8 Expert Methods for Cleaning Outdoor Furniture - by material

August 16, 2023

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What is the best way to clean outdoor furniture? Many homeowners find themselves asking this same question! After all, your patio or deck won’t be very welcoming and inviting if your furniture is coated in dirt, mud, mold, and food stains.

The best way to clean outdoor furniture depends on its material. A light brushing is excellent for metal and wicker, while soft wash cleaning is best for plastic and wood. Also, outdoor fabric cleaners offer excellent results for cushions and umbrellas.

This is just a brief overview of the best way to clean outdoor furniture and other items. To ensure a welcoming, pristine space outside your home, keep reading! Also, call a pressure washing contractor about cleaning the deck, patio, and other areas. They can ensure a stunning space you’ll love to use year-round.

best way to clean outdoor furniture

The Best Way to Clean Outdoor Furniture by Material

The best way to clean outdoor patio furniture depends on its material, as said. Also, consider its condition. Older furniture might need a delicate touch! Additionally, you might test your cleaning method on an inconspicuous area of the furniture. Here are some general guidelines for cleaning common types of outdoor furniture:

1. Metal (Aluminum, Steel, Iron)

Start by washing the furniture with a mild soap solution using a soft brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly with water to remove soap residue. For stubborn dirt or rust stains, use a mixture of water and white vinegar or a metal cleaner. Avoid abrasive scrubbing to prevent scratches.

Also, soft wash pressure washing is excellent for metal furniture. Soft wash systems use high-quality cleaners, and the low-pressure rinses get deep in metal twists and turns. This ensures a thorough cleaning.

2. Wicker (Natural or Synthetic)

Vacuum or brush off loose dirt and debris. Next, clean with a mixture of water and mild soap. Gently scrub using a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely. Lastly, apply a coat of outdoor furniture protector to synthetic wicker to maintain its appearance.

Soft wash cleaning is also a good choice for wicker furniture. Professional soft wash cleansers seep into wicker nooks and corners, dissolving dirt and grime. Soft rinsing also helps avoid damage common with high-pressure washing.

3. Plastic (Resin or Polyethylene)

Wash the furniture with a mixture of water and mild detergent using a soft brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly to remove soap residue. For plastic furniture, avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that can scratch the surface. Avoid high-pressure hoses and sprays as well.

4. Wood (Teak, Cedar, etc.)

Start by brushing off loose dirt and debris. You might be surprised at how clean the furniture looks after a simple brushing! Then, clean the furniture with a mixture of water and a mild wood cleaner or soap. Use a soft brush or cloth for tough dirt and grime.

Rinse the furniture thoroughly and allow it to dry completely. Apply a protective sealant or outdoor wood oil to maintain the wood's appearance and durability. You can typically find these at any home improvement store.

5. Cushions and Fabric

Remove the furniture cushions and fabric covers, if possible. You want to avoid getting foam and filler materials wet, as this risks mold and mildew. Brush off as much dirt and debris as possible.

Next, use a fabric cleaner or mild detergent to spot clean stains. Test in an inconspicuous area first. Rinse the cleaner off thoroughly. If the materials are machine-washable, follow the care instructions on the fabric tag. Air the items to dry thoroughly before reusing.

outdoor wicker furniture

6. Umbrellas

Brush off dirt and debris from open umbrellas first. Remove them from their stand and clean the fabric with a mild detergent or fabric cleaner, using a soft brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before folding or storing.

7. Glass or Ceramic Surfaces

If you have glass or ceramic tables and other pieces, clean them with a glass cleaner or water and vinegar. Wipe it down with a lint-free cloth to avoid streaks. For thick dirt and grime, use a garden hose or soft wash cleaning system first.

8. Stone (Granite, Marble, etc.)

While stone means added durability, don’t assume you can clean it with just any product! Harsh chemicals and abrasive tools can risk scratches and other damage. Instead, clean stone furniture and other surfaces with a mixture of water and a mild stone cleaner.

Also, soft wash power washing is excellent for stone, brick, pavers, and similar surfaces. Soft wash systems won’t etch those surfaces or dislodge aggregate and mortar. This process also helps kill mold, moss, and other contaminants growing on stone.

Can I Pressure Wash an Outdoor Rug?

If you want to know the best way to clean outdoor furniture, then it’s probably time to clean outdoor rugs! Standard pressure washing is generally not recommended, as the high-pressure water can damage fibers and backing. Instead, opt for more gentle cleaning methods to preserve the rug's appearance and longevity. Here's how you can clean an outdoor rug effectively:

  • Start by shaking the rug to remove loose dirt and debris. Then, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove any remaining dirt, dust, and particles.
  • If there are specific stains or spots on the rug, use a mixture of water and mild detergent. Apply the mixture to the stained area and gently scrub with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse with water and blot dry.
  • Lay the rug flat on a clean surface, such as a driveway or patio. Use a garden hose with a gentle spray nozzle to thoroughly rinse the rug. Avoid using high-pressure water that could force dirt deeper into the fibers.
  • For a deeper cleaning, fill a bucket with water and a mild detergent. Dip a soft brush or cloth into the soapy water and gently scrub the entire rug. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Allow the rug to air dry completely before placing it back in its original location. Make sure both the front and back of the rug are dry to prevent mold and mildew growth.

A Quick Word From Our Crew

Clearwater Pressure Washing & Roof Cleaning is happy to explain the best way to clean outdoor furniture. If you need expert cleaning and soft wash cleaning, call our Clearwater pressure washing contractors. We’ll prepare a FREE quote and answer all your questions about soft wash systems.


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