How To Clean Outdoor Furniture: Metal, Wicker, & More – First For Women

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Summer rainstorms and festivities can take a toll on chairs, benches, picnic tables, and everything in between, leaving your prime seating areas looking worse for the wear. So what’s the best way to clean outdoor furniture? Good question, but you’ll need to get more specific — it really depends on the material.
To help return your furniture to its original, clean, and gleaming state, the online decor marketplace RiverbendHome.com shared tips with us from its chief home officer, Mark Feldman. From metal to plastic to wicker, these inexpensive cleaning tips will keep your seating areas in tip-top shape.

Metal patio furniture is a top pick for outdoor seating areas because it’s durable and strong, Feldman says. Cleaning stainless steel, wrought iron, aluminum, or tubular steel (hollow steel) may take a few extra steps, but you likely already have the tools and products you’ll need.
Here’s how to clean metal furniture, according to Feldman:
If your furniture was painted and the coating has already chipped, repaint areas as needed. A simple spray paint from your local home improvement store may speed up the process.
If you have poly-vinyl chloride (PVC), resin, or plastic furniture, good news: It is less difficult than metal. “The easiest outdoor furniture to clean and maintain is typically made from [these three materials] — think Adirondack chairs and patio chairs,” shares Feldman. Check out his tips for cleaning these three materials.
Note: These tips apply to synthetic resin plastic, not to resin wicker. Tips for cleaning wicker furniture are in the next section.
Bonus tip: “You can also hose [PCV, resin, or plastic furniture] down with a power washer for a deep clean in crevices,” suggests Feldman. “But skip any abrasive cleaners, since they can scratch and dull surfaces.” A budget-friendly pressure washer we like: the Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric High Pressure Washer (Buy from Amazon, $169).
The first rule of cleaning wood or wicker furniture: Don’t use a power washer. “Although using a power washer is fine for plastic furniture, it is not recommended for patio furniture made of teak, wicker, or other types of wood such as ipa, acacia, pine, or mango,” warns Feldman. “The high pressure of these washers can scar or damage the softer surfaces of the wood.” Similarly, wicker furniture made of rattan, weed, willow, or bamboo will also suffer damage from a power washer.
Here’s what you should do instead:
Oh no! You accidentally left your cushions out in the rain instead of covering them with a tarp or bringing them inside. To restore them to their original vibrance, follow these steps (courtesy of Home Made Simple on YouTube):
If your cushions have a tough exterior, you could even power wash them after spot cleaning.
We hope these tricks re-invigorate your outdoor seating area and extend the life of your furniture.
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