How to Clean Patio Furniture – 3 Quick and Super Simple Ways

After a whole spring and summer of use your outdoor patio furniture needs to be cleaned to make sure it looks its best. Of course, that is true in the spring too when you are getting ready for the new season’s use.

Either way there are some special ways to clean the different kinds of patio sets. Here are some I’ve found.

Aluminum Furniture:

Aluminum doesn’t rust but it does oxidize. This is the white hazy look you’ve seen on furniture that has been left out.

  • Use mild soap and water.
  • Soak a clean dishrag or shop cloth in the warm soap and water solution
  • Wipe off the furniture using the soapy rag
  • Dry off the patio set with a clean towel
  • After dirt is removed use a metal cleaner/polishing paste

That stuff you probably already know but here is the tip you probably didn’t. Use car wax!

A carnauba based car wax will protect your aluminum patio furniture just as it protects the sheet metal on your car.

It will keep minor scratches and stuff from getting to the metal and it is a heck of a lot easier to re-apply car wax than it is to repaint a table!

Also, don’t use harsh brushes or cleaners. They will scratch your furniture and do more harm than good. Some Cleaners, like window cleaner, have alkaline in them and that can actually cause the oxidation we are trying to remove.

White Resin/Plastic Furniture:

  • Use dishwasher detergent and warm water. Most dishwasher detergents have a small amount of bleach and this is what helps whiten your furniture.
  • After you wipe the solution on your tables and chairs leave it on for 10 or 15 minutes to give the bleach time to work.
  • Using car wax on resin and plastic furniture works well too. This is best used on new furniture but it doesn’t hurt to put it on older stuff after you’ve cleaned it.

If you don’t want to use dishwasher detergent you can have the same effect with using regular bleach, laundry detergent and warm water.

With either of these methods, because you are using bleach, make sure you wear gloves and clean in an open area. Passing out from fumes wouldn’t do your furniture any good!

Unfinished Wood Furniture:

  • Use a combination of ammonia, vinegar and water. Use about a cup of ammonia, a half a cup of vinegar, and a gallon of water to get the correct ratio.
  • Scrub the mixture above into your wood and rinse it off very well.
  • Pat the furniture dry with a towel to remove excess water and chemicals.