How to Clean Outdoor Furniture and Cushions

Summer! It’s the season of outdoor parties and relaxing on the back porch or patio while you enjoy the sunshine. Before you entertain, you’ll want to make sure your outdoor space is clean, inviting, and ready for you and your guests.

That means deep cleaning your patio furniture when you pull it out in the spring (and again before you store it for winter).

How to Clean Metal Patio Furniture

Sturdy metal patio furniture adds an elegant touch to your outdoor space, but it also requires maintenance to avoid rust, corrosion, and a dingy appearance.

To take care of outdoor metal furniture, simply:

  1. Brush away debris. Use your hands or a brush to remove large pieces of debris, like leaves and sticks.
  2. Scrub clean. Mix dish soap and warm water, and use a scrub brush to clean your furniture of any dirt or grime.
  3. Rinse away the soap. Use clean water to rinse the furniture. Wipe it dry with a cloth or paper towel.
  4. Inspect for rust. Soak a cloth in vinegar and wrap it around the rust spots. Let sit for a couple of hours and then scrub the rust off. You can also use this opportunity to check for loose screws and bolts and tighten them.
  5. Repaint as needed. To seal it from the weather, repaint or re-seal your outdoor metal furniture with outdoor-safe paint or clear coat every few years or when you notice rust spots appearing.

How to Clean Wicker Patio Furniture

Wicker furniture is a patio and deck classic, but it can be tough to clean. Why? Because of all the gaps where leaves and dirt can get stuck!

That’s why it’s good to clean wicker furniture regularly to prevent buildup. Wicker, rattan, and reed can’t handle the kind of harsh scrubbing that gets rid of caked-on dirt and grime. Avoid damage to your wicker furniture by following these steps for routine cleaning:

  1. Remove debris. Use a dry paintbrush or a vacuum with a brush attachment to knock debris and cobwebs out of the gaps in the furniture.
  2. Gently scrub. Add a few squirts of mild soap (like dish soap) to a gallon of water and use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub dirt away. You may want a larger brush for flatter, open areas and a toothbrush to clean in tight corners or within the weave.
  3. Rinse clean. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away soap. Don’t soak the wicker; too much water can weaken it.
  4. Pat dry. Use a clean, dry cloth with no lint to pat excess water out of the wicker wherever you can. Allow to air-dry the rest of the way.

Since constant direct sunlight can degrade wicker, keep your wicker furniture in a shaded area or throw a cover over it when not in use.

How to Clean Mesh Patio Furniture

Some patio chairs have metal framing with a mesh seat and back. Clean the metal areas as instructed above, then you can turn your attention to the mesh:

  1. Mix your cleaner. For persistent mold and mildew in hot, humid climates, use a vinegar-based cleaner. Mix half a cup of white vinegar and a quarter-cup of baking soda into one gallon of warm water.
  2. Scrub the mesh. Using a soft-bristled brush, scrub your cleaner into the mesh. For best results, flip the furniture over to clean it from both sides.
  3. Rinse clean. Using clean water from a bucket or garden hose, rinse out the mesh thoroughly. You may have to rinse more than once to remove all the suds.

While cleaning, check for rips, tears, and places where the mesh is coming loose. Replace broken mesh before it can cause an accident, like someone ripping through a seat.

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions from Furniture

You can keep outdoor cushions looking fresh by shaking off outdoor debris every couple of weeks. When it comes to deep cleaning, here’s the best way to clean outdoor cushions:

  1. Check for removable covers. Some outdoor cushions have a removable cover, making them much easier to wash. Remove any covers and wash as directed. Some can be machine-washed, while others need hand washing. Hand wash by submerging covers in one gallon of lukewarm water and ¼ cup of mild liquid soap. Rinse well and hang or lay flat to dry.
  2. Vacuum loose debris. If your cushion covers are not removable, use a vacuum attachment to clean away loose dirt, leaves, sticks, and other debris.
  3. Spot-clean stains. Using a mixture of dish soap and warm water, spot-clean any stains using a soft-bristled brush like a toothbrush, scrubbing in small, circular motions.
  4. Attack stubborn stains. For more difficult stains, add a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the mixture above and coat the stain. Let the cleaner soak in for a while and then scrub away.
  5. Rinse thoroughly. Using a garden hose on medium pressure, completely rinse your cushions.
  6. Air-dry. Leave cushions to dry outdoors or in a well-ventilated indoor area. Do not use heat to dry them, though you may speed up the process with a fan.

Let the Cleaning Pros Lighten Your Load

While you take care of your outdoor living space, let The Cleaning Authority clean your indoor space! We’ll tidy up everything from the kitchen to the living room to your home office. That way, you’ll have extra time to perfect your outdoor space and enjoy it to the fullest.

Ready to get started? Request a free estimate online or call (888) 658-0659 to schedule your cleaning.