The Ultimate Guide: How to Clean Patio Furniture

Cleaning patio furniture may sound common sense, but there are methods to clean all sorts of outdoor furniture. In this guide, we bring you our favorite methods of cleaning teak, synthetic wicker, wrought iron and plastic furniture (fabrics included).

Cleaning frames

Teak furniture

Teak is a really durable and hard-wearing wood, which is why it is often used in the manufacture of patio furniture. It’s pretty easy to clean and maintain teak furniture. In more humid climates or when it’s not been properly cleaned, teak furniture can have mildew problems. To avoid this, you should clean teak furniture on a regular basis.

Cleaning products to use:

A really environmentally friendly way to clean your teak patio furniture is by adding a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water.


Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the wood using your homemade cleaning solution. Avoid using a brush that will damage the teak (i.e. not a metal brush). Leave your vinegar and water solution on for a further 10-20 minutes before rinsing with clean water.

Synthetic Wicker Furniture

Synthetic wicker is super easy to clean and it doesn’t require much care at all. Synthetic wicker can withstand lots of use and still look great. It does need cleaning frequently, however, as it’s woven texture is the perfect environment for dust, dirt and insects to hide!

Cleaning products to use:

Mix ¼ cup of mild detergent with 1 quart of warm water.


Use a vacuum to clear out the dust and dirt in the crevices of the furniture then hose down the furniture. Apply the mixture of warm detergent and water with a sponge. Rinse off then let your furniture dry. It’s important to ensure your wicker seating is fully dry before you use it again as it could cause sagging.

Wrought and Cast Iron

Iron is a firm favorite when it comes to choosing patio furniture material. It lasts much longer than many other furniture materials.

Cleaning products to use:

Dish-soap is fine to use with iron furniture. You can add a cup of mild detergent to a gallon of water too.


Hose down your furniture in order to get rid of dust. Squeeze a small amount of dish soap onto a sponge. Using a circular motion, wipe the sponge over the furniture. Make sure the sponge is rinsed frequently. You can also use a scrubbing brush to remove stubborn dirt and dust. Finally, rinse off all of the soap using a hose.

Plastic furniture

The greatest advantage of plastic patio furniture is how easy it is to maintain! Plastic is rot-resistant and relatively cheap. If plastic isn’t properly maintained, however, it easily becomes too brittle, particularly when exposed to the element.

Cleaning products to use:

A mixture of baking soda (1/2 cup) with a gallon of water is a great solution. You could also replace the baking soda with 3 tablespoons of dishwasher detergent. A cup of white vinegar with 5 liters of water is also a good mixture.


Hose down your furniture. Use a homemade solution to scrub the furniture down with a sponge. Toothbrushes are also great for cleaning the harder to reach nooks and crannies. Make sure your dry your furniture with a towel to avoid any leftover water leaving marks. Finally, use WD-40 on a clean cloth to add an extra shine to your finished furniture.


Cleaning Fabrics

If your furniture has cushions or fabrics, it’s also important that you maintain those as well. Sunbrella recommends this method to clean their patio furniture fabric:

Brush loose dirt away. Use mild soap in water as a cleaning solution. Use a soft brush to clean the surface. Leave the furniture to soak for a few minutes before rinsing.

Keeping your furniture at its best

We’ve looked at some ideas to get you started in cleaning your patio furniture. It’s really important that you thoroughly research how best to clean your personal furniture!

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