While today’s outdoor fabrics and finishes are built to withstand the elements, an annual cleaning can go a long way toward making them last for many years to come. Whether it’s getting soaked at a pool party or braving a blizzard, it’s bound to take some abuse. That’s why it’s good to give your outdoor furnishings some occasional care and maintenance.

Keep Your Outdoor Furniture Looking New – Christmas Time

Cushion Care

Today’s outdoor fabrics are extremely durable, but dirt and grime can dull even the toughest weaves. Start by dusting off surface dirt, then use a sponge or soft bristle brush to apply a solution of ¼ cup mild detergent (like Dawn or Woolite) diluted in 1 gallon of water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all the soap and allow the fabric to air dry, and your cushions should be as bright and cheery as the day you bought them.

If your cushion covers are canvas, you can likely remove them and toss them in the washer. If you don’t have removable cushions, grab a bar of Fels-Naptha soap and apply suds using a soft bristle brush. This strategy also works well for removing tough stains like bird droppings from canvas awnings.

Keep Your Outdoor Furniture Looking New

Wicker Maintenance

If your furnishings are in good condition, all they’ll likely need is a quick vacuuming and a wipe-down with a cloth dipped in a mild detergent dilution. Scrub off stubborn grime with a bristle brush dipped in the same solution, then rinse with a cloth saturated in plain water.

Modern Patio utopia projects

If you notice that your wicker is drying out and splitting, choose a breezy day to mist it with a garden hose and allow it to dry in a shady spot. Avoid doing this more than twice a year to keep the glue joints from weakening.

Keep Your Outdoor Furniture

For Teak

Dirt and grime can cause teak to mildew, so it’s essential to give it a thorough scrubbing with a solution of equal amounts of mild detergent and water using a bristle brush. Do this once a year and the teak should remain mildew free.

Oiling your teak can help it retain its buttery gold color and keep the grain from cracking, but increasing its moisture content can also make it mildew more easily. Ask your manufacturer before oiling your teak and get a product recommendation if you decide to move forward.

Keep Your Outdoor Furniture

Love for Metal

Most metal garden furniture is finished with a protective coating that makes it impervious to the elements … but that finish will eventually wear away.

Inspect your metal furnishings carefully every spring. If the varnish is bubbling or you see any rust damage, use sandpaper to remove the damaged area, then apply new paint or varnish.

Strong acids — especially bird droppings — can wear away your furniture’s protective finish. So inspect it regularly and remove droppings as soon as you see them. It’s also a good idea to give everything a wipe-down with a cloth dampened in a mild detergent solution a few times throughout the season.