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How to Clean Patio Furniture

When the weather is sunny and beautiful, you spend hours enjoying the great outdoors from the comfort of your own backyard. Whether you've created a garden with potted plants on your patio or you have a cozy poolside casual seating set, cleaning your patio furniture regularly can extend the life of the furniture and offer a comfortable and clean place to sit outside.

Clean your patio furniture once per month at the very least for regular maintenance, use patio furniture covers to protect the furniture from the elements and spot clean your patio set just before hosting parties or events. There are several easy ways to clean patio furniture, and by following these tips, you'll have long-lasting outdoor furniture.

Remove patio furniture cushions

If your patio furniture has fabric cushions, remove them and follow separate instructions for cleaning the fabric. Set them aside while you clean the frames and other pieces of furniture in your patio set.


Brush off loose debris

Remove any dirt, leaves or other debris that may have accumulated on your patio furniture with a small brush or broom. You can even use your vacuum if you don't want to sweep the ground after wiping off the furniture. The vacuum attachments can also be beneficial for removing leaves or other debris lodged inside wicker furniture cracks and crevices.


Use soap and water

Regardless of the patio furniture materials that make up your sets, this method is a tried and true way to remove light stains and spills on your furniture. Use a gentle soap, like dishwashing detergent, mixed with warm water to create a foamy solution. The warm water will be more efficient at removing tough stains than cold water would. Then use a rag or sponge to wipe down the furniture. When you're finished scrubbing the furniture, rinse with water. Dry the furniture with a towel or let it air dry in the sun.


Try an all-purpose cleaner

If soap and water aren't enough, you can try using one of the many all-purpose cleaning sprays on the market. Just spray the furniture and wipe it clean with a towel or paper towel. Follow the instructions on the cleaner to determine if you need to rinse the furniture after cleaning.


Scrub with dishwasher detergent and oxygen bleach

Use a solution of dishwasher detergent, oxygen bleach and water to clean plastic or wood patio furniture. For every half gallon of water, use 1/8 cup of dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon of oxygen bleach. After scrubbing with this solution, rinse the furniture and let it dry.


Paint or stain your patio furniture

When all else fails, you can paint your patio furniture. Not only do you have the opportunity to change up the color scheme of your patio sets, but also you'll have a like-new set when the project is complete. Always make sure that the furniture is clean and dry before you attempt to paint the frames to avoid mold or mildew. With wood patio furniture, you can also choose to stain the frame instead of completely painting it. Choose a UV-blocking stain that will protect the wood from the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays.