Tips for Maintaining
Outdoor Furniture

Maintaining Outdoor Furniture: How to Keep Your Outdoor Furniture Clean

Investing in good pieces of furniture is a tough job. It requires discipline, utmost care and deliberate cleaning. Harsh elements such as sunlight, dirt, mildew, breakage, bumps and scratches are just some of the causes of premature damages to your outdoor furniture. The first step in maintaining outdoor furniture is cleanliness, so it is important to regularly check on them to keep track of all these negative elements.

Outdoor furniture is commonly classified by the materials from which it is made. It can be made of wicker, wood, steel, aluminum or cast iron, and plastics. Each of these materials require distinctive means of caring and cleaning. Therefore, we are providing these tips to help you in maintaining outdoor furniture as a means to protect your investment and keep your furniture looking new!

1. Wicker Outdoor Appliances

Wicker outdoor appliances are usually painted with latex paints. However, as time goes by, the paint gradually tears off and the furniture began to loose its moisture which is the number one factor for it to sag. Painted outdoor appliances are easy to clean. You need a soft-bristle brush or soft dampened cloth to remove the dust or any unnecessary residue in your furniture. Then, let it dry overnight or until the next day. If stains are hard to remove, the furniture can be repainted. You can attach loose ends with wood glue and make a finishing touch using a good amount of latex paint. Make sure that the paint used matches the original paint color. For better protection you can apply an oil finish.

2. Wood Outdoor Furniture

There are different types of wood that can be used in making outdoor furniture. To know the best suited means of cleaning, consult the American Hardwood Information Center at They offer information on suitable cleaners for a specific type of wood furniture and other tips on maintaining outdoor furniture made of wood. They are the experts for this kind of cleaning.

In polishing your wood furniture, use lint-free cloth such as cotton. Apply just enough amount of furniture polish on a cloth and rub the surface following the direction of the wood's grain. Follow the same direction all throughout the polishing for a more defined look. Use one specific type of furniture polish on each type of furniture to prevent smudges and stains.

3. Cast Iron and Steel

Cast iron and steel are two materials that are prone to rust and corrosion. They are often protected with paint and clear finish. You can clean this type of furniture using mild detergents. For a fresher look, you can treat it with car wax. Scratches can be hidden through light coats of paint. Some cast iron is done with "powder coat" finish. For this kind of finish, the touch-up can only be done by the manufacturer, so you better keep the calling cards for their service.

4. Aluminum

Compared to cast iron, aluminum outdoor furniture are resistant to rust that is formed during the oxidation process. Maintaining its cleanliness will prolong the life of the coating of your furniture. You can hose it down regularly and treat with car wax for a fresh finish.

5. Plastic

Plastic outdoor furniture is the most easy and convenient to maintain. Upon purchase, you can protect stains to sink in it by applying car wax. If stained, it can be removed with mild detergent or dishwashing soap. For hard-to-remove stains, you can try 10 percent bleach solution or water with vinegar.

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