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By PATIO HQ 1,875 views

A Guide to Cleaning Your Favorite Outdoor Furniture

Even the most high-quality outdoor furniture designed to withstand the weather, dust, sunlight, wind, and other elements, requires some level of maintenance and upkeep.

Cleaning your outdoor furniture can be challenging, but it’s not difficult once you know the right strategies and techniques. We’re sharing a step-by-step guide on how to clean your favorite pieces without damaging them and keeping them looking as good as new.

Check out these recommendations and give them a shot:

Follow your manufacturer’s instructions – Outdoor Furniture

The first thing you must do is closely monitor your manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid using harsh chemicals and materials that harm the fabric or cause deterioration. Use methods and products that they recommend for care and maintenance, ensuring that you’re not causing damage to the fibers of your sofa set unnecessarily.

This is important to do because failing to comply with their instructions may impact factors like warranty, compromise the fabric itself, and damage the frame and structure of your furniture.

Once you take a look at their instructions, you can use those and a few key tips from this article together. Remember, Maintenance is much easier when you have high-quality patio furniture resistant to wear and tear and can be cleaned more efficiently. 


Remove all cushions and add-ons

If you have cushions, throws, and any add-ons attached to your furniture, you should remove those and wash and clean them separately. Be sure to launder colors and neutrals separately to avoid staining. Make sure there are no stains or dirt left over. You can wash blankets and throws the way you would other linens, and cushion covers are typically quite resilient in the wash. Air out their stuffing separately.

This will help you get everything nice and thoroughly cleaned and free up your main furniture for easier maintenance. Without cushions, throws, and rugs in the way, you can focus on the larger pieces of furniture, such as your tables, couches, ottomans, etc.

Apply a deodorizer on the Outdoor Furniture

While you take care of other aspects, such as cleaning down tables and harder surfaces, you should apply a deodorizer to your furniture. You may not realize it, but most furniture tends to smell quite a bit due to sweat, grease, dirt, moisture, and other factors.

You need to use a gentle but effective deodorizer that neutralizes the smells at the very least. Not everyone wants to use strong fragrances, and that’s okay, so while you can get a store-bought neutralizer, baking soda does the trick. Add a few drops of essential oil, sprinkle it all over your couches, and let it sit for a couple of hours to soak up the odor and make your couches less stinky.

A person cleans a wooden railing with a cloth while wearing gloves.

Use a spot-cleaning treatment

As it deodorizes, you can get started on your spot treatments.

Make a gentle spot-cleaning treatment using household ingredients, such as baking soda and vinegar, with a little dish soap to create a gentle yet highly effective mixture. You can use this to clean up tough stains and spots, such as food, grease, sweat stains, and more.

While it may not be ideal to wash the entire couch down, spot cleaning is a quick and effective way to get the job done in a shorter period. Apply your spot-cleaning treatment onto tough stains and spots, and use a rag,  washcloth, or gentle cleaning brush to scrub it away till the stain disappears. If the stain is tougher than expected and won’t budge, you may need to use stronger ingredients like hydrogen peroxide to really get in the fibers.

Once the stain is gone, take a clean, damp cloth and scrub the area once again to remove traces of the cleaner.

Vacuum, dust, and brush the upholstery

Now that your couches are covered in baking soda, vinegar, and other contents of your kitchen, how do you get them clean again?

Bring out your trusted vacuum or a gentle cleaning brush with stiff by soft bristles; use them to wipe down the surface and clean away any remnants of the baking soda, solvents, or cleaning supplies you use. You should vacuum between the couch cushions and seats inside any crevices, corners, or joined areas to ensure that nothing is left behind. A handheld vacuum or the upholstery attachment on your regular vacuum is perfect for this, but if you don’t have that, use a brush to make sure you’re not missing anything.

After you’re done cleaning, you should be left with an almost clean, spotless patio sofa.

A small sectional from the Murano collection.

Let it dry out before you use it

Lastly, you should let your outdoor furniture dry fully before using it. Whether it’s your sofa, rugs, cushions, and throws, you should air everything out and let it fully dry out before you use them to prevent mold buildup, odors, or discomfort from transferred moisture. Using your furniture before it fully dries is a recipe for disaster and can lead to further staining, odor, and damage, which is not pleasant to deal with.

A pro tip is to invest in covers for outdoor furniture when it’s not in use, protecting it from the elements and other damaging aspects such as extreme weather. You can’t move your furniture around every time the weather changes, so protective covering is a game-changer.

Maintenance is much easier when you have high-quality outdoor furniture resistant to wear and tear and can be cleaned more efficiently.

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