When the warm weather hits, you’ll want to be ready to lounge in the sunshine, dine al fresco and greet guests in the back garden—without having to pull out a bucket of soapy water before you can sit down. With some simple cleaning hacks and preventative maintenance tips, you can keep your patio furniture tidy and ready to enjoy, ensuring it lasts many years.
Unlike the furniture inside your home, outdoor chairs, tables and sofas need some help to keep looking good and feeling comfy. Thorough and regular cleanings can brighten and protect plastic, metal, fabric and wood outdoor furniture. In addition, consistent maintenance will promote longevity in your furniture, helping you get the most wear out of each piece. If you do it right, your tables, chairs and sofas can look like new again, year after year. And best of all, you’ll always have outdoor seating ready at a moment’s notice.
Whether it’s routinely drenched with wet towels, jumped on by dirty dogs, baked in the sun or sits collecting dust, outdoor furniture takes a beating—and requires a bit of TLC. Knowing how to clean your furniture and maintain the materials is a must. Inadvertently soaking wicker furniture will damage the wood, while mild soap and soft sponges will be insufficient to scrub the grime off a metal table, for example. You need the right products and techniques to get the work done right for each job.
Caring for wicker and teak furniture requires some effort. It takes extra time and energy to get between the grooves of a wicker weave, and neither material should ever be drenched with water because this can cause warping and blistering. So you’ll need to use some special tools and work in sections to get the job done right.
Whatever type of chair or table you’re cleaning, be sure to give the soap or washing solution a sufficient dwell time (roughly 15 minutes usually does it) to work on dirt and stains before you rinse it away.
Many chairs and tables designed for use on the deck and lawn are made from these inexpensive and versatile materials. The good news is that plastic and resin furniture is the easiest to maintain since dust, dirt and debris tend to wipe away. Steer clear of abrasive cleaners and sponges (which can scuff the surface and cause it to look worn more quickly). All you need is a soft sponge, a basic cleaning solution and some elbow grease!
Automatic dishwashing detergent works great on white plastic furniture! (Be sure to wear gloves, as they often contain bleach.)
Whether you have a stainless-steel outdoor dining set, an aluminum lounger or a wrought iron bench in your garden, metal outdoor furniture is durable and relatively easy to maintain. (Unless you find a section of chipped paint or a spot of rust. Metal patio furniture is often coated with a rust-resistant finish, but these wear over time. More on that below!)
Never use a pressure washer on your patio furniture. It can strip the finish and damage the materials.
If cushion covers can’t be zipped off and tossed in the washing machine, you must clean them by hand. Whether your pillows, seat pads and fabric swing seats are made of vinyl or another exterior fabric, the cleaning process is basically the same. That said, you should always look to care instruction tags for direction and do a spot test before you get started.
Don’t forget about your patio umbrella! If possible, remove the fabric and machine wash it, following the care tag instructions. If it’s permanently attached to the frame, follow the above cleaning instructions for cushions and fabrics.
Although outdoor furniture is designed to be durable, it’s not indestructible and, if not correctly cared for, can be vulnerable to stains, scratches, mildew and premature signs of wear and tear. So to keep it looking as good-as-new—and ready to use when needed—tables, chairs, sofas and cushions should be cleaned regularly. Ideally, it’s best to give your outdoor furniture a spruce-up four times a year: once in the spring, at the beginning of summer, at the end of summer and again in the late fall, before you cover them or pack them away for the winter.
You can minimize the upkeep of your outdoor furniture by following a few golden rules:
Prices shown are subject to change. Please check Walmart.ca for the latest pricing.
This article is intended as general information. To be sure a product is right for you, always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.
Simply put, we don’t recommend any products we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Our writers leverage a number of sources as a starting point, including reputable third-party reviews, Walmart.ca user reviews, and Walmart Canada’s category specialists. theHUB editorial staff has final say for all products included in this guide.
Any product claims noted are provided by the manufacturer, unless otherwise stated. Prices shown are subject to change. Please check Walmart.ca for the latest pricing. This article is intended as general information. To be sure a product is right for you, always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.