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Good quality wooden garden furniture is a great investment. Comfortable, reliable and sturdy, it will serve you well for years to come.

But as with any furniture, to get the best from your garden tables, chairs and benches, you'll need to keep them clean.

While it might seem like a daunting job, it's actually not as bad as you might think. There are a few ways you can do it, but this post will break down some quick and easy ways to can clean your garden furniture in next to no time.

Tools You May Need

  • A stiff brush
  • A soft bristled brush
  • Sandpaper
  • A hose

NEVER use a pressure washer

Wooden Garden Furniture

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation!

To prepare the furniture for cleaning, you'll need to remove mould, mildew and lichen and here's how.

  • Give the furniture a brush to remove mould and lichen - if the brush starts marking the furniture, use one with softer bristles.
  • Next, sand down the furniture to make it smooth - Using an orbital sander can save a lot of time here.
  • Rinse the furniture using a hose pipe to remove any excess dust and mould particles. (DO NOT use a pressure washer, as it can damage the wood)

 

On With The Cleaning

There are a few things you can use to clean your furniture. Make sure to work away from wildlife and plants when using any of the following methods in order to avoid harming them with toxic substances. And also protect yourself by wearing gloves and safety goggles where necessary.

Soapy Water - The easiest and cheapest way to clean your wooden garden furniture is by using good old soapy water using a mild detergent, dish soap or washing up liquid and then use a brush or sponge to scrub it down, then simply rinse with the garden hose and leave to dry in direct sunlight if possible.

Shop Bought Products - If you feel more comfortable using products specifically designed for cleaning the furniture, there are plenty out there. To use these, simply follow the instructions which come with the product. Although we highly recommend using some on a small inconspicuous area of the furniture and leave to dry. The last thing you want to do is ruin an entire bench, table or chair.

Chemical Free - If you would like to avoid using chemicals in your garden due to concerns about harming wildlife, create a chemical free solution.

  • Mix one part warm water, two parts white vinegar and three heaped tablespoons on bicarbonate of soda.
  • Apply the mixture using a scrubbing brush.
  • Leave for a few minutes to work its magic.
  • Add more solution.
  • Scrub briskly to remove dirt.
  • Rinse with a garden hose.
  • Leave to dry.

Maintaining Your Garden Furniture

Cleaning is just one important part of looking after your garden furniture. To make the most of your outdoor furniture, keep it cleaned regularly.

It might also pay to apply a treatment to the furniture to offer additional protection. Another part of your care routine should be to clean up any spillages on the wood immediately. If left for too long, food and drink spillages can cause stains which are very difficult to remove.

Finally, make sure that your furniture is stored properly. Mould and mildew build up in moist conditions, so when you pack your furniture away, make sure it's kept somewhere dry and is covered.

When you're putting the furniture away for winter, you can follow the steps in our guide to make sure it survives until next summer.