or damp cloth. Wipe down the piece with a lint-free cloth and allow the wood to air dry.

If mold or mildew has built up on your wood furniture, you can clean it with a solution of a cup of ammonia, a 1/2 a cup of white vinegar, and a 1/4 cup of baking soda mixed with a gallon of hot water. For tough mold stains, use fine-grained sandpaper (220 grit or higher) to remove the stain and then apply wood oil to the sanded area.

Some woods, such as teak, ironwood, or eucalyptus, will weather over time to a greyish color, which is not harmful to the wood. However, if you want to maintain the original lustrous wood color you will want to regularly treat the piece with wood oil and apply a layer of sealant.

Cleaning Metal Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furnishings often come with metal frames, and if you’ve invested in outdoor cabinetry, you may also have grills and appliances that are stainless steel (a special case covered further on). To clean your metal pieces, begin by removing cushions and spraying down the metal with a garden hose to get rid of dirt and debris. Wipe down the surfaces with a soapy cloth. Then rinse the cloth and wipe again. Finish by drying the metal with a soft, nonabrasive cloth.

Stainless steel is a special case as it can easily show prints and smudges. To clean stainless steel, rub smudges with white vinegar and a damp, soft cloth until they disappear. Then rinse the surface clean with water and wipe away excess so that the surface can dry. Hard water may leave white residue which can be cleaned with a dilute solution of vinegar (25%) and water. Use a spray bottle to apply the vinegar solution. Then wipe the surface with a soft cloth. Rinse the cloth with warm water, wring it out, and wipe the solution from the surface. Finally, wipe the surface with a dry, soft cloth.

Most stainless steels resist rust and corrosion, but should any appear, you can remove it with a mixture of baking powder and water. Apply the paste with a soft-bristled brush in the direction of the grain and wash clean with water when done.

How do you Clean Cast Aluminium Outdoor Furniture?


  • Get rid of all cushions or covers from the pieces. The washing guidelines on their labels can clean them.
  • Set the furniture on a level, clean surface as you prepare for cleaning.


  • Shower the Aluminium furniture through and through with water from the nursery hose.
  • Use a wet wipe or a cloth material while washing to expel any surface dirt.
  • Any cleaning solvent can help clean dirt that is stuck, as long as it contains no oil or bleach. Do not use steel wool or some other abrasive cleaning apparatuses, as they leave scratches on the outside of the Aluminium.

③Buff Away Scratches

  • A wax-based cleaner might be utilized to buff away notable surface scratches.
  • Like polishing a vehicle, apply the cleaner to fabric, and work the cleaner onto the scratches in a roundabout movement.
  • Buff all surfaces for a smooth and sparkling look. Follow through with a fast wash.
  • The wax covering will stay on the cast Aluminium yard furniture for quite a while, preserving the piece until the following coat is applied.
Click here to know more about Aluminium Outdoor Furniture Care

How to Clean Plastic Outdoor Furniture & Resin Outdoor Furniture?

Plastic and resin furniture are generally easy to clean by using a soft brush to wipe away excess dirt and debris and then scrubbing with a mild soap and water solution. Rinse the piece with water until no soap remains and let it dry in a shaded place.

For difficult pieces, such as resin wicker, that have nooks and crannies where debris gathers, you can first try a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove dirt. If this doesn’t work, a pressure washer set on its lowest setting should do the trick.

Mold or mildew that has formed on plastic pieces can be removed using a solution of a quarter cup white vinegar mixed into a quart of water. Spray the solution on the surface and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. Rinse the piece with clean water and dry with a clean towel.

How to Clean Glass Outdoor Settings?

Even the hardest to remove substances, such as bird droppings, can be removed from glass with a soft cloth or sponge soaked in mild soap and water. It is better to use extra effort than to use any abrasive material that might scratch the glass. Once the surface is clean, rinse with clean water and dry. You can follow up with a non-streak glass cleaner for the perfect shine.

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Fabric?

Most fabrics for outdoor furniture are designed to be UV light and weather resistant. They can easily be cleaned by taking out the foam core (if possible) and lightly brushing the fabric to remove any dirt. Then spray the fabric with warm soapy water, gently scrub with a soft brush, and rinse with clean water. Allow the cover to air dry before reinserting the foam.

Scrubbed, Done, and Time for Fun

Just this little bit of maintenance will prolong the life of your outdoor furniture and cabinetry and set you up for a successful season of outdoor gatherings and relaxation, ensuring your furniture looks pristine and inviting year after year.

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