Tips for Protecting Outdoor Furniture

As you take your outdoor furniture out of storage for summer, follow these tips on how to clean patio furniture and protect it all season long.

As the memory of another winter fades, it’s time to take your outdoor furniture out of storage so you can enjoy cookouts, lounging in the sunshine and taking in the cool summer breezes at night. It’s important to follow proper outdoor furniture maintenance to keep your patio furniture looking fresh and clean throughout the years.

Removing outdoor furniture from storage

The first step is to take your patio furniture out of wherever you’ve been storing it for the winter, whether you’ve been keeping it in the garage, the basement or at a rental storage space. Make sure to clear a path by moving any nearby boxes or other stored items out of the way before you try to move your furniture. Without a clear path, you risk dinging or scratching your furniture. You also need to make sure you have enough helpers for moving your furniture. Lighter items might only require one individual, while heavier items might require several individuals. Before you begin moving, have a plan in place for where you want the furniture to go. Also, if you are taking your patio furniture out of a storage facility, ensure that your vehicle can accommodate all pieces or plan ahead for several trips.

Be ready with the best method on how to clean patio furniture

Start by clearing away any loose debris, either with a vacuum or dry rag. Spray furniture gently with a hose (a power setting can damage or chip furniture). Use a rag and a bucket of soapy water to clean your furniture. Use warm water and not hot water, which many manufacturers warn against. Dishwashing liquid is usually best as it’s effective at removing dirt without damaging your furniture. Depending on the type of material you are cleaning, follow these tips on how to clean outdoor furniture:

  • Wood furniture may require a scrub brush during the initial cleaning.
  • Wicker furniture should be cleaned with a sponge or rag only if painted. Unpainted or synthetic wicker can be scrubbed without risk of chipping. Tuck any loose wicker strands back in, but bigger areas that are torn might need professional repair.
  • After doing a basic cleaning on metal furniture, look for any rust spots. Rub these down with sandpaper or steel wool. You can repaint the entire piece of furniture or touch up specific spots.
  • Cushions, seat covers and other outdoor fabrics should follow the cleaning instructions on the manufacturer’s tag. If the tag is not available, soapy lukewarm water is the best option, or you can place it in the washer on the gentle cycle.

Protecting outdoor furniture in the summer

Once your furniture is clean, you’ll want to take necessary steps to protect it from the elements, namely the sun. You may want to use a stain block that includes UV blocking protection if appropriate for the material of your outdoor furniture. For metal and plastic furniture, you can use an outdoor furniture protector. Wood furniture can be painted with a brand that offers UV protection. Be sure to cover cushions or bring them inside when not in use.

Outdoor furniture maintenance at the end of the season

Before you store your furniture for the off-season, remember to clean it property using the same process you did pulling it out of storage. This will help keep your furniture looking newer year after year. If you need any packing supplies for cushions and smaller items, consult your self-storage location’s offerings to see if they carry these items onsite.