how to clean outdoor furniture

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture

When checking into a hotel or a restaurant, guests would always like to stay in sparklingly clean spaces. After all, nobody wants to stay in dirty chairs and tables. Hence, make a welcome by making sure that your hospitality spaces, including your outdoor furniture items, should be cleaned thoroughly. To avoid any untoward reactions from your guests, you should know how to clean outdoor furniture.

Why Is It Important to Clean Outdoor Furniture?

For hospitality spaces, the outdoors serves as a breather from the interiors of the hotel. It is in these outdoor spaces that your guests can commune with external elements while relaxing or unwinding.

Hence, you should make sure that your outdoor space is furnished well. And it does not end there, you should take care of these furnishings and ensure that they are properly cleaned from time to time.

Leaving your outdoor furniture behind can make them more susceptible to outdoor elements such as debris and pollutants. While most of them are harmless, there is a chance that they can damage your furnishings. It doesn’t even help that guests may tarnish your patio furniture items when they stay outside for some rest and recreation. Hence, it is important to know how to clean outdoor furniture.

Maintaining your outdoor pieces – whether painted or wood furniture – is important because doing so could help increase their lifespan. It does not only help you save money, but it could also save you a lot of time for repairs.

In addition, caring for your patio furniture can help improve your outdoor area. Remember that furniture items are one of the core embellishments that should be present in your hospitality space. Regularly cleaning them can enhance the vibe and look of your outdoor space.

With that said, you should also know how frequently you should clean your outdoor furniture.

How Often Should You Clean Outdoor Furniture?

Routine cleaning is important to keep your furniture a tad clean. Doing dusting and wiping weekly can make them sparklingly clean for your guests to utilize upon checking in to your hospitality space.

If you want to deep clean your outdoor furniture, we suggest doing so at least two times a year: first in spring as the temperature increases and again in winter when you would store them away in preparation for winter. In between these periods, you can still do deep cleaning, especially if your outdoor furniture is used frequently.

Keep a tight schedule when cleaning outdoor furniture. Be extra mindful during spring since pollen in the air may attach to your furniture, hence the need for additional cleaning each week.

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture: Wooden Patio Furniture

how to clean outdoor furniture

Hardwood furniture pieces should be cleaned in a specific way in order to preserve their quality. First, remove any light debris using a soft nylon brush. Using a sponge and mild soapy water, clean the surface. Soak up any excess water with the use of a microfiber cloth. Finally, allow the wood to dry naturally.

If you want to preserve the natural color of the wood, then you need to treat it with oils, finishings, and sealant. Frequency depends on your climate.

You can also opt to sand along the grain using sandpaper to restore the original color of the wood. You can further mix oxalic acid crystals with hot water to bring about the natural color of the material.

Teak Wood

Teak furniture items are typically resistant to weather, so you do not need to store them over winter or cover them with protective coverings.

However, if you want to retain the golden honey finish of the teak furniture, then you have to periodically oil the wood. Teak oil is long-lasting, so you do not need to worry about cleaning it time and again. Further, protect your teak wood furniture by applying a protective sealant.


Eucalyptus is a type of hardwood that is less resistant to water. Because of this, humid environments can cause eucalyptus to expand and contract, which would subsequently compromise the integrity of your patio furniture.

Hence, we suggest applying oil and sealing your wooden furniture with a polyurethane-type varnish. Aside from protecting it from rot and insects, doing so would also provide your furniture with a bright finish. Gently apply two to three coats with soft bristled brush for best results.


Oak is durable and waterproof, but it has a low oil content when compared to other types of hardwood furniture. Hence, we suggest that you replenish the oil content of the oak in order to minimize the effect of weather on your wood furniture.


Shorea has a high oil concentration that helps protect your patio furniture from rotting and insects. Being quite a low-maintenance furniture material, Shorea patio furniture can be cleaned once or twice a year.

However, you need to oil the wood every other month to keep its original warm reddish-brown tone.

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture: Metal Furniture

how to clean outdoor furniture

Metal furniture is a great addition to any hospitality space because of its durability and aesthetic. However, they can rust if left uncleaned.

Generally speaking, metal patio furniture is easy to clean. Primarily, you have to wash your furniture with water to remove any remaining dirt. Then wipe the surface with a soft cloth that has been soaked in soapy water. Repeat the procedure but use clean water this time. Finally, let it dry.

Clean patio furniture with ease by using a mild oil based soap solution or dish soap. Remove rust stains and molds by sanding the affected area with sandpaper.

We suggest not using any acid or alcohol-based cleaners that can damage the metallic surface of your furniture.


Cleaning patio furniture, especially those made of aluminum, is not difficult to do. However, care should still be taken since aluminum furniture is prone to dents. Dents tend to reduce the quality of any coating and weaken the structural stability of the metal.

To wash aluminum furniture, use a soft cloth that is dampened with a non-abrasive cleaning product. Gently rub the product so as not to damage the aluminum surface.

Finally, apply touch-up paint if needed. If the original powder coating of your aluminum patio furniture has a gloss finish, then you can retain the shine by applying car wax or baby oil.

Wrought Iron

A lot of wrought iron furniture consists of complicated crevices, nooks, and patterns. This makes them quite a challenge to clean. Hence, we suggest using a soft bristled brush to clean the curves and nooks. Use a vacuum or a small broom to remove any debris that has accumulated.

