How to Care For and Maintain Outdoor Furniture

If you have outdoor furniture on your patio, there are things you can do to maintain those items so that you can enjoy them for many years. Outdoor furniture is not as expensive as indoor items, but it is still an investment. You will want to take care of your items so you don`t have to replace them any time soon. The care you will have to put in to your outdoor furniture will depend on the type of furniture you have on your patio. The following are some tips for maintenance on various materials.

Iron, aluminum or steel
If you have patio furniture with any type of metal frame, your biggest concern will be rust. Some newer metal frames come with rust resistant aspects and they do not require as much maintenance. If your frame is older, you might want to seal it with a paste wax after you clean it with soap and water. That will help you prevent rusting. If you already have spots of rust on your furniture, treat it with a rust remover.

Wooden outdoor furniture should be sealed with exterior varnish so the wood is well protected from the elements. You can then clean the furniture with soap and water on a regular basis. If your wood furniture is not sealed, you will want to do this as soon as you can. It is also a good idea to store wood items in a garage or shed in the winter so the material is not damaged from the extra moisture.

It is a good idea to hose wicker furniture down on a regular basis. If the material is really filled with dirt, use a mild soap along with the water. Once the wicker dries, you can seal it with paste wax to protect it in the event of stormy weather.

Plastic outdoor furniture takes the least amount of maintenance. There is really nothing you have to do to it in order to keep it looking decent. If it gets dirty, simply hose it off.

If you have cushions on your outdoor furniture, make sure you buy materials that can be machine-washed. You can wash the cushions every month or so and then dry them outside in the sun. Fabric takes the most maintenance because you have to wash it thoroughly on a regular basis to keep it clean. You will also have to worry about the fabric fading in the sunlight on your patio.


Umbrellas are a nice way to gain access to extra shade on the patio, but you will need to keep the item clean. Use a soft brush along with soap and water to get the dirt off your umbrella. If the item has a metal frame, you might need to oil it in order to ensure that the umbrella will be able to move up and down smoothly. Wooden frames will need to have paste wax applied to protect them from moisture.

If you have some type of fountain on your patio, you will want to keep it clean so that it looks nice and runs smoothly. Drain the fountain of water and clean the debris and other built up dirt from the basin. Try to keep the fountain as clean as possible so the pump does not get clogged, leaving you with larger maintenance issues. In order to prevent algae from growing in the water, place a small amount of bleach in the fountain along with tablets that prevent algae growth. To keep the patio accessory running smoothly, protect the pump with regular maintenance and cleaning.