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Seasonal Cleaning

How To Clean Outdoor Furniture

Deck and patio furniture often takes a beating over the winter because, honestly, who wants to be cleaning outdoor furniture when you could be snuggled on the couch binging your favorite show and sipping cocoa? Now that it’s nice out though, you need to get it in shape so that it looks great when you host barbecues and outdoor get together.

Learn how to clean outdoor furniture, whether it’s made of metal, wood or plastic.

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

Washing deck furniture is fairly simple. The most difficult part of the chore is removing all the caked on soil and grime that’s built up over the winter. However, with a little bit of elbow grease, that won’t take too terribly long either.

You’ll need:
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A bucket
  • Warm water
  • A commercial cleaner that’s safe to use on the material your furniture is made of
  • Microfiber cloths
  • A soft-bristled brush
  1. Start by spraying your furniture off using the hose. The nozzle should be set so that the flow of water is powerful enough to help loosen and dislodge soil and dirt.
  2. Mix ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid in a large bucket of warm water.
  3. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the soapy water and wipe your furniture down. You may need to freshen your cloth up if it starts looking dingy.
  4. Let your furniture air dry.
  5. If there’s still a considerable amount of grime left, you’ll need to up the ante with a commercial product that’s safe for cleaning your outdoor furniture. Follow the instructions on the product’s packaging.
  6. For dirt that is especially caked on, you can use a soft-bristled brush unless the manufacturer’s instructions state that you shouldn’t. Be gentle, especially with painted or wood furniture. Additionally, you should follow the grain when using a brush on wood.
  7. Rinse the cleaning product away with your water hose, and let your furniture air dry.

Cleaning Patio Cushions

The way you clean your patio cushions will depend on what material they’re made from. If you’re looking for a cleaning product, Better Life Stain & Odor Eliminator is great at removing stains and is safe for most surfaces. Regardless of whether you use a commercial cleaner or one of the following DIY methods, you’ll want to consult you’ll want to your cushion’s care instructions tags and perform a spot test.

Vinyl cushions

There’s not much to cleaning vinyl patio cushions. However, you may need to repeat the process a few times to make sure all soil and debris is removed from the cushion cover.

You’ll need:
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • A bucket
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloths
  1. Mix a teaspoon of dishwashing washing liquid with a bucket of warm water.
  2. Dampen your microfiber cloth with the soapy water. Keep in mind that you don’t want to saturate the cloth as that will make it less effective.
  3. Wipe down your vinyl cushion covers with the cloth.
  4. Let your cushions air dry or wipe them dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

Machine-washable cushions

It’s still a good idea to shake out and wipe off machine-washable cushion covers before placing them in the washer. After you’ve done that, follow these instructions.

You’ll need:
  • A gentle laundry detergent or the detergent recommended by the manufacturer
  • A washing machine and dryer
  1. Remove the cushions themselves from the covers and set them in an outdoor area that’s clean and dry to allow them to air out.
  2. Check your care tag to see if a specific type of detergent is recommended. If not, stick with a gentle detergent, like one you’d use to wash linens in.
  3. Wash your cushion covers in warm water.
  4. Tumble dry on low heat.

Preventative Tips to Make Next Year Easier

Once the temperatures start dropping, you need to take a couple of preventative measures so that cleaning your deck furniture won’t be so difficult when you get ready to use it next year.
  1. Cover your patio furniture or store it if you have a shed or garage. This will offer it some protection from the elements, meaning less grime will accumulate during cooler months.
  2. Wipe down cushions and store them indoors. You should do this even if you leave your furniture frames outside through the winter. Cushions are much more susceptible to mold and mildew, and leaving them outdoors in the rain and snow can ruin them.
  3. Follow any manufacturer’s care instructions in regard to sealing or treating your outdoor furniture to help protect it from rust and rot.
Do you need help getting your home ready for spring and summer? Contact your local Merry Maids to see what services they can offer you.