When you put the comforts of the indoors outside, expect a battle to keep them in good condition. There’s a reason we live inside! Beat back the effects of weather on your belongings and get clean outdoor furniture by using these cleaning tips frequently.


How to Clean Outdoor Furniture



The crescent shape of hammocks makes them perfect collectors of leaves, bugs, crumbs (if you’re a hammock snacker), and, if they get wet, mold. To clean, take the hammock down and lay it on a nonabrasive surface. Use your garden hose to wet the hammock. Scrub with a soft brush and warm soapy water. Rinse and then let the hammock completely dry. Consider spraying a few coats of water repellent on the hammock to protect it. You can clean your hammock anytime, but you should definitely do so before you store it for the winter.


Outdoor Cushions

Of course, for stains, you want to be sure to absorb the mess and wipe up as quickly as possible. This prevents the stain setting into the fabric. For general cleaning, fill a bucket with soapy water. Dip a scrub brush into the solution and gently scrub the cushions. Place in the sun to dry. Air drying the cushions on a sunny day also has the benefits of lightening any stubborn stains that haven’t completely come out. Just don’t leave your cushions out in the sun too long or too often; you don’t want their overall color to fade.


Plastic Chairs

Warm soapy water and a sponge is all that is needed to clean plastic chairs. Simply hose down the chair and scrub. Do the seat as well as the back of the chair and the legs. Rinse then dry with a cloth or let air dry. Clean outdoor furniture includes plastic chairs, which come handy on last-minute gatherings.



Use a solution of vinegar and water to wipe down outdoor wicker furniture. Prevent build-up in the textured surface of wicker with regular wipe-downs or by hosing down the furniture once a week. Here are a few more notes about wicker:

  • You should avoid letting water sit or pool on your wicker. Lingering water could cause discoloration, so be sure to dry your wicker quickly after it’s been cleaned.
  • Also avoid using abrasive materials when cleaning wicker. You can damage even unfinished pieces this way.
  • We cover how to care for wicker furniture more fully in a different article.


Patio Umbrellas

Most umbrellas have a removable canopy. If yours does, go ahead and pop it off. Hose down the canopy with your garden hose and use a mild cleaner and a brush to scrub each section of the canopy. Like with your hammock, you can do this cleaning periodically throughout the summer, but need to definitely do it before it’s time for winter storage. Also like the hammock, you must let the umbrella dry completely. If it does not fully dry before you store it, you’ll likely be in for a nasty mold surprise when you take it out next year.


Patio Table

Rinse off loose dirt first. Then use any all-purpose cleaner to wipe the surface of the patio table. If the table is glass, use soapy water or a glass cleaner.



We cover this tip more fully in our How to Clean an Outdoor Grill Cleaning Tip. We’ll go ahead and just say that you need to clean your grill regularly throughout the season. Neglecting this chore can lead to grease build-up, which is a fire hazard.


Clean Outdoor Furniture for a Great Summer

With such clean outdoor furniture, you really are bringing the comfort of the indoors to your backyard! Just make sure you properly store everything for the winter. If storage is not possible for some items, look into other ways to protect them from inclement weather. Using these tips will ensure your clean outdoor furniture endures for years to come.