How To Clean Outdoor Furniture

Cleaning outdoor furniture is both simple and easy when the proper procedures and materials are used.

The replacement of outdoor furniture can be very costly. Proper cleaning and care can prolong the life of your furniture for many years. Most new furniture comes with cleaning instructions, however, over the course of time these instructions usually become lost. The reference provided below will enable you to clean a variety of outdoor furniture.

Outdoor Furniture Materials

There are many materials available for outdoor furniture use, such as wicker, wood, fabric, aluminum, wrought iron, steel, and resin. Each material requires different cleaning procedures. Monthly cleaning is reccomended to promote good appearance and to help preserve your furniture.

Cleaning Procedures

Soap and water is all you need for most outdoor furniture. A helpful tool is a power washer in a range of 1200-1350 psi which can be used on different types of furniture at a low setting.

Aluminum, Wrought Iron and Steel Frames

Use water and mild soap to clean. Most metal frames manufactured today are rust resistant. To help keep your metal frame clean, use a paste wax or navel jelly.

Acrylic Cushions

Remove cushions from frames before cleaning. Spot clean with mild soap and water. Completely rinse with water, but be sure the material is totally dry before storing to prevent mildew from occurring. If mildew does occur, use a solution of one cup bleach, two cups detergent and one gallon of water to clean. Completely mix the solution and spray it on the entire cushion surface. Let the solution soak for 30 minutes. Use a clean rag or a sponge to wipe the surface clean. Rinse with water and let dry completely. When not in use, store acrylic cushions indoors unwrapped.


Fabric furniture such as outdoor cushions and hammocks should be machine washed using the gentle cycle. In addition, bleach may be added for white fabrics. Make sure to stretch fabric back over the frame before it is completely dry in order to avoid shrinkage. The type of material used for the frame will dictate its care and cleaning. Storing fabric furniture indoors during winter is recommended.

Resin Furniture

This is simplistic furniture to clean. Just spray off with clean water and let dry. For scuff marks, use a gentle abrasive to remove. For mildew removal, use a solution of one cup bleach, two cups detergent and one gallon of water.


Umbrellas should be stored indoors during winter to avoid soiling. Once umbrellas are removed from storage, they should be washed with mild soap and cold water. Using a soft- bristled brush is advisable to help loosen dirt. Wooden framed umbrellas should be cleaned and shined with paste wax.


You can use a hose or pressure washer. Make sure to remove the cushions and wipe off any dirt that might be present. If the wicker is highly solid use a sponge, mild soap and cold water to wash. Then, allow the furniture to dry. To keep your wicker furniture shiny and clean, apply paste wax to the frame.


Outdoor wooden furniture can be cleaned using soap and water. Once you have cleaned the furniture, be sure to rinse it completely. To promote cleanliness, wood furniture should be kept indoors whenever possible during the winter months.

In conclusion, I highly recommend reading the manufacturer's procedure for the proper cleaning and maintenance of your outdoor furniture. This information can be obtained from the product's manual or from the manufacturer directly.

© High Speed Ventures 2011