Tips & How-to's9 min read

How To Clean Patio Furniture: A Guide

How To Clean Patio Furniture: A Guide

Let’s face it: furniture that lives outside gets dirty! And in this day and age, it should be easy to learn how to clean patio furniture.

Dust, pollen, and weather conditions (not to mention kids, pets, and everyday use!) can all impact the look and longevity of your outdoor furniture, so it’s important to know the best ways to keep your furniture looking and feeling fresh.

Our top tips for how to clean patio furniture, as well as all the supplies you’ll need to get the job done, can be found ahead. From removing damp mold from fabrics to getting into the weave of your furniture’s wicker to ensure a thorough clean, Outer shows you how!

Tip: To skip straight to the good stuff, check out this video on how to keep your outdoor pieces clean.

Why It’s Important To Clean Your Patio Furniture

Your outdoor space 一 whether a cozy patio or a spacious deck 一 is your own personal outdoor sanctuary, and it should be treated as such! This includes caring for your patio furniture to ensure your outdoor area is ready to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice.

Cleaning patio furniture isn’t always a fun or exciting task, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated either.

Plus, maintaining your outdoor pieces is crucial when it comes to increasing the lifespan of your furniture so you get more bang for your buck!

Whether you’re using your patio furniture every week or only a few months out of the year, over time, debris and pollutants will naturally build up on it. While most are harmless, some can damage your outdoor pieces.

Even though patio furniture is designed to withstand the elements that come with life outdoors, insects, mold, dirt, and varying weather conditions can still affect your furniture’s lifespan and usability in the long-term

Not only that, but failing to care for your patio furniture can also inhibit your alfresco entertaining. After all, who wants to lazily lounge on patio furniture that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since it was purchased? No, thanks!

Unfortunately, letting your patio furniture be forgotten in your cleaning routine can happen easily — and can be particularly risky if you’re not protecting it with adequate covers.

That said, it’s possible to minimize how often you need to clean your patio furniture. Want to learn how? Keep reading!

How To Reduce Cleaning Frequency

Man learning how to clean patio furniture

Before we jump into how to clean your patio furniture, let’s talk about the best ways to reduce the need for excessive cleaning in the first place (because the less cleaning we have to do in life the better, right?).

Choosing dirt-repellent technology — like Outer’s proprietary stain-resistant fabrics found in our cushion covers — is a great start. This cuts down on the amount of cleaning you’ll need to do by repelling everything from water and food stains to bleach and mold.

Another effective way to keep your outdoor furniture clean is to protect it by using best-in-class covers.

You’ll probably find most outdoor furniture options have covers available to purchase separately, and we’re no different there (more on our All-Weather Covers in just a second!).

What does make Outer different is our built-in cover that comes with each and every Outer sofa and sectional. Our OuterShell™ is an integrated cover that quickly rolls out and over your patio furniture cushions to protect them from everyday dirt, debris, and morning dew.

It comes at no extra cost and sits discreetly behind your Outer sofa cushions, ready to go whenever you need to tuck your furniture in for the night.

If you live in a particularly harsh climate such as an area with a lot of snowfall, you’ll probably want to upgrade to that extra level of protection we mentioned earlier. And we’ve got you covered there too (literally!).

Our specially designed All-Weather Covers keep your patio furniture in pristine condition, no matter what your local climate throws at you.

We developed our covers to be tough on the elements but easy to use. With the tailored fit and sloping angles of our covers, water slips right off, leaving your patio furniture clean, dry, and ready to use.

They also feature wind straps and buckles to fit each leg of your Outer sofa or sectional, with vents on the back to make sure your patio furniture can still breathe while it’s being protected. This helps to prevent excess moisture build-up to avoid mold.

However, even with the best precautions in place, Mother Nature can still surprise us with a downpour of heavy rain or snow from time to time when we’re unprepared, and the dog can still leave muddy footprints when we have our backs turned.

For this reason, your patio furniture should be easy to clean. Let’s discuss our top tips on how to clean patio furniture so you can enjoy it for years to come!

Two people cleaning patio furniture

How To Clean Patio Furniture: All-Weather Wicker

First up, let’s talk about wicker. Many pieces of outdoor furniture are made of all-weather (or HPDE) wicker.

Not only is it stylish and versatile, but all-weather wicker is also extremely durable and easy to clean, which we love!

All Outer sofas and sectionals are made from all-weather wicker, but with a twist. Our all-weather wicker is made up of 30% recycled materials and is fully recyclable, so you can feel good knowing you’re making a sustainable choice for your patio furniture.

Every sectional and sofa, from our Outdoor Conversation Chair Set to our spacious 8-Piece Outdoor U Sectional, is handwoven from all-weather wicker using a special technique by our master artisans that results in a beautiful yet durable weave.

When it comes to cleaning your wicker patio furniture, keeping things simple is best to avoid damaging the wicker.

Up-close of wicker patio furniture

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Gentle, natural dish soap or detergent
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Garden hose


  1. Remove any cushions, fabric, and obvious debris from your furniture
  2. Fill your bucket with warm water and a few drops of gentle soap or detergent
  3. Loosen dirt and pollen. Starting at the top and working your way down, dip your bush, then gently rub warm, soapy water into the weave of the wicker, alternating back and forth with up and down strokes
  4. Keep going until the entire piece has been gently scrubbed. Change bucket water as needed throughout the process
  5. Take your hose, and on a high-pressure setting, hose off the remaining dirt and soapy water
  6. Gently towel off excess water, then let your furniture air dry

How To Clean Patio Furniture: Teak Wood

Teak is a beautiful, natural material and the best wood for outdoor use. It starts out a warm, golden-brown color and naturally weathers into a silver-gray tone.

