How to Clean Your Patio and Outdoor Furniture

  • Cleaning outdoor patio furniture

It’s warm and sunny out, and all you want to do is relax with friends and family on a nice, clean patio. But because your furniture has been sitting out for a seemingly never-ending winter, your outdoor oasis is need of a deep clean.

Sound familiar?

If you’re looking to clean your patio furniture for an outdoor barbecue, a pool party, or just a relaxing afternoon with a book and a tall glass of lemonade, you’ve come to the right place!

By following these three simple steps, getting your patio furniture ready to enjoy will be a breeze. Before you know it, you’ll be able to grill, entertain, and unwind on a spotless patio during the season of sunshine!

1.) The First Step: Planning

Before taking care of individual pieces of patio furniture and dealing with cleaning products, create a plan. Prioritizing your cleaning efforts will make your “to-do” list seem much more achievable!

There’s nothing worse than beginning a long-awaited and necessary project with intense motivation, only to later realize you tried to accomplish too much with too little time. Avoid the frustration by crafting your plan ahead of time, and remember to be realistic for your timeframe.

Take into consideration if you’ll have extra helping hands or if this will be a solo project. How much furniture do you have to clean? What types of materials will you be working with? What cleaning supplies do you have on hand?

2.) Phase Two: Pretty Up Your Patio

Before tackling your outdoor furniture, make sure to clean your patio or deck. Be sure to sweep off any dirt, dried leaves, and other unwanted mess from the floor. This is the easiest step to help instantly refresh your patio from months of oversight.

From here, washing down your patio with a garden hose can act as a preliminary clean before you focus on your furniture.  If you’re planning on a power wash, it’s best to focus this strategy on your concrete decks, since you risk the possibility of splintering wooden floor planks. For wood and metal, you may want to consider touching up your paint job with a fresh stain at the start of the summer season.

Always be sure to remove any upholstered cushions and wooden furniture before washing your patio or deck area! You wouldn’t want to miss a spot – or, worse, cause damage to your spotlight-grabbing furniture!

3.) Time to Focus on Your Outdoor Furniture

Once your patio is pristine, it’s time to turn your attention to your outdoor furniture, including tables, chairs, and benches.

When you’re planning to clean these items, keep in mind that the different materials you encounter are going to have to be treated a little bit differently.


The greatest enemy to metal is rust, especially after a winter of snow, rain, and ice. Even though metal patio furniture tends to be coated in an anti-rust finish, eventually this starts to wear off, creating a rust-friendly surface.

Fear not! Because the greatest enemy to rusting metal is something easy to get: steel wool. This product takes care of oxidation build up, and will have your metal furniture pieces looking brand new in no time! To help get rid of rusty spots, sand down the rusted areas of your furniture, especially at the joints, then touch up the affected areas with paint. If you’re worried about further wear and tear, you may also want to reseal your furniture pieces with a silicone sealant to help prevent future rusting.

Worried about muck, dirt, or grim? Don’t be afraid to use a little bit of water and dish soap to gently rinse off the metal furniture throughout the summer, but take care to never soak these items (since this can cause even more rust to form).


Forgotten and unwanted food stains from last summer’s barbeque can reappear as you set out your seating cushions for the first of many warm summer days.

Avoid any unwanted conversations about how the “the seat is clean, it just looks dirty” by getting rid of these stains and messy spots before your guests arrive!

Start the process by checking the manufacturer’s instructions to see if a quick machine wash can clean the fabric, or if a hand washing will be necessary. When cleaning by hand, mild cleaning solutions are best to use, especially if there are no specific directions on the material. Think a solution of dishwashing liquid or detergent and water.

When you’re done with the washing, be sure to let the fabric air dry and place it back on the cushion while damp to let the cover stretch back into the right shape.  

The last thing to consider when dealing with patio fabrics? You may wish to put additional water-resistant sealing on them. Cushions and chairs meant to be placed outside are most likely already coated with this, but after many summer seasons of wear and tear, a supplemental coating will help to prevent any further water damage and staining.

And to keep these pieces feeling fresh for next season, make sure to store your clean outdoor cushions and furniture fabrics inside a dry area indoors over the cooler months, after you’re enjoy them during the warmer ones.


Whether you’re concerned with mold or just want to have wooden furniture pieces looking new again, here are a few simple ways to accomplish these goals.

Soft scrubbing brushes will be your best friend during this process, as they can help to rid your wooden furniture of any built-up grime and dirt build up. Using water, a gentle detergent, and your scrub brush, gently wipe down your furniture, to get rid of dust and grime.

Remember, depending on the wood type, the scrubbing pattern you use might just matter! For soft woods like cedar, you’ll want to scrub along the grain. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with a wood like teak, any scrubbing direction is fine, because it’s a harder wood. (For teak pieces, you may also want to look into regularly treating your furniture with teak oil, which can help keep the surface looking clean and vibrant.)

Over time, you may need to look into sanding or refinishing your wood furniture, particularly if it starts to look discolored. And remember, if you notice that mold, bugs, or some other force of nature has eaten into your chair, be careful! Better to buy a new piece of furniture than risk an injury if your chair or table were to fall apart on you!

Plastic, Resin, and Wicker

Some items are designed to stand up to the great outdoors for longer, with less care and attention required. Wicker, plastic, and resin furniture, for instance, are all designed to take a beating in the sun and rain, without creating too many problems for you.

On the other hand, everything gets dirty every now and then! Fortunately, these materials can be a little bit easier to clean. For the most part, you’ll be able to do away with dust with a clean, dry microfiber cloth, or with a vacuum attachment. For regular washings, just use a little bit of water and a mild disah soap (vinegar may even do, in a pinch).

As for plastic furniture that’s marred with a stain? You can help get your plastic or resin looking gleaming once again by targeting the stain with a solution of water and bleach.

Ready to Enjoy the Great Outdoors?

With these tips and tricks for cleaning your patio and outdoor furniture, you should be ready to sit back and enjoy the sunny weather. Just remember, no spilling on the cushions!

Want to really get back time to soak in the sun and celebrate the summer? Scheduling service with Sweeping Dimensions can help give you back time for friends, family, and the other most important things in your life!

Here at SDCS, we always make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful! Whether you’re looking for a deep clean, routine housekeeping, or service for a special event, we can help! With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products.

We’re so confident that you’ll love our service, that we offer the Sweeping Dimensions guarantee! If our cleaning services should ever fail to meet your expectations, you can call us within 24 hours of your cleaning and we will send out a supervised crew to correct anything that needs attention.

Ready to get started truly enjoying your summer? Get in touch today for your free estimate!

2018-06-12T12:01:30+00:00 June 19th, 2018|Residential Cleaning|