Tips & Tricks

Outdoor Furniture Cleaning: How to Clean Your Patio Furniture

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Even though some parts of the country just held Easter egg hunts on top of blankets of fluffy white snow, we can’t help but dream of summer. Go ahead and imagine the warmth of the sun on your face as you lounge by the pool holding an ice cold margarita. And can’t you just smell the aroma of a barbecue fired up and cooking a perfectly sizzling steak? Yeah, nothing’s better than the start of summer…. except when you realize that it’s time to clean all of that dirty, spiderweb encrusted patio furniture.

We know that cleaning outdoor furniture isn’t the most exciting job in the world. Nonetheless, it has to get done. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled tips and tricks on how to clean patio furniture, lawn chairs, outdoor furniture, and more so you can get your backyard ready for your Memorial Day Barbecue, or just a relaxing soak in the sun.

How to Clean Patio Furniture Cushions

Source: Life Storage

Step 1: Make a Cleaning Solution

While most outdoor fabrics are considered to be mold and mildew resistant, you’ll inevitably find some traces of growth in the seams of your outdoor seat cushions. Instead of harsh chemicals that can damage and weaken the fabric, make a simple solution of 4 cups water, 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid soap, and 1 tablespoon of borax.

Step 2: Remove Excess Debris from Your Outdoor Furniture Cushions

Take a plastic scrubbing brush (like one that you use for your dishes or that comes with a mini dustpan) and brush off excess dirt, leaves, spiderwebs, and dead insects.

Step 3: Spraying Your Outdoor Furniture Cushions

Next, put your cleaning solution into a clean spray bottle and generously spray the mixture onto your cushions. Let set for 15 minutes to allow the solution to really clean your outdoor furniture cushions.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

Finally, rinse your outdoor furniture cushions using a water hose. Prop them up vertically against a wall or fence for better airflow so that they will dry completely.

How to Clean Plastic Patio Furniture

Source: Furniture Wallpaper

Step 1: Prep for Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture

First, take a hose and spray down your lawn chairs or other outdoor furniture to remove any loose grime.

Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

While the strength of bleach cleaners is usually a plus, on plastic patio or outdoor furniture, it’s too harsh and can damage the plastic. Instead, pour ¼ cup of vinegar into a bucket and fill it three quarters of the way with warm water.

Step 3: The Scrub Down

Using a soft bristle brush dipped in the solution, thoroughly scrub the surface area of your outdoor furniture. If you have sticky soda left from last summer or other tough smudges, you can pour a tiny bit of baking soda onto a sponge to make it slightly abrasive. This will make it easier to wipe away the offending stickiness and scuff marks.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

Rinse your chairs with clean water and set in the sun to dry. If you want extra protection or you want to bring back faded areas, apply a bit of WD40 and rub it in with a clean, dry cloth. This will also give the plastic that shine it had when it was new.

How to Clean Metal Patio Furniture

Source: Eva Furniture

Step 1: Prepping Your Metal Outdoor Furniture

Remove the cushions and pillows and clean them as described in the cleaning outdoor cushions section. Take a soft cleaning brush and wipe down the metal furniture frames.

Step 2: Mixing the Cleaning Solution

Use a gentle dishwashing detergent such as Dawn Original Dishwashing Liquid (avoid ones that say “antibacterial” or contain bleach, which may be too harsh for the metal finish). Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and add two or three squirts of the dish liquid. Mix until combined.

Step 3: Scrub Up Your Metal Patio Furniture

Dip a sponge or soft brush in the the cleaning solution and wipe down the legs, backs, undersides and tops of your furniture.

Step 4: Rinse

Using fresh water, rinse off the soap and let the furniture dry before adding your clean, dry cushions and pillows.

Bonus: Help for Rusted Metal Furniture

If your metal furniture is rusted, sand off any rust or peeling paint with gentle, circular strokes (you can ask your local Lowe’s or Home Depot store associate to help you to find the appropriate materials). Next, wipe down any dirt, dust or paint chips that resulted from the sanding with a microfiber cloth. Finally, use an outdoor metal paint such as Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer to ensure that your furniture will hold up to the elements and will continue to look great for many seasons. If you need further guidance, this video should be able to help:

If you’re planning on buying some great spring patio furniture items at Lowe’s or Home Depot, consider booking a Dolly to lift, load, and deliver your new items to your home so that you can set up the perfect patio.

Or maybe you’re planning to move soon. Be sure to take the time to clean your patio furniture before packing up. Who knows what creepy, crawling thing is hiding in the crevices of your patio furniture? You certainly don’t want it to make a home in your boxes of sheets or blankets; after all, it’s probably all going into the same moving truck.

Regardless of your situation, Dolly is ready to help you move your belongings and furniture – indoors and out – so that you can start relaxing in your yard instead of roasting inside. Book your Dolly now.

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