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How to Clean Patio Furniture


Whether it's an afternoon snack, a sudden summer storm or the muddy family dog, the outdoors are bound to get messy. Making sure to properly clean your patio furniture regularly will help ensure its longevity for many seasonal get-togethers to come. Using patio furniture covers are one way to prevent dirt from accumulating, but sometimes that won't cut it. Here are a few tips on how to clean your patio furniture to keep your outdoor space clean and inviting.


Step 1: Remove Any Loose 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.


Step 2: Brush Off Loose Debris

Remove any dirt, leaves or other debris that may have accumulated with a small brush or broom. Better yet, using a vacuum cleaner means you won't have to sweep up after. The vacuum attachments can also be beneficial for removing leaves or other debris lodged inside wicker furniture cracks and crevices.


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Patio furniture covered in leaves

Patio furniture cushion

Step 3: Use Soap and Water

Regardless of the material, 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. With a rag or sponge, gently wipe down the furniture and rinse with water. Dry the furniture with a towel, or let it air dry in the sun.

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Step 4: Try an All-Purpose Cleaner

If soap and water aren't enough, try using an all-purpose cleaning spray. Spray a paper towel with the cleaner and wipe down the furniture, then follow with a clean, dry towel. Follow the instructions on the cleaner to determine if you need to rinse the furniture after cleaning.

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Step 5: Scrub With Detergent and Oxygen Bleach

Use a solution of dishwashing detergent, oxygen bleach and water to clean plastic or wood. 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.

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Stained patio furniture

Step 6: Paint or Stain Your Patio Furniture

When all else fails, cover up blemishes by painting over them. Not only can you change up the color scheme of your sets, but you'll also achieve a like-new look. 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 stain the frame instead of painting it. Choose a UV-blocking stain that will protect the wood from damaging ultraviolet rays, and you'll be able to enjoy even more sunny backyard afternoons.

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How to Clean Patio Furniture