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The VonHaus Guide to Cleaning Garden Furniture

With summer around the corner, we’re all itching to get out in the garden with our feet up and a cold beer in hand – we can almost taste it! And while you might be tempted to give up on your old sofa set, these nifty furniture cleaning tips will restore that rickety garden furniture in no time!

Read on as we answer all your questions about cleaning garden furniture, from sprucing up old outdoor cushions to ridding your chairs of rust.


Grey garden furniture coverGrey garden furniture cover


First and foremost, your garden furniture saviour – the humble waterproof cover. The simplest sure-fire way to protect any table, chair, or bench from the elements. Complete with breathable air vents and elastic drawstrings, our garden furniture covers prevent mould and keep wind-billowing nightmares at bay!

How to clean outdoor furniture cushions

Outdoor sofa with boho cushionsOutdoor sofa with boho cushions


Outdoor cushions are an essential part of making any garden hub that bit more snug, extending the cosiness of your home to the great outdoors – so don’t let these fall by the wayside when it comes to cleaning!

To wash our cushions, simply unzip the cover, remove the padding, and dry clean for flawless results. When it comes to spillages (charades can get heated), grab a warm, soapy cloth and gently wipe clean.

Bonus tip: don’t get rid of the soapy water just yet. It will come in handy for cleaning any wooden, metal, plastic, or faux rattan furniture sets.

How to clean wooden garden furniture

Man reading on a adirondack chairMan reading on a adirondack chair


Wooden garden furniture has timeless charm – the natural wood grain, slatted design, and warm hues. If you own any, you’re probably all too familiar with that greyish patina that can develop over time. The good news? You can prevent it in three simple steps:

1. Wash with warm, soapy water

With any stage of cleaning, the gentler, the better. Pair a soft cloth with mild soapy water and wipe away – this way, you won’t damage the wood. Once you’ve removed the grime, rinse the mixture with water and leave to dry.

2. Sand the surfaces

For any stubborn dirt marks remaining, try sanding down your furniture with 80-grit/120-grit sandpaper. This will also prep your table, bench, or chair for oil treatments. To be on the safe side, we recommend wearing goggles to protect your eyes from any wood chips or dust.

3. Apply an oil treatment

As well as offering year-round protection, teak oil maintains the wood’s rich golden sheen. Liberally apply the oil with a cloth following the grain, working into the wood. Once dry (in approx. 4-6 hours), apply a second coat. Repeat this process twice a year and clean your teak garden furniture with the soapy water mixture in between applications.

How to clean plastic garden furniture

Dark green bistro set under a cream parasolDark green bistro set under a cream parasol


Arguably the most faff-free material in the outdoor furniture world, plastic has it all. Weatherproof, durable, and easy to care for, have your plastic garden set looking shipshape in a flash. The best part? We guarantee that you have all you need in your cupboard already, so head into the kitchen and grab some vinegar and baking soda (we know it sounds questionable but stick with us). Mix a quarter cup of vinegar with a litre of warm water and wash down with a sponge.

For stubborn stains, sprinkle some baking soda over a damp sponge, gently scrub, and the job’s a good’un. Now you’ve got clean chairs, it’d be rude not to put your feet up and use up the rest of the soda in an Aperol Spritz – nothing says summer quite like that bright orange fizz!

How to clean white garden furniture


Cleaning white garden furniture might seem like a whole different story – especially when marked with that grubby green-grey hue. But you’re in luck; with oxygen bleach, you’ll be needing sunglasses to avoid the gleam before you know it!

For the initial clean, grab a cloth and wash with a mild soapy water mixture. Then mix one gallon of warm water with two tablespoons of bleach. Let this sit for 10 minutes before dipping in a sponge and scrubbing away (with gloves, of course!). Rinse with water after a few minutes, and you’ve got yourself a spanking new white garden furniture set!

How to clean metal garden furniture

Teal bistro set in a leafy gardenTeal bistro set in a leafy garden


From aluminium to stainless steel, there’s no denying the longevity of metal construction. This is why we use metal frames for so many of our garden furniture sets. However, we know that one word everyone dreads when it comes to outdoor patio sets – rust.

Have no fear; regular rust-resistant maintenance is as easy as 123. Like cleaning wooden garden furniture, all you need is warm water, mild soap, and a cloth. Rub down the furniture and let it dry, and hey presto – sparkling metal furniture. 

But my table is already rusting!

We hear you, but don't fret. Read on for our top tips on cleaning rust off garden furniture – we’ve got you covered!

Back to the kitchen cupboard we go, this time for white wine vinegar and salt. Simply mix these together and apply the mixture to rusted areas, letting it work its magic. After 15 minutes, wipe it away to reveal your new rust-free furniture!

How to clean rattan garden furniture

Rattan outdoor sofa setRattan outdoor sofa set

Charming and always on-trend, the rustic wicker weave has become a firm favourite in the garden. However, genuine rattan is becoming a thing of the past, overtaken by its PE rival (polypropylene synthetic resin).

Here at VonHaus, we’ve grabbed this trend by the horns, always opting for this UV and weather-resistant alternative. With all the charm of a natural basket weave but with added durability and strength, what’s not to love? To top it off, it’s a low-maintenance alternative to natural rattan.

Follow these three easy steps once or twice a year to maintain – that’s all there is to it!

1. Remove any loose bits of dirt, dust, or mud from your furniture using a brush or vacuum.

2. Dampen a cloth with that good old mixture of washing up liquid and warm water and apply liberally – no bleach, please! Leave to soak for a few minutes.

3. Rinse off with water, and voila!

A little TLC can go a long way, bringing your well-loved outdoor sets back to life while saving you valuable pennies. No matter how much that brand-new furniture set seems like a great garden addition, you have all you need at home for the perfect summer set-up. Also, the satisfaction of transforming an old, weathered set is always a nice little ego boost. It’s a win-win for us.

Four adults having dinner outdoorsFour adults having dinner outdoors
2023-05-25 14:20:00 0 viewed
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Michelle Catapang
The contents of your blog are informative and well-detailed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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