How To Properly Maintain Your Patio Furniture

October 25, 2012 Patio Design

How can you make sure your patio furniture stays in tip-top condition when it’s always exposed to the elements and their associated dirt and debris?  While popular belief may convince you that a good rainstorm will clean the furniture for you, it’s not true.  Soap and water never fall from the sky together, and so patio furniture cannot get cleaned by merely sitting in a rainstorm.  In fact, rain can cause dust particles to float around in the air and can make furniture appear even filthier.  Instead, try to your patio furniture a good wash down once a week or so, inspecting for any lawn chair repairs that might need to be done at the same time.  You can expect some wear and tear on patio furniture over the years, but the condition can save you the embarrassment of having it fall apart when you’re entertaining.

Patio Furniture Maintenance According to Material

When it comes to repairing patio furniture, it’s important to take the building material into consideration.  The best way to maintain the furniture depends on what it is made from:


Aluminum furniture can have either a painted or an unpainted finish.  Cleaning both varieties is done in the following way:

  • Use warm water and add a mild detergent to it.
  • Scrub the entire surface of the furniture with soapy water.
  • Rinse with clear water to remove soap residue.

Once the furniture is clean and dry, you can apply metal polish to aluminum that has not been finished with paint.  It shines it up nicely and will keep the furniture clean longer.


Many people own plastic patio furniture.  It’s easy to clean, it’s affordable, and it can be fairly durable.  Cleaning plastic furniture can be done the same way you might clean aluminum, minus the metal polish.  Use warm, soapy water and then scrub the furniture clean.  Rinse with clear water and either let it dry in the sun or towel dry.  To keep it in good shape for years to come, move plastic furniture indoors during winter months.


Some enjoy the natural look of a solid piece of wood furniture.  Wood can be an especially attractive material used for pool deck furniture, and if it’s properly maintained it can last a lifetime.  Clean it with soapy water, rinse, and dry it.  You might want to treat the wood with a protectant of some sort a few times each year.  It’s also a good idea to store wood furniture indoors during the winter.

As you clean the furniture weekly, you might notice some damage that will need to be repaired.  Usually individuals are capable of performing minor repair work, the kind that you might anticipate on a piece of patio furniture.  If the furniture is plastic, however, you’re out of luck.  There really is no way to fix a broken leg on a plastic chair. Wooden and aluminum pieces, on the other hand, might be repairable and something that you can do yourself.

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