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How to Maintain Your Patio Furniture

In Cleaning and Organization by John & Sabrina Foley

With the rise in popularity of outdoor living space, many people are wondering how to help their outdoor furnishings and decor last longer. With good care, your patio furniture can last for years even though it may be exposed to the elements. Here are some tips to help you maintain patio furniture of various types.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron is a popular choice for patio furniture, due to its durability and longevity. Wrought iron generally needs little care; just an occasional wiping down with a damp cloth or a gentle rinsing with a hose. If your wrought iron furniture is especially soiled, you can use some mild soap, but no pressure washing or harsh detergents. Applying paste wax or naval jelly can prevent rust by creating a barrier between the metal and any moisture it may be exposed to. However, if the paint finish on your wrought iron wears thin, it will be necessary to have it repainted, as iron is particularly susceptible to rust.


Aluminum has also become a popular choice of outdoor furniture. It’s lightweight, easy to care for, and goes well with the popular minimalist styles of decor. No harsh chemicals or pressure washing should be used on aluminum; only mild soap and gentle rinsing. If your aluminum furniture develops unsightly calcium buildups, a solution of water and white vinegar will remove it.


Wicker is a popular choice for those who prefer a more chic or cozy style of patio furniture. Wicker can last a long time if you know how to maintain patio furniture like wicker properly. To remove light dust and sand, use a dry paint brush to whisk away particles. Wicker furniture can also be vacuumed, rinsed with the hose, washed with a mild soap, or even pressure-washed on a low setting. If your wicker isn’t weather-resistant, you should consider applying a paste wax after every thorough cleaning to slow moisture damage. Keeping wicker furniture covered when not in use is also a good idea.


For a type of wood patio furniture that rocks the weathered look, a lot of people choose teak. Although weathering is the whole point of teak, you’ll still want to take care of dirt and prevent any damage. Teak can be gently rinsed, and if you want a darker, less-weathered look, you can apply Penofin oil periodically.


Regardless of what type of patio furniture you have, you’ve probably added cushions and pillows for added comfort. Most cushions are weather resistant, but you should still clean up any spills immediately. For a lot of dirt buildup, cushions can be lightly scrubbed with a mild soap and brush, and then rinsed. A handheld vacuum can also be used regularly to get rid of any dust or debris. Don’t forget to bring your cushions in for the winter, though, even if the furniture itself is made of something that will withstand the winter.

The way we think of outdoor spaces has changed a lot in recent years. Now, outdoor living spaces mean that we can enjoy the outdoors in greater comfort than before, and entertaining can be done with style and class. Of course, it also means we’ll want to maintain patio furniture so that it lasts as long as possible. By following these tips, you can be sure to take good care of your outdoor furnishings, no matter what they are made of.

Live Life Outdoors

What is outdoor furniture good for without a beautiful outdoor space? Get inspired by our outdoor living photo gallery.