Keeping your outdoor furniture clean can be a laborious chore all on its own. Having these pieces constantly exposed to the elements, it’s amazing that they haven’t fallen apart yet. Whether it’s dirt, dust, mud, leaves, sap, or rain that you’re dealing with every time you go outside to sit down and get some fresh air, there are ways to keep your outdoor furniture clean with less work than you’d imagine. Follow these 5 tips to keep your outdoor furniture clean and new for years to come.

  1. Cover It Up
    Much of the wear and tear incurred by outdoor furniture can be minimized or eliminated by taking one simple step: covering your furniture when not in use. In the summer time this may be a little more trouble due to frequent use of the patio and outdoor seating, but during most times of year you’ll likely not be using this furniture very often. Regardless, it doesn’t take long to throw covers over your chairs and benches and this simple chore can keep your furniture clean while prolonging its life span by several years.
  2. Waterproof Your Wood
    Wooden patio furniture lends a nice, homey, rustic look to your outdoor seating area, but it is also among the most difficult materials to keep clean and maintain for long periods of time. Wood furniture is very porous, and therefore has a tendency to hold stains and absorb water, swelling and shrinking and eventually cracking. Coat your wooden chairs, benches, and tables in a quality sealant to prevent them from becoming permanently stained and reduce susceptibility to water damage.
  3. Clean Your Furniture 3 Times
    If you are living in a seasonal climate, your outdoor furniture likely stays in storage for about half the year–or at least it should. Those cold fall and winter months when you spend very little time using your patio set can be especially taxing on the furniture due to the weather changes and long period of disuse. In this situation, your furniture should be kept in storage when not in use, and cleaned 3 times a year. Once when it is first taken out of storage, once in the middle of the summer, and once before it goes back into storage.
  4. Mind the Weather
    Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If you see a storm headed your way, move your outdoor furniture to a safe place, either indoors or covered up if possible. Stormy weather often brings about lots of rain which can degrade wooden furniture pieces, and airborne dirt and debris, which will muck up any furniture set. Keep your eyes on the weather and you can spare your furniture lots of wear and dirt.
  5. Consider Your Climate
    Different geographic regions call for different patio seating arrangements. The outdoor furniture Los Angeles residents buy may not be ideal for residents of the east coast, and vice versa. If you live in a more temperate wet climate, coated aluminum may be the ideal choice for its resistance to water and stains. Residents of warm dry areas often prefer wood for its relative resistance to heat, because they have less dirtying and damaging elements to worry about. Think about what will be the lowest maintenance choice for you, and keeping your furniture clean will be easy as pie.