Outdoor furniture can last for years if it’s looked after correctly. Most outdoor pieces are made from weather-resistant materials; however, they will eventually deteriorate over time without proper care. We only get to dine, relax and recline outside every few months, so it’s important to make the most of our time in the sun. This often means that our outdoor cushions will end up covered in unidentifiable food and drink spillages after a season of barbeques whilst our garden furniture will have to endure whatever the unpredictable British weather throws its way. To help, we’ve put together a guide to take you through how to clean outdoor furniture and cushions, so you can enjoy your dining tables, sofa sets and sun loungers for many summers to come.
Most of our wooden outdoor furniture is made from tropical hardwoods, like oak and acacia, which are naturally weather-resistant due to their high oil content. This means that they can be kept outdoors throughout summer. Wooden pieces tend to look better with age, but if you knock over your bottle of sun cream or if one of your guests spills their drink all over the table, you will need to give your furniture a jolly good clean.
Cleaning wooden garden furniture is relatively straightforward - keep it in prime condition by giving it a yearly scrub with soapy water, followed by a thorough rinse to restore the timber’s surface and remove algae and pollution. For deeper cleaning in the instance of tougher stains or mould, scrub with a soft brush and a mix of water and washing up detergent in the direction of the wood grain. For the most challenging stains, you can lightly sand your untreated wooden furniture and then rinse the surface.
Caring for metal furniture is generally quite easy as most metal designs boast a hard wearing finish that’s been treated with an anti-rust solution; all our metal furniture is powder-coated for additional durability against the elements. Fortunately, aluminium furniture can’t rust, but if the polyester coating is damaged it could peel, making your outdoor pieces look old and worn.
Gently wash your metal furniture with a sponge and warm soapy water to keep it looking its best. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers or cleaners as they can scratch the finish which can lead to rust. Keep an eye out for scratches or any signs of rust, and give your metal furniture regular touch-ups with a metal paint.
Cushions are an easy way to bring more colour and dimension to an outside space – there’s an entire outdoor styling section in our guide to adding colour with cushions. But in a season of barbecues and sangria, those cushions are bound to get messy. Also, if you love dogs as much as we do, you’ll have pawfuls of pet hair to contend with. Keep your outdoor seat cushions in tip top condition by brushing and vacuuming them to remove any loose debris; erase any light stains, paw prints and blemishes by giving them a sponge clean using an upholstery shampoo.
We offer a wide selection of scatter cushions, including a beautiful range specially designed for outdoor use. Our showerproof outdoor cushions are made from a jute, polyester and cotton blend and come with a fibre-filled cushion pad. We would always recommend opting for this type of cushion pad if you plan on using your cushions outdoors as fibre dries quickly and won't retain mould. The seat and back cushions that come with our outdoor furniture are also water resistant as they are covered in a showerproof polyester fabric.
Storing your outdoor cushions somewhere clean and dry will keep them in good condition, but they may get dusty and mouldy if they’re left in storage over a long period of time. Brush off as much mould as you can and then, as with regular mess and stains, give the covers a good vacuum before washing them with soapy water.
We recommend storing outdoor furniture somewhere cool and dry, in a shed or outbuilding, to keep it looking ‘brand-new’ for as long as possible. Alternatively, if you don’t have space to keep it inside, you could invest in a protective furniture cover.
We love our All-Weather 'Rattan' as it looks as if it's made from a natural wicker but, in fact, it's crafted from a sturdy aluminium with a synthetic rattan coating. To top it all off, our ‘rattan’ is weather resistant and will complement any existing garden furniture. Whilst it can be kept outdoors all year round, we still recommend storing it indoors or keeping it dry using a protective cover. Store your outdoor cushions in a dry place too, to prevent them getting soaked in the rain or sun-bleached in the sunshine. If you need a few more ideas on how to store outdoor cushions, this post on indoor and outdoor storage has it covered.
Hopefully you’re feeling enlightened after reading our guide to cleaning garden furniture and have also picked up a few tips on cleaning outdoor cushions along the way. In preparation for the season ahead, decorate your newly cleaned outdoor furniture and cushions with bold, colourful accessories that will pop against the surrounding greenery.