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How to Clean and Store Your Outdoor Furniture

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Another blissful summer has come and gone, and now it’s time to prepare your outdoor furniture for the fall and winter seasons. If you’re like us, you know that a little maintenance will go a long way to keeping your outdoor investments in pristine condition. This three-step guide from Twin Star Home explains how to clean and store your outdoor furniture after a busy summer.

Step 1: Clean Your Outdoor Furniture Pieces According to Their Material

There are several options when it comes to cleaning your outdoor furniture, but the best place to start is to know what types of furniture you have. Here’s a helpful breakdown of the most popular outdoor furniture materials and how to care for them:

Wood Furniture

For most wooden pieces, you can use a damp non-abrasive cloth to wipe them clean. Another option is adding a pH-neutral soap. Allow the furniture to air-dry or use a dry cloth to remove excess moisture. You can also clean your wood surfaces with a soft brush.

If you notice that your wooden outdoor furniture is turning a grayish or silver shade, this is the result of wood’s natural aging process. If you happen to see cracks in the wood, that is normal too. Moisture makes the wood expand and as it dries out it contracts, resulting in cracking. In either case, a professional furniture restoration service is able to help.

Metal Furniture

When cleaning your metal pieces, clean your surfaces gently with a non-abrasive cloth and warm, soapy water. Rinse away all the soap thoroughly and then pat dry with a soft towel.

Rattan and Wicker Furniture

When it comes to pieces like the Bermuda Dining Collection, use a pH-neutral soap and warm water mixture to clean gently with a soft cloth. Air-dry when finished.

A wicker sofa with seafoam blue patio cushions is displayed next to a patio table with green plants and tropical flowers.

Step 2: Store Your Furniture with Covers

Finding the right covers for your outdoor oasis is a perfect solution for indoor and outdoor storage. If you are moving your outdoor pieces into a garage or shed, a cover will keep everything clean and ready to use as soon as those sunny days come back. If you need to keep your furniture outside, remember these handy cover tips:

  • Choose covers based on your area. If you live in a dry climate that has occasional rainfall, shop for covers that will help keep your furniture clean, like a lightweight cover from the Essential Collection. If you know you’re in store for heavy snowfalls or rain, go with a waterproof cover like Veranda’s Best.
  • Remember that a little moisture inside the cover is natural and occurs often, and pick covers with well-placed air-vents.
  • Once the covers are on, give your furniture an inch or two of space between walls, corners, and fences to encourage airflow.  

The most reliable covers are made with water-resistant materials like woven polyester and vinyl. You can find covers in a variety of stylish prints so your guests will still admire your good taste, even though your furniture is covered.

Step 3: Take Care of Cushions and Pillows

Now that your furniture bases are taken care of, let’s move on to cushions and pillows! Thankfully, outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand Mother Nature, so cleaning them is a breeze. Remove the slipcovers from your cushions and pillows, set your washing machine to a delicate cycle, add a gentle detergent, and air-dry them. Or you can spot-clean the entire cushion or pillow by blotting with warm water and pH-neutral soap. Rinse thoroughly and air-dry.

Wait until your cushions are fully dry before storing them in a secure place like a basement, garage, or under a covered deck. To keep them clean until the warmer months arrive, consider heavy-duty waterproof storage bags that will keep everything immaculate.

A beige and mocha colored storage bag is slightly unzipped to reveal red and blue cushions. This waterproof bag will come in handy when you need to store patio cushions and keep them clean until you are ready to put them back on your patio furniture.

To learn more about outdoor furniture care or to find ideas and inspiration to enhance your backyard next season, subscribe to the Twin Star Home email newsletter today.