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How to Clean Your Outdoor Furniture

How to Clean Your Outdoor Furniture

Patios and porches become an outdoor living room and entertaining space for many over the summer, but dust, dirt and grime often pay an unwelcome visit as well. By August, outdoor furniture pieces need a deep clean to prepare for bonfires and cooler nights ahead. We've compiled some quick tips to make your favorite backyard pieces brand new.


Wicker furniture notoriously captures dust and grime in between the close, wooden slats. Use a rag to brush off dust particles on the surface and then follow up with a sponge and a solution of ¼ cup dish soap and three cups of water. Work the sponge in circles across the entire piece, and use an old toothbrush to clean the hard to reach spaces between the slats.

Finish by hosing off the soapy water. Too much water can be harmful to the furniture so be sure to dry up any sitting water when you're done with a clean washcloth.


First, brush debris off of your furniture. You can use a cloth or an automotive cleaning mitt to remove extra residue. Follow up with a non-detergent soap and water solution and hose the furniture off as you go. If the soap dries on the metal, there will be noticeable stains. Try to avoid washing metal outdoor furniture in the heat of the day which will make the soap dry even quicker.


The opposite of metal, wood furniture should be cleaned on a warm day when you can let the piece dry in direct sunshine to reduce the risk of mildew or mold.

To clean, apply an oil-based soap or commercial wood cleaner. Painted wood should be treated with extra caution, even with commercial cleaner, as harsher chemicals may strip the color. Hardware stores sell protective finishes made from polyurethane to extend the lifetime of your wood outdoor furniture in extreme elements.


Glass outdoor tabletops become noticeably dirty quicker than other surfaces and may require cleaning more often. Luckily, you can grab the same glass cleaner you use to wash your windows for furniture use as well. To begin, wipe dirt and dust off with a clean rag and follow up with your glass cleaning spray and a clean cloth. Scrub in quick circles to keep the tabletop from showing streaks.


Plastic furniture can be treated with dish soap and heated water. Apply a generous amount to your plastic furniture and let the solution remain un-rinsed on your furniture to do the hard work for you. Come back in 10 minutes and hose the soap off your furniture, finishing off stubborn, remaining residue with soap or a rag. Leave your plastic furniture pieces in the sunshine to dry and consider tipping chairs on their side so that water doesn't pool on the seat.

To extend the life of all outdoor furniture types, consider investing in durable canvas covers or storing pieces in your garage or shed during extreme weather.

Need more outdoor living space? It might be time to start search for a new home! Visit our "Buy a Home" section to get a step-by-step guide to getting your home search started. For immediate assistance, simply dial 404.843.2500 to talk to one of our home buying experts.

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