How To Clean Your Outdoor Furniture

1 April, 2016

Rising temperatures, longer days, and more sunshine indicate that summer is right around the corner. After a harsh winter, chances are you’re ready to get your patio prepped for a fun season of outdoor entertainment. However, even if you took the necessary steps in protecting it against harsh conditions, the winter weather still might have taken a toll on your patio furniture. Such damages include:

The following tips can help you revive your furniture so you can have a clean, functional outdoor living space.

1. Clean Your Cushions

Get rid of mildew, dust, and winter stiffness in your cushions by giving them a quick DIY cleanse. Combine the following in a bucket or spray bottle:

  • 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent
  • 1 quart warm water
  • 1 tablespoon Borax

Spray or soak your cushions on both sides with the cleaning solution and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Using a hose, spray off the solution and set the cushion on it’s side to sun-dry. When the cushion is about eighty-percent dry, spray the surfaces with a fabric protector. Also, remember to give your cushions a frequent vacuum or shake to remove built up dust and debris.

If your cushions have simply seen better days, it might be time to replace them with a fresh, comfy new set. RST Brands has a variety of outdoor replacement cushions that are long-lasting and easy to clean.

2. Care For Your Canvas Seats

Thankfully, most canvas is machine-washable, meaning if your canvas is removable, you can simply stick it in the the washer and let your washer do the hard work. Note, however, that in order to keep the color of your canvas as bright as possible, set your machine to the cold setting and don’t put the canvas in the dryer. Instead, put it back on the furniture while it’s still damp so it will maintain its shape.

If the canvas is not removable, use the cleaning solution in Step 1 and a scrub brush to give your fabric a fresh, rejuvenating clean that is both effective and won’t damage the quality.   

3. Whiten That White Plastic

Combine one gallon of warm water and three tablespoons of automatic dishwashing detergent to create a solution that is perfect for cleaning white plastic furniture. Use a sponge or soft brush to apply this solution and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with a hose. It’s important that you use automatic dishwashing detergent as this contains a bleaching agent that will whiten plastic without using harsh chemicals.

4. Manage Your Metals

Using a detergent-soaked sponge, give your aluminum furniture a thorough cleaning. Be sure to rinse away any remaining suds or debris, and inspect your furniture over for any scratches or nicks. If needed, touch up any blemishes with car paint of the appropriate color and follow with a coat of automotive wax for extra protection that will last throughout the summer.  

Remove any rust that’s accumulated on wrought iron furniture by using a wire brush or steel wool and follow with a coat of exterior spray paint that’s created for wrought iron. Let the paint dry completely before applying cushions or canvases.

With the four tips above, you can make your outdoor living space look as good as when everything was new!