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Prepare For The Summer: How To Clean Your Patio Furniture After A Winter Of Disuse

Summer is just around the corner, which means more time in the garden with lighter, longer days and nights.

With more time being spent outside, now is the perfect time to spruce up the house and garden and get it summer ready. You already know how to spring clean your house; from our recent blog but do you know how to clean your patio furniture after a winter of disuse?

To help you out here are our top tips to clean and restore your patio furniture ready for your summer guests! 

Inspect the whole structure of the chair/table etc before considering how to clean your patio furniture

This is an important step, especially if the furniture has been out all winter. Give your patio furniture a good inspection. Make sure it is still structurally solid by putting weight on it.

Rust and corrosion can weaken furniture, this is often not helped being subject to sitting out in UK winter weather! A quick inspection will help ensure no accidents happen when you finally have your summer party guests over and reduce further costs on replacing furniture pieces.  Sometimes all it takes is a quick check of the screws, nuts and bolts as these can loosen over time.

Consider what tools/equipment you need

Photo by Racool_sudio on Freepik

Cleaning methods for each patio furniture type

As mentioned above, each material will have a slightly different cleaning method. So, to make it easier for you we have broken it down to the 4 most common patio furniture materials.

How to clean your wooden patio furniture

Photo by Lifeforstock on Freepik

Start off by removing dirt, dust and cobwebs with a stiff bristle brush. If the wood has faded or become a silvery colour you can use a garden furniture restorer product which you simply paint on and let dry. If you don’t need to apply a restorer all you need to do is give it a good clean with soapy warm water.

Finally, each year you should protect your wood. Teak oil is a great product for this and all you need to do is rub it into the wood with a rag. Make sure you follow the grain. This will make the wood look fresh and you can apply more than one coat if you need to. More importantly, this will protect it from the elements for the next 12 months.

 How to clean your wrought iron patio furniture

Photo by Tile Merchant Dublin on Unsplash

Firstly, brush off any dust, dirt and cobwebs with a brush. If you are going to paint it, make sure you gently rub off any lumps of rust or loose paint with wire wool.

Once you have removed any excess rust, scrub the patio furniture with soapy water. If you don’t want to paint the whole set, you can sand down the rust to smooth out the surface and just touch up those spots. However, make sure the paint is suitable for wrought iron and for exterior painting.

How to clean your plastic patio furniture

Photo by Robin Wersich on Unsplash

This is one of the easiest and least time-consuming patio furniture sets to clean. All you need to do is wash it down with hot soapy water. Don’t forget to add a splash of bleach into the mixture to make sure you really eradicate all dirt and stains.  Don’t use an abrasive brush, or it will scratch the plastic, simply stick with a sponge or cloth.

Plastic furniture may discolour over time if left outside so we do recommend storing it in a shed or garage with a sheet over it. This will make sure the sun does not fade the colour. However, plastic patio furniture is weatherproof so you can leave it out all year round if you don’t mind discolouration.

How to clean your Wicker/rattan/other weave material patio furniture

Photo by Topntp26 on Freepik

This type of furniture looks great in gardens but when you buy it check whether it is an all-weather furniture set as you may need to store this inside in the winter if not.

Just like the plastic patio furniture this is quite easy to clean. Simply start by dusting off the dirt, dust and cobwebs with a soft brush. Then clean with a non-foaming detergent. Due to nooks and crannies in this furniture, mildew can build up if any detergent residue remains.  Finally, make sure you rinse it thoroughly using a hose or pressure washer on a low setting.

Don’t forget the cushions and covers!

Photo by Lifeforstock on Freepik

You have cleaned the chairs and the table, but don’t forget about the cushions and covers. Hopefully, you have stored this inside over the winter. If you haven’t, you will probably be in for a nasty shock, and a trip to the shop to get new cushions. There are several ways of removing mildew and mould from material but depending on how deep the mildew goes and how long it has been on there, you may not be able to remove it all.

But if you have stored them, just give them a good airing and wash any covers before putting them out on the patio furniture.

Voila, you are now done, you should now have a lovely clean patio furniture set for the summer. All you need now is a glass of wine (or beer), a hot sunny day and you are set.

Of course, spring cleaning doesn’t stop there. We know, it can be a long and tiring process spring cleaning the house but remember how good your house looks all clean and tidy?

However, if you don’t have the time or simply want some more time back to relax and focus on the important things in life, we can come and spring clean for you.

Contact us today to find your local Molly Maid, then all you need to do is sit back and relax, maybe on your nice, clean patio chair.