Cleaning Your Patio Furniture

Published July 19, 2012

Its time to pull out your outdoor cleaning cloths and scrub brushes for a spring clean up. Your patio furniture is probably in dire need of washing and this is the time of year to give it a fresh look. Thank your husband very much for his offer to power wash your patio furniture but politely decline because the power washing jets are much too strong for the finish on most outdoor pieces. Even the lightest setting can remove paint and protective coatings.

The best cleaners for most outdoor furniture are mild dishwashing detergents. Combined with a bucket of warm water, the mild detergent will remove most of the dirt residue without scratching or bleaching the pieces. For tougher stains you can try some environmentally friendly cleaning products but be sure to test a small inconspicuous area first to avoid any discoloration.  I like President’s Choice All-Purpose Cleaner and is fragrance and dye-free.  ECOVER’s glass and surface cleaner is also very nice as it is chrome-friendly and streak-free.

Use a soft scrub brush and soft cloths to clean and follow up with either warm water or water from your garden hose. It’s also a good idea to towel off the water after washing to avoid any leftover water spots.

Wicker patio furniture can be a little trickier to wash. The best way is to vacuum it first with a soft brush attachment on your vacuum and then follow up with warm, soapy water.

Patio umbrellas can collect dirt and residue over the summer season as well. Check for any manufacturer’s labels indicating cleaning instructions before you do anything. To clean most  patio umbrellas, simply open it up wide and lay it on its side. Use a mild, eco-friendly dishwashing soap or cleaner and a soft scrub brush. Always do a test patch first on the inside of the umbrella. Let dry before replacing it in its stand.

The best way to keep your patio furniture clean throughout the season is to purchase some breathable patio furniture covers. You can find these in all kinds of stores at the moment and they are definitely worth it. Over time you will find that these covers will extend the life of your furniture for many years.