How to Clean Outdoor Patio Garden Furniture

Garden furniture is heavily used when the weather is nice, the sun is shining, and the barbecue is on every night.

But come winter, the damp and dark means garden furniture can become dirty and covered in algae and other unpleasant grime–even if you use a furniture cover.

How to clean your garden furniture depends on the material. Most furniture sets are made to withstand rain here in the UK, so cleaning them with a pressure washer and allowing them to dry can be a simple solution.

But you don’t want to cause damage, so use a low setting and ensure the furniture dries fully as soon as possible.

Follow our guide below on the best way to clean patio furniture, by material and style, without damaging your furniture.


How to Clean Wooden Garden Furniture

With wood furniture, firstly remove any loose dirt with a soft bristle brush. You can use a handheld vacuum cleaner to get rid of any dirt in tight spaces, too, if easier. A small toothbrush could also help.

Check over the furniture for any rough sections or edges. Use an orbital sander to sand back any splinters or damage to the wood. Read our guide on how to restore wooden furniture.

A pressure washer on a low setting can be used if the furniture isn’t too dirty. Stand far away from the furniture then move closer gradually until you find the right spot for getting rid of dirt.

Don’t use a powerful setting, or stand too close, as high pressure can strip away some of the timber. You also want to avoid oversaturating the wood, as this can cause damage when drying.

When using a pressure washer, you should wear eye protection, cover your skin, and wear gloves and boots. Any PPE you require can be purchased from Speedy.

If you’re concerned about damaging the wood, dedicated wood cleaners are available, which can gently remove dirt and restore the wood to its natural colour. If you can’t use this, warm soapy water is fine. Use a sponge to wipe it down.

Then, protect the wood using teak oil or dedicated wood paint. This should be done every season.


How to Clean Metal Garden Furniture

Metal is hard-wearing but requires upkeep to prevent rust. A pressure washer can help to blast away the surface dirt and get into any corners or awkward angles of the furniture.

Then, if there’s any dirt which remains, use a tough all-purpose cleaner which is safe to use on metal, spray it on the furniture, and leave it to naturally break down the stubborn stains. Wipe away with a damp cloth.

Leave to air dry completely and ensure all cleaning products are removed so they don’t cause damage. If there are any rusted sections, sand them down and then cover them with metal paint suitable for outdoors.


How to Clean Plastic Garden Furniture

Plastic furniture is easiest to clean with just warm water and soap. A bit of white vinegar added to the water can budge any stains. Rinse with a garden hose and then dry thoroughly afterwards, to prevent fading.

If the furniture is properly secured, you can also use a pressure washer on a low setting.

Don’t use bleach-based products as this will definitely cause coloured furniture to fade. Use a non-abrasive sponge so it doesn’t scratch the material.


How to Clean Rattan Garden Furniture

Rattan is difficult to fully clean, so a small soft-bristled brush will really help. Brush when dry, then use a damp microfibre cloth dipped in soapy water to wipe clean.

Allow to dry naturally. Some olive oil rubbed into the rattan can finish it, preventing it from drying out and re-adding the shine.

Don’t use a pressure washer on rattan. It will be too powerful and oversaturating the material could cause it to wear. It is also difficult to fully dry.



When to Clean Patio Furniture

Patio furniture should be cleaned a few times a year to keep it in the best condition and to make cleaning easier.

The first clean should be in spring when the worst of the bad weather has passed and you’re thinking about enjoying the garden again. It should then be cleaned periodically until it is stored away before winter. A wipe-down with a damp cloth and brush with a soft bristled brush will suffice.

To clean outdoor garden furniture cushions, follow the care label instructions. You’re likely going to be able to remove the covers, wash those in the washing machine, and then treat or air the cushions separately.


How to Store Garden Furniture

Over winter, ideally store garden furniture in a garage or shed where it is sheltered from rain and other bad weather.

If this isn’t possible, covers are available which can keep the furniture dry and protected from frost and wind. Secure the covers fully and ensure no bugs or snails can get under, and more importantly that no water can get in.

You may need to check the furniture and cover periodically over winter, to check it is still sealed and there’s been no damage to the cover.

Any outdoor cushions can be cleaned following the care label instructions, and then stored indoors. Use vacuum bags if they’re bulky and you’re low on space.


How to Use a Pressure Washer:


Hire a Pressure Washer from Speedy

You can hire a pressure washer from Speedy Hire to clean your outdoor patio furniture. A range of pressure washers are available, and daily, weekend and week-long hire is available.




You can also use a pressure washer to clean your patio, clean decking, and you can even clean your car with a pressure washer using the right setting.

Speedy has more than 200 local service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. It has never been easier to hire the tools and equipment you need.

You’ll find all the tools you need right here. Why not open a Speedy account today online or visit us in your local depot to start hiring today?

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