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Top Tips for Cleaning Garden Furniture

Top Tips for Cleaning Garden Furniture

As the weather warms up and the sun starts to shine, those lucky enough to have some outside space will be dusting off the sun loungers and garden chairs.

Whether your outdoor furniture has been stashed in a shed, tucked away in a garage or left outside to face the elements, it may need a bit of attention before it’s ready for use. Here are our top tips for getting furniture garden-ready…

How to clean wooden garden furniture

From rustic benches to table sets, wooden furniture is a natural choice which should stand the test of time – with a little care.

  • To remove general dirt, dust and debris
    A solution of sugar soap and warm water is gentle yet effective at removing most dirt. Apply with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge – you can leave it to soak on any particularly dirty areas. Simply rinse off the solution with some water – but avoid using a pressure washer as it could cause damage.
  • To fix flaking or dry surfaces

After washing, you can treat wood with a protective oil or stain – these range from clear hardwood oils which preserve the wood’s natural colour, to coloured stains which give a rich, uniform finish. Choose a dry day. Lightly sand the surface all over and brush away any dust. Then apply your oil with a long-bristled brush, pulling it in the direction of the wood. This will protect your furniture for up to a year!

How to clean plastic garden furniture

From sun loungers and children’s toys to faux rattan, plastic outdoor furniture is lightweight and convenient but can be susceptible to stains.

  • To remove built-up grime and light stains

Baking soda is surprisingly effective at lifting everyday grime from surfaces – and it’s an eco-friendly choice too! Mix 1-part baking soda with 16-parts warm water and apply the mixture with a soft sponge or cloth, then rinse with clean water. Avoid using bleach, even on white plastic, as it can corrode the material.

  • To tackle stubborn stains
    Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge to create a mild abrasive which should lift stubborn stains. To remove mould or mildew, scrub furniture with a dry brush to remove loose dirt then spray mildew spots with undiluted white vinegar – make sure you wear a mask!


How to clean metal garden furniture

Iron, aluminium and steel garden furniture is hardwearing and usually low maintenance, but a little TLC can keep it looking its best.

  • To deal with rust
    Gently scrub dry furniture with steel wool to remove any existing rust, then treat the furniture using exterior anti-rust metal paint – pay attention to any scratched areas where the existing coating may have come away.
  • To remove general dirt, dust and debris
    Hot, soapy water and a soft cloth should be enough to remove the worst of winter’s weather from most metal furniture. To extend the life of metal furniture, try polishing it with car wax after cleaning, which improves water resistance.

Posted in: Tips & Advice