We recommend using a gentle soap and warm water to clean teak. It may be tempting, but it’s best to avoid using a power washer to clean it. It can deepen any natural cracks in the wood, letting water and erosion in.

If mold has grown on the surface of your teak furniture, add a small amount of bleach to your cleaning solution (and be sure to wear gloves when applying!). This will break down the mold, making it easier to remove.

To clean your teak furniture, you’ll need a few extra tools to make sure you get the best results possible.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Gentle, natural dish soap or detergent
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Garden hose
  • Tarp (optional)
  • A few drops of bleach (optional)
  • 220 grit sandpaper (optional)
Man scrubbing teak wood after learning how to clean patio furniture


  1. Depending on where you are cleaning your teak, you may want to put down a tarp to protect surrounding areas from bleach and debris
  2. Fill your bucket with warm water, a few drops of soap, and a small amount of bleach (optional)
  3. Wearing gloves to protect your skin, dip your brush, and begin scrubbing. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom
  4. Keep going until the entire piece has been gently scrubbed. Change bucket water as needed throughout the process
  5. Take your hose, and using a soft setting, hose off the remaining dirt and soapy water
  6. Gently towel off excess water. Let your furniture air dry
  7. Once you’re done cleaning your teak furniture, if the surface is rough, you can use 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. Make sure to sand in the direction of the grain, as going across the grain will scratch the surface

How To Clean Patio Furniture: Metal Frames And Legs

Our hand-woven, all-weather wicker is wrapped around a powder-coated alloy frame for superior strength.

Pair that with rustproof stainless steel legs, which will stand up to wind, rain, heat, and snow, and you’ve got yourself an incredibly durable sofa!

When it comes to cleaning the metal frames and legs of your patio furniture, a gentle cleaning solution with some warm water should do the trick to remove scuff marks.

Two patio chairs pool side

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Soft rag
  • Gentle cleaning solution such as detergent
  • Garden hose


  1. In a bucket, mix 1:3 detergent-to-water solution using warm water
  2. Use a soft rag to gently spot-clean each scuff mark until clear
  3. Use a garden hose to rinse off excess detergent solution
  4. Allow patio furniture to air dry before use

How To Clean Patio Furniture: Outdoor Fabrics

Whether you’re working from home and using your patio furniture as a makeshift desk or just hanging out with your family on your patio furniture, your fabrics need to be clean, comfortable, and safe at all times to be fully enjoyed.

The best way to keep your outdoor cushions clean is to remove the covers and run them through the washer once or twice a season. Remember to never put them through the dryer 一 cushion covers require air drying only!

Before purchasing your patio furniture, be sure to check whether the cushion covers are both removable and machine washable. If you already own outdoor furniture, check manufacturer instructions before machine washing, as many are not able to go in the washing machine.

All Outer cushion covers are custom made from a solution-dyed performance fabric, which means the fabric won’t fade and the issue of extra dye running off into the water supply is eliminated.

Our cushions are finished with the same nano-coating used in performance camping gear, making our fabric stain-resistant, water-resistant, and easily cleanable.

Better yet, they’re completely machine washable with cold water!

In addition to cushion covers, we can’t forget about rugs! A common outdoor fabric that often gets overlooked in the spring cleaning routine, rugs need a little TLC from time to time just as your cushions do.

Our Eco-Friendly Outdoor Rugs don’t ask for much 一 just vacuum up crumbs and debris as needed and let them dry out if they get wet. Simple!

If you need to spot-clean your outdoor cushions or outdoor rug after a spill, here’s the best way to do it.

Woman putting stuffing back in fabric for cushion of patio furniture

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Soft rag
  • Gentle cleaning solution such as detergent
  • Garden hose
  • Bleach for removing mold (if needed)


  1. With a soft rag, wipe any loose dirt from the spot you plan on cleaning
  2. Mix the appropriate solution as needed. For spot cleaning, mix 1:3 detergent-to-water. For mold removal, mix 1:3 bleach-to-water
  3. Dip your rag and gently rub, making circles from the center of the spot outward
  4. Absorb any moisture from the area
  5. If necessary, repeat until the spot is clean, dabbing dry after each pass

Expert tip: If you need to spot-clean outdoor fabrics to remove stains quickly and easily, take a look at this video!

How Often To Clean Patio Furniture

A common question we receive is how often patio furniture should be cleaned. And the answer depends on a variety of factors, from how often you use your furniture to the climate you live in.

In addition to cleaning visible spills or marks soon after they occur, giving your patio furniture a regular cleaning can help extend its life and usability.

We recommend regularly cleaning your patio furniture top to bottom during times of peak usage, like summer, and before you cover it up for the cooler months when you may not be using it as often.

It’s best to clean your patio furniture at least once a season where possible to avoid a build-up of excess moisture, which can lead to mold.

By following our tips outlined in this guide, you really can’t clean your furniture too often or in a way that might cause damage, so have at it!

Cleaning Your Patio Furniture Is A Breeze With Outer

light blue patio furniture

When it comes to learning how to clean patio furniture, it doesn’t have to be as complicated or time-consuming as you might think.

From cleaning all-weather wicker to washing your outdoor fabrics, you can’t go wrong by following the simple steps we’ve outlined in this patio furniture cleaning guide. Remember to use gentle tools and detergents to get the best results and avoid damaging your furniture.

Whether you’re bringing a spacious sectional like our 8-Piece Outdoor U Sectional back to life, or sprucing up an outdoor rug like our Eco-Friendly Outdoor Rugs, Outer makes cleaning your patio furniture a breeze!