Tips To Maintain Garden Furniture

The days are turning cooler and the signs of Autumn are well and truly here. Around about now our thoughts start to turn to putting the garden to bed for the winter. At the same time, we need to start thinking about putting away our garden furniture or at least, putting on covers rather than leaving it exposed to the elements. Before covering them up or returning items to the garage or shed, give them a good clean that way they will still be at their best when we come to take them out again next Spring.

In this article, we look at how to clean the various types of garden furniture so that your table, chairs and loungers are ready to go when the weather Improves once again.

How to Maintain Rattan Furniture

Rattan furniture in the form of garden sofas, egg chairs and tables have become extremely popular over the last few years – as evidenced by the huge queues online when such items are advertised for great prices! Cleaning rattan furniture is relatively simple. Use the crevice tool of the hoover or a brush to remove any food crumbs, garden debris or soil that has become stuck between the weaves before cleaning. If dirt persists, try a toothbrush or cocktail stick to remove the stubborn matter. Apply a warm, soapy wash with a soft cloth and wipe over. Leave the furniture open to the air to dry before covering with showerproof covers.

How to Maintain Wood Furniture

Wood, as a natural resource, will produce oils that will help to keep it looking good. However, cleaning your furniture will help it to maintain its appearance. A gentle, soft brush and a mild oil-based, warm soapy solution or a cleaning fluid suitable for hardwood will clean away dirt, bird droppings and food debris. Leave to air dry completely once clean. Wood furniture, if left out for any period of time, will begin to weather and take on a silvery appearance which can look very attractive. To help keep this patina, apply a minimum of 2 coats of clear hardwood oil if the wood is eucalyptus, or a teak oil for any teak. However, if this look is not for you, you can return it to its original glory by painting on a furniture restoring solution, available from most DIY stores. For hardwoods, an annual sanding down and re-application of a stain or oil can make your furniture look like new. Further advice can be found in this helpful article from

How to Maintain Metal Furniture

When it comes to cleaning, metal furniture can withstand the rigours of a pressure washer on a low setting. A non-abrasive cleaning cloth and some hot, soapy water will also do the job. Rust might have become a problem on furniture made from steel. If so, you can gently rub with steel wool then using an exterior paint in a similar colour, touch up the area.

Although it won’t rust, aluminium furniture can suffer oxidisation, which will slowly change the colour of the metal. This can be removed using a solution of equal parts of white vinegar to water. Avoid ammonia-based cleaners as they can cause oxidisation. Wrought iron garden furniture can be sandblasted, or powder coated, which will also afford further protection against the elements. Regular cleaning and covering during the harsher months of the year will help to maintain the original colour. An application of car wax after cleaning will help your metal furniture to become more resistant to water. For more advice, this article from Homebase gives some handy tips.

How to Maintain Plastic Furniture

Mildew and grime can build up on plastic garden furniture so removing it with mild, soapy water and a soft cloth will help to make it look like new. A soft cloth is best, as are non-abrasive cleaners, to prevent scratching the soft surface of the plastic. Bleach or chlorine based cleaners are a big no-no for plastic furniture as they will begin to damage the surface. As with metal furniture, an application of car wax will help to keep the furniture looking pristine. Plastic furniture should be able to withstand the elements without needing to be covered.

How to Maintain Glass Furniture

When cleaning glass-topped furniture, it’s important to remember to treat each part of the furniture according to its material type – metal legs will need to be cleaned using the previous advice and separately to the glass. Cleaning the glass with warm, soapy water followed up, once dry, by a white vinegar spray to remove any soap residue. Using a soft cloth will help to avoid any scratches. Use a glass repair kit to deal with any chips or cracks in the glass.

Remember to always follow the manufacturer guidelines when cleaning and maintaining your garden furniture, to ensure the best results and compliance with warranties.