10 tips to keep your garden furniture clean

10 tips to keep your garden furniture clean

If you’ve invested in great garden furniture to enhance your property’s outdoor space, some regular maintenance will help to ensure it’s still looking great in the years to come.

But even if you’re the owner of some garden furniture that’s seen better days thanks to the harsh British winters, all is not lost.

These great cleaning tips will help to keep your garden furniture in great condition and restore any pieces in need of a little TLC…

What is the best cleaner for outdoor furniture?

A small amount of washing-up liquid in warm water should be more than enough to remove dirt and grime from most types of garden furniture.

Alternatively, you could try some vinegar in warm water for a more natural cleaning solution.

How to clean and restore wooden garden furniture

Wooden garden furniture can be left outside through autumn and winter but will require some cleaning either in the spring or early summer.

Take these steps to get your garden furniture gleaming once again…

1. Remove cushions and covers from your furniture

2. Get rid of any loose dirt, cobwebs, or grime by brushing your furniture gently with a soft bristle brush. Use a toothbrush to get into any difficult nooks and crannies

3. Fill a bucket with warm water and a small amount of washing-up liquid

4. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the furniture, again using a toothbrush to clean between areas

5. Rinse your furniture using a garden hose on a low-pressure setting

6. Allow to dry

How to remove algae from wooden garden furniture

If your wooden garden furniture is left outside all year, it may be affected by algae.

Algae can thrive when the weather is warm and damp, particularly in autumn, and the colder winter months only make things worse.

To remove algae growth from your garden furniture, take the following steps…

1. Remove any cushions or covers from your furniture

2. Mix a solution of two parts vinegar to one part warm water and throw in three tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda

3. Use a firm scrubbing brush to apply the solution to all algae-affected surfaces of your furniture, using a toothbrush to reach any difficult corners

4. Leave for five minutes, before applying another layer of solution and scrub hard to remove any remaining algae

5. Rinse off the furniture with a garden hose on a low-pressure setting

6. Check for any remaining algae and re-do steps four and five as required

Cleaning and reviving metal garden furniture

Although metal furniture like wrought iron or other metals is tough enough to withstand everything the British winter can throw at it, it can be prone to rust.

Take these steps to keep your metal garden furniture looking pristine all year round…

1. Brush off any dirt, grime or cobwebs from your furniture using a soft brush

2. Using a ball of wire wool, gently rub off any patches of rust

3. If any rust persists, pour white vinegar over the affected areas and leave for an hour

4. Wipe over the surface with a cloth and repeat if needed

5. Scrub your furniture with warm, soapy water to remove any remaining dirt and loose paint and allow to dry

6. Once dry, treat your furniture with an etching liquid, before painting and applying a metal lacquer to seal the surface

How to revive plastic or rattan garden furniture

Although plastic furniture is arguably the most resilient to extreme weather, it can be affected by discolouration.

With that in mind, it’s always best to store plastic items in a shed, garage or other outbuilding during autumn and winter.

Rattan furniture, meanwhile, which is hugely popular, can be left outside but will need to be cleaned down each year.

Try the following steps to clean your plastic or rattan garden furniture…

1. Remove any covers or cushions from your furniture

2. Mix up a solution of warm water, washing-up liquid and a small amount of bleach

3. Using rubber gloves, sponge down your furniture using the solution, getting rid of dirt and stains

4. Rinse your furniture using a garden hose and allow to dry

For rattan furniture, use a non-foaming detergent and sponge, along with a soft toothbrush for tricky areas and then rinse down with a hose.

If your rattan is looking a little tired, try rubbing some olive oil into it which will restore its original shine.

How to clean teak garden furniture

Teak furniture can look stunning, but does require some annual maintenance to keep it looking its best.

Take these steps, however, and your teak garden furniture will last for years…

1. Remove any covers or cushions from your furniture

2. Make a solution of warm water, washing-up liquid and add a splash or bleach or vinegar

3. Scrub down all areas of the furniture with the solution and a sponge

4. Rinse the furniture with a garden hose on a low pressure setting

5. If any stains remain, use a very fine sandpaper to gently sand back in the direction of the grain

6. Allow to dry

7. Treat your teak furniture with a teak protector or sealer

Further reading…

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