If your wrought iron furniture is starting to oxidize, then you can use equal parts water and white vinegar in order to remove stains prior to cleaning. We don’t necessarily advise using hard abrasive cleaners because they can expose your patio furniture to external elements.

Galvanized Steel

Patio furniture made of galvanized steel material has zinc coating applied to steel sheets to offer additional protection. While the zinc layer can help protect your furniture, it may eventually wear down. Don’t worry, you can slow down the degradation process by cleaning the galvanized steel regularly.

Primarily, you need to use mild dish soap and warm water to scrub the surface. Then, rinse the surface with clean water.

Another cleaning solution would involve mixing 67% milk and 33% baby powder. Apply the solution to the surface using a toothbrush. Finally, rinse it with clean water and let it dry. This DIY solution is simple, yet it can do a lot to help prevent corrosion.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a durable piece of patio furniture. But when you do not regularly maintain its quality, it has a tendency to corrode. Moreover, the discolorations and spots from grease and rainfall can even downgrade its quality. There is no need to worry, though. There is a simple cleaning solution to each of these.

For greasy smudges, you can gently rub white vinegar using a soft cloth. Rinse the area clean once the smudges are gone. For rust and corrosion, you can scrub the surface with a paste made of baking powder and a water mixture. If your stainless steel has watermarks, simply perform basic cleaning methods such as wiping and air drying.

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture: Plastic

how to clean outdoor furniture

Plastic is a lightweight patio furniture material. It is resistant to fade, and it is generally sturdy. This is why it is relatively easy to clean and maintain plastic furniture. Caring for plastic furniture depends on the form that it takes.

For careless spills and drips, you can easily remove them using commercial cleaning products. Regardless of the product you will use, make sure that you rinse them the right way. When plastic is exposed to these chemicals for an extended period, it may degrade the quality of your patio furniture and shorten its lifespan.

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture: Other Materials

Apart from plastic, metal, and wood, there are other common patio furniture materials that hotel owners install in their outdoor areas. If you have these types of furniture items, take note of how to clean patio furniture with ease.

Tempered Glass


Hard-Resin Furniture

While hard-resin patio furniture is not entirely popular, it is one of the easiest types to clean. To avoid scratching the furniture, we suggest using a mild cleaner to remove any stains. For instance, you can use baking soda on the surface of the resin furniture to create an abrasive. Using warm water and a wash cloth, wipe the baking soda.

If by chance you cannot still remove the stain, using distilled white vinegar would help clean patio furniture without harming it.

If mold and mildew stains develop in your resin patio furniture, there is a DIY cleaning solution that you can do to remove stains. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of water and vinegar. Spray the stained area using your spray bottle. Then, let the solution set for about 30 minutes. After which, you can already rinse the furniture with clean water.

Fabric or Textile

Should you clean patio furniture, don’t forget to include outdoor fabrics or textiles. Many outdoor cushions and cushion covers are made of fabric. Hence, they need to be clean and safe to be fully maximized and enjoyed.

The best way to clean outdoor cushions is by removing the cushion covers and running them through a power washer. Some cushion covers are not machine washable, so you also have to check the labels.

The furniture covers of other patio cushions are finished with nano-coating. This is the same material that is used in performance camping gear. This material makes them resistant to stains, moisture, and loose dirt.

Apart from furniture covers, remember to clean the rugs that you place outside. Make sure you treat them the same way you care for other outdoor pieces, such as your upholstered cushions. If they are not machine washable, refer to their instruction manual for washing methods.


Finally, you should know how to clean patio furniture made of ceramic. Ceramic patio furniture usually makes up the dining table and other dining chairs.

To clean such furniture, you should use a damp cloth to clean the top portion. Dish soap would be a good option for removing stains and blemishes. We recommend that you avoid using highly abrasive cleaners, strong detergents, cleaners with chlorine bleach, and chemical solvents when cleaning.

Reducing the Frequency of Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

To save you time and energy, and potentially money as well, it is then important to know ways how to reduce the frequency of cleaning outdoor furniture.

First, select outdoor furniture that is resistant to harsh weather conditions. These include stainless steel, wrought iron patio furniture, and other metal furniture.

Further, protect your patio furniture from external elements by covering them with technology that repels these harmful substances. A good product lessens the frequency of washing your furniture by preventing anything from attaching to the surface of your items.

We also recommend installing a patio umbrella cover or placing furniture covers to protect your patio furniture from the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun that would hasten fading.

Best Easy-to-Clean Outdoor Furniture

Sensu Lounge Chair

The frame of this lounge chair is made of eco-plastic. This means that it is made of recycled plastic material and natural waste. Its construction makes it easy to clean in a breeze.

Seoul Arm Chair

Thanks to its aluminum frame with synthetic rattan seat, this metal outdoor furniture is easy to clean.

Dream Rocking Chair

Because this is a piece of aluminum furniture, it is easy to clean as well.

Rhodes End Table

The frame of this table is easy to clean. Just make sure that you clean its slatted poly teak top well with soapy water.

Cone Occasional Table

This is an outdoor table with a ceramic top and an aluminum rim and base. It is generally easy to clean as long as you follow the proper ways of doing so.

Clean Outdoor Furniture with Ease with StyleNations

Clean outdoor furniture is important to keep guests in any hospitality space comfortable throughout their stay. While a little TLC is a mundane thing to do, the results can be great. To learn more about how to clean outdoor furniture, you can lean on the experts in patio furniture manufacturing. At StyleNations, you will have a collaborator to have every piece of furniture fully furnished and customized before installing them in our outdoor areas.

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