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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cleaning Outdoor Patio Furniture

It’s getting to be that time where Summer turns to Fall and then on to the colder weather of Winter. This means it’s time to think about cleaning the patio furniture for Winter storage.

Pick a nice warm, sunny day to clean and work on getting those last bits of sun.

Furniture Cleaner Recipe


This is super easy and you most likely have all these items in the house already.

• In a bucket add 1 tablespoon mild liquid dish soap.
• Fill with warm water.

Don’t overdo the dish soap or you may end up with a soapy residue on your furniture that will require more rinsing to remove it.


If the furniture has a little mold or mildew:

• Add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the water.

Cleaning the Umbrella


It's much easier to clean the umbrella when it's in place. You may need a ladder or step stool. If getting up on ladders is not particularly your cup of tea, take the open umbrella, lay it on the lawn. Turn the umbrella as you clean.

If you do use the stool or ladder, clean the umbrella first so you don't get the table dirty after you've already cleaned it.

Spray both the top and the underside of the umbrella with the garden hose. Use the recipe above to clean. Scrub the umbrella with a brush. If you have a long handled brush for washing cars, this works nicely.

Rinsing Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Outdoor Furniture


Remove the cushions so you can give all sides of the furniture a good spraying.
Put the nozzle on the end of the hose and set it to a setting that is not full force but has enough force and is wide enough to remove the dust, any lodged leaves, spider webs, etc.

Spray the tops and undersides of the patio furniture.

Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub off stuck-on mud, bird poop and any mold or mildew that may be present.

Cleaning Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Outdoor Furniture


1. Now that you have rinsed the furniture and removed any dirt and debris, use the recipe above and wash the furniture.

2. If you're cleaning aluminum and plastic furniture, use a big sponge for cleaning.

3. If you’re cleaning wood furniture, use a soft-bristled brush for cleaning, rather than a sponge.

4. If there is mold and mildew, follow the steps in the recipe above.

5. Dip the sponge or brush in the bucket and start wiping down the furniture. Make sure you get the underside of chairs and under the tabletop. You might have to apply a little pressure to remove dirt and grime that didn't come off with the hose.

6. Rinse again with the hose and wipe off any excess water and set out to dry.

Cleaning Wicker Furniture


Wicker is one of those pieces of furniture you want to keep cleaned regularly. Regular cleaning with the furniture attachment on your vacuum cleaner will help keep dust, dirt, and other debris from settling too deep into the tight crevices between the weaves. After vacuuming go over with a slightly damp, lint free cloth.

If there is any debris that didn’t come off using the above information, a little heavier cleaning should do the trick.

Get a toothbrush and using the furniture cleaning recipe, dip the toothbrush in the water and carefully clean in between the cracks and crevices to remove dirt and/or mold and mildew. Rinse again using a damp cloth, and wipe dry.

Don’t soak wicker as it could soften the material and cause warping.

Drying Furniture


After cleaning and wiping down the furniture, set it in the sun and allow to air dry naturally.

Cleaning Cushions


If any of the cushions have cloth covers, wash them according to the directions on the label. If they're vinyl, follow the steps below.

1. Mix equal parts water and vinegar.

2. Put the cleaning solution in a spray bottle.

3. Spray the cushions and scrub with a soft bristled brush.

4. Rinse with the garden hose and set in the sun to dry.

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