Spring is the perfect time to give your outdoor furniture a good clean over in preparation for the summertime of outdoor entertaining, and just generally living in your outdoor furniture!

We’ve compiled some of the best tips we found on cleaning and caring for outdoor furniture.

While outdoor furniture is generally manufactured to be more heavy duty and durable than indoor furniture, it still requires some careful treatment and cleaning to withstand the extremities of the outdoors.

A good place to start is by inspecting your outdoor furniture before summertime comes around and its being used frequently again. Check over for any broken pieces and keep an eye out for nuts and bolts that may need tightening.

A general rule when looking after your outdoor furniture is to familiarise yourself with the care instructions, after all they have included them for a reason! Be careful using harsh cleaning products like bleach or pine oil. If you are going to, be sure to test a hidden spot on the furniture first.

Wicker

Sunlight is the biggest threat to wicker furniture; consider rearranging your furniture out of direct sunlight, otherwise try to cover up the furniture when it’s not in use. Generally wicker furniture doesn’t tolerate harsh cleaning products, so make sure you clean it regularly to avoid requiring these types of products.

The best place to start is by brushing the surfaces with a soft bristled brush. You can also use a vacuum to remove any dirt. Scrub your outdoor furniture with a mild soapy solution and then rinse off. This will prevent any build up of mildew on the furniture. Wicker furniture is also prone to paint peeling off, so you may need to sand back sections of your furniture and re-paint.

Timber

While it’s not necessary, you may want to coat your timber furniture with a sealant to protect it from sun, dirt and moisture. It is also recommended to apply a clear water-repellent preservative.

If you are cleaning off stains or mildew you might want to use a bleach and hot water solution and scrub with a soft-bristle brush. Lightly sand the area to remove any rust stains or bird droppings and rinse off. If you notice paint is chipping off, just sand the area and touch up the paint.

Timber can become rough and dry if not sanded and treated. It’s recommended to sand and oil timber outdoor furniture twice a year. Finish cleaning your timber outdoor furniture by applying an oil to stain the item.

Metal

Being that metal is subject to rust, you should take extra care of your metal furniture. To clean the furniture, use a mild soapy solution. You can either sand or scrub the area to remove mould from the furniture.

Apply a coat of liquid or paste auto wax after cleaning for extra care. Check over for your metal furniture for rust and paint chips, and regularly touch up when necessary. Remove rust by using fine sandpaper and touch up with rust-resistant paint.

Plastic

The quality of plastic outdoor furniture is going to considerably worse than other outdoor furniture so it’s important to take extra care, and use gentle cleaning products.

You can clean most plastic outdoor furniture by scrubbing it with a mild soapy solution. For more difficult stains and if your furniture has mildew, try scrubbing with a water and chlorine bleach solution.

Fabric

Outdoor furniture fabric is made from heavy-duty material to provide a resistance to sun damage, moisture, mildew and stains. This type of fabric is less prone to fading and can handle harsher cleaning products.

It’s recommended to wipe over any stains on outdoor furniture fabric immediately with a wet cloth and soapy solution. For added protection you could apply a fabric protector to the outdoor furniture fabric once a year.

To thoroughly clean your outdoor furniture fabric, use a soapy solution of gentle liquid soap and lukewarm water. On most fabrics you can remove any mould by cleaning with warm water and oxygen bleach

 

In the future, why not cover up your beautiful pieces of outdoor furniture while they aren’t being used, it will not only protect them for longer lasting, but also make the cleaning a whole lot easier for next time!