Sparkle & Smile

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Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Tips for Cleaning Patio Furniture

It’s time to take out the outdoor furniture and relax outside! The sunshine and warmer weather has us craving grilled dinners on the deck. Whether you’ve had your patio furniture sitting outside all year or hidden away in the basement, you’ll want to give it a complete cleaning before lounging. After all, you want it looking its best before you invite guests over for an evening outside. Here are the cleaning tips you’ll need before kicking your feet up to relax on your patio furniture.

What type of furniture are you cleaning?

Whether you have wood, metal, or plastic furniture, you’ll want to start by removing as much loose dirt as you can. You can use a yard blower or even a vacuum cleaner with a reverse blower option to blow the loose dirt off the furniture. Once you remove the outer layer of dust and dirt, you can now give the cushions a true clean.

Wood: Clean with a soft brush before washing it.

Metal: Use a metal brush to remove dirt and rust spots.

Plastic: Wipe with a dry microfiber cloth which will pick up dust, cobwebs, and dead insects.

For fabric cushions and umbrellas, clean with a gentle soap such as dishwashing soap or laundry detergent. Wet all the surfaces with a gentle spray of water, then use a sponge and warm soapy water and wipe over all the surfaces. Rinse immediately so that the soap does not dry on the fabric’s surface. You can repeat the process if there are spots or stains. Hard furniture surfaces can be cleaned with the same warm soapy water. Use a microfiber cloth to get into cracks and crevices. Make sure to rinse the surfaces completely.

*Keep in mind, white plastic outdoor furniture tends to stain from acid rain and general dirt. You can try to remove the dark stains with powdered oxygen bleach. Use the powder like a cleanser. Sprinkle it on a wet surface and scrub with a wet sponge until the stains disappear. Rinse the piece completely.

Keep it Clean All Summer Long

Patio furniture may pick up dirt as summer goes along. Keep it looking good all season long by putting it on a regular cleaning schedule just like your inside rooms. Wipe pollen and dust off weekly so it doesn’t build up on the surfaces. Using your blower, keep the cushions free from dust and pollen as well. You can also wipe your patio furniture with a dry microfiber cloth after it rains to keep it from spotting or having puddles of muddy water dry on the surfaces. By regularly wiping down the furniture, you’ll be able to keep that shine for longer and enjoy your time outside on the patio more often.


For more information from DIY green cleaning expert Leslie Reichert, visit


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