Easy methods to clean garden furniture after winter

Lynsey Crombie gives tips on cleaning garden furniture

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With spring officially just three days away, many might be starting to think about setting up their patios or decking with furniture. However, before you can enjoy it, it may need to be brought back to life. Cleaning experts from Furniturebox have shared five easy “simple but effective” ways to get it looking its “best” ahead of warmer weather.

1. Use warm soapy water for fabrics like a moon chair

The experts said: “If you invested in 2022’s must-have item, the moon chair, be sure to give it a refresh for 2023 as it’s still posted to be the star of the show.

“Use warm soapy water and a cloth to remove dirt from the rattan frame and a damp sponge in circular motions to gently lift dirt from the papasan cushion before letting everything air dry.”

It’s important to bring material fabrics, like cushions, into the home when the weather is forecasted to rain to avoid mould and mildew growing.

2. Wash fabric seat covers

Cleaning seat covers and scatter cushions can “instantly” make outdoor furniture look like “new” again. 

Luckily, the majority of it can be placed in the washing machine, but be sure to double check the label just to make sure. Washing them will help to remove any dirt, damp stains and grubbiness which may have built up over winter.

It is also important to protect these cushions when the weather is raining, which can be done so by covering them with a weatherproof cover or placing them inside.

3. Pressure wash furniture to remove algae

The cleaning experts explained: “Garden furniture such as tables, chairs and benches are often neglected through autumn and winter.

“This can lead to a build up of dirt and algae, especially on wooden items. Use a pressure washer to remove surface dirt from wooden, rattan, plastic or metal furniture.

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“This will restore the furniture to its original colour and condition ready for the first sunny weekend.”

Britons should make sure they use the pressure washer on a low or medium setting to avoid damage to the furniture.

4. Apply a stain protector

It’s a good idea to apply stain remover and protector to fabric covers to keep them looking in tip top condition for as long as possible.

Stain solutions can quickly lift ground dirt or food to keep furniture fresh. The experts recommended following up with a stain protector to keep it looking its best for longer.

Make sure to use the correct stain remover and protector depending on which material your garden furniture is.

4. Use white vinegar to remove rust

The experts continued: “When metal furniture is left uncovered for long periods of time, you’re likely to see rust appear on the surface.

“Using household products like white vinegar can remove rust and give your furniture a new lease of life. Apply the white vinegar liberally with a cloth on the affected areas.”

Allow the solution to sit for around an hour before wiping it off fully with a damp cloth to avoid corrosion.

Product development lead, Laura Rich from Furniturebox, added: “Often, once summer is over, people forget about their garden furniture. Leaving it outside, uncovered all year round can result in unnecessary damage and a big cleaning job the following year.

“Using covers or putting your furniture away means you only need to give your outdoor sofa, table and chairs a quick spring clean when you’re ready to use them again.

“Keeping your garden furniture in good condition makes the transition from winter to spring much easier, whether you’re organising a garden party, family barbecue, or you just want to enjoy your outdoor space with your loved ones.

“Garden furniture is a great investment piece so keeping your items in good nick will ensure that you have high quality furniture for years to come.”

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