How to Clean Patio Furniture

How to clean your patio furniture with 5 diy tutorials from Woodard Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis, Mo.

The great thing about patio furniture is that it allows you to bring the comfort of the indoors, outdoors. You can enjoy a wonderful summer evening cozied up on those plush patio cushions, or spend the afternoon sipping lemonade at a backyard barbecue.

But, when you really think about it, patio furniture takes quite the beating! After all, it spends months sitting outside soaking up the elements, and gets treated to a deep clean maybe once a year (if that!).

Take it from us, St. Louis’ most trusted team of cleaning professionals, your patio furniture is long overdue for a cleaning. Read on to uncover the 5 easiest DIY tutorials for cleaning your patio furniture.

Aluminum, Wrought Iron & Plastic Patio Furniture

Cleaning your aluminum, wrought iron, and/or plastic patio furniture is extremely quick and easy! All you’ll do is combine a few drops of mild dish soap with hot water, dip a clean and dry rag in the mixture, and scrub the entire surface area of the furniture.

Bonus Tip: If mold is an issue, you may add a cup of bleach to the solution, or you can try making an all-natural bleach alternative to keep things safe and non-toxic.

After scrubbing, use your hose to spray down the pieces, then allow them to air dry in the sun.

Metal Patio Furniture

Step away from the bleach! Unlike wood and vinyl patio furniture, cleaning metal patio furniture with oxygen bleach can cause corrosion. Instead, opt for plain old dish detergent (a few tablespoons is all you need) and a bucket of hot water. Soak a wash cloth in the warm soapy mixture, and then use it to scrub the furniture clean. For tough spots, you may need to use a scrub brush. After cleaning, immediately wipe the furniture down with a clean and dry cloth to prevent rust spots from surfacing.

Vinyl & Wood Patio Furniture

Cleaning vinyl and wood patio furniture is surprisingly easy! All you need to do is mix a little oxygen bleach (approximately two ounces) with a gallon of hot water.

To start the cleaning process, simply soak a microfiber cleaning cloth in the mixture and use it to saturate the surface of the furniture. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes. To remove stubborn stains and mildew, scrub the furniture with a stiff-bristled brush or sponge. Rinse everything clean with cold water, and allow it to air dry before use.

Wicker Patio Furniture

IMPORTANT: Before cleaning your wicker patio furniture set, a solid pre-cleaning is required to loosen the hidden dirt and grime – so grab a brush a start scrubbing, or break out your vacuum and use the hose attachment to clean up the nooks and crannies! After pre-cleaning your wicker furniture, you can start the official cleaning process.

Aside from the pre-cleaning, the process for cleaning wicker patio furniture is pretty much identical to the process for cleaning metal patio furniture (see above). While metal patio furniture should be immediately wiped down with a clean and dry cloth after cleaning, wicker patio furniture is safe to let air dry in the sun. To speed up drying times, give each piece a firm shake after cleaning to remove standing water.

Patio Umbrellas

Bringing patio umbrellas back to life can seem impossible, but you can do a whole lot of good with a dabble of dish soap, warm water, a scrub brush, and a sunny day!

Combine a few drops of mild dish soap with hot water, dip a clean and dry scrub brush in the mixture, and scrub the umbrella from top to bottom, focusing heavily on the crevices (a hot spot for hidden germs and bacteria).

After scrubbing, rinse the soap with your garden hose, then position the umbrella in direct sunlight. Allow the umbrella to dry in the sunlight for a full day, then inspect the results – if spots and stains still persist, simply repeat the process.