Photo 1During the summer months, outdoor furniture is used almost every day, which means you probably need to clean it  quite often. Also, if you’re into organizing various out-of-doors activities for your kids throughout this season, regular cleaning just becomes a daily routine. Although many of us don’t favor this chore, with the right tools and cleansers, it can be done without a hitch. Here are a few tips on how to keep your patio and deck furniture looking as good as new.

Dealing with Natural Wood (teak, wicker)

Cleaning natural wood is possibly the most meticulous job, since you need to be extra careful and cautious. In order to clean teak and wicker furniture, you need to use a dry scrub brush first, to remove any debris. After that, you can use a mixture of warm water (1 gallon) and castile soap (1 tablespoon) for scrubbing away the dirt with the same brush. If you clean wicker, make sure you scrub gently because it can lose its shape. The last step is to wash off all the soap with a hose and apply oil (note: use oil only if the instructions call for it). 

Frequent Surface Cleaning

If you like spending most of the summer days on the patio having dinner parties with friends or organizing various arts & crafts activities with your kids, those outdoor tables and chairs are definitely in a dire need for daily cleaning. You surely want all those dirt and grease, soap scum and filth to disappear in a jiffy. Universal cleansers that at the same time clean and polish the surfaces are the best option. You can, for instance, go for Koenig Polish, a cleanser that can be used on various types of surfaces – glass, stainless steel, granite, etc. It also adds a nice shiny layer that provides the surface with additional protection.

Photo 2A Recipe for Plastic, Steel and Metal

If you’re a fan of DIY options, you can easily make a solution using 1 cup of vinegar, ½ cup of castile soap and 2 gallons of warm water. Once you mix these ingredients, you’ll need a spray bottle to pour the solution in. Before applying the cleanser, remove the loose dirt from the surfaces using a brush. Also, put away all the cushions, if they’re removable, as you’ll need to clean them separately. After spraying the furniture, leave it for 5-10 minutes and then spray the same area again, rinse it with water and leave in on the sun to dry.

Basic Cleaning of Outdoor Pillows and Cushions

For cleaning the fabric of your outdoor cushions, mix 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent, 1 tablespoon of Borax and 1 quart of warm water. Wash the cushions either with a saturated sponge or using a spray bottle. Leave them for 15 minutes and then rinse them off with a lot of water. Don’t dry the cushion in the direct sun in order to keep the original color. If you have removable cushions that can fit in the washer, wash them on a gentle cycle.


Regular cleaning of outdoor furniture during the year, even if you don’t use it during the winter months, will help keep it in immaculate condition. The thorough cleaning should firstly be done at the beginning of summer and then at the beginning of autumn, before you store it indoors. Storing the furniture inside is an additional step in staining prevention.