8 patio furniture cleaning tips

Patio furniture gets dirty. Really dirty.

And dirty patio cushions are the worst.  This is primarily because they're made of different material than the indoor pillows and cushions we're familiar with cleaning.

To clean them, use a garden hose to rinse away dust and dirt from furniture cushions weekly; turn them often for even wear and sun exposure.

Avoid getting sunscreen on patio cushions. If you (or the kids) do, rinse it off immediately. To deep-clean cushions, use a spray enzyme cleaner. Then set the furniture cushions on their ends in the sun until completely dry.

For the rest of your outdoor furniture, these 8 patio furniture cleaning tips can help get them primed as well.

  1.  General Patio Furniture Cleaning Tips

For general care and cleaning, rinse outdoor furniture near a pool or spa at least weekly. This is because chlorine will damage most finishes. Here are specific tips for different patio furniture surfaces:

  2.  Cleaning Aluminum Patio Furniture

Coat aluminum patio furniture with car wax twice a year to keep it looking bright and clean.

Wash aluminum furniture with a few squirts of mild liquid dish-washing detergent in a bucket of water; rinse and dry. Coat with an automotive wax every six months.

  3.  Cleaning Plastic or Resin Patio Furniture

Outdoor resin - or plastic - furniture doesn't require much care. Simply wash it with a mild soapy solution, hose it off, and towel dry. Avoid products with ammonia, and use a diluted bleach solution for stains.

  4.  Cleaning Teak Patio Furniture

Teak furniture is popular because it weathers well. Resist the urge to use teak oil on outdoor furniture, however, because it will act as a dust magnet.

Instead, clean it with a mild soap solution and a soft sponge or brush. Rinse well. Keep teak furniture in the sun because dampness will cause it to mildew.

  5.  Cleaning Vinyl Outdoor Furniture

Clean vinyl furniture with warm soapy water. Don't use bleach - it can damage the finish, allowing the porous material to stain, fade, and weaken faster.

  6.  Cleaning Wooden Patio Furniture

Clean wood furniture with a mild detergent and scrub brush at least once a year. Store indoors over winter if possible.

  7.  Cleaning Wrought Iron Furniture

Wash wrought iron furniture with soapy water; rinse and towel dry. Wax or polish it twice a year. Touch up any rust spots immediately. During winter, either bring indoors or cover.

  8.  Cleaning Outdoor Glass Tabletops

The trick to cleaning outdoor tables is turning it on its side (very carefully, if you're dealing with glass), and hose it down first. Next, wipe off the tabletop with a sponge dipped in soapy water. Hose again, then wipe dry. If you can't turn it sideways, move the chairs back and spray the top. Finish with a glass cleaner.

Consider outdoor furniture cleaning a part of your seasonal home maintenance, and you'll be enjoying each piece for many seasons ahead.

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