How to clean garden furniture – 7 easy tips to freshen up outdoor furniture for spring

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Temperatures have well and truly warmed up in recent days, with the mercury reaching the mid to high teens. With spring just around the corner, sprucing up the garden might be high on your to-do list. This doesn’t need to be a hard task, however, with some easy steps to take to make sure your outdoor furniture is looking fresh in time for spring.

Months of wintry weather, snow and ice may have left your garden looking a tad forlorn – but the warmer conditions are perfect for getting those chores done.

One chore which may seem daunting is cleaning your garden furniture.

After months either in storage or just sitting around outdoors, there may be a build-up of dust and grime.

However, there are easy ways to get your garden furniture looking as good as new. Ryan Schwarze, Garden furniture expert at Luxury Rattan has shared his top tips with Express.co.uk.

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1. Store your furniture correctly

Before you think about cleaning your rattan garden furniture, it’s important to make sure you are storing it correctly.

Correct storage can significantly decrease the likelihood of your furniture becoming damaged, as Ryan Schwarze, Head of Luxury Rattan says: “Good quality rattan furniture can be left outside during the winter months and any storms throughout the year but storing it in a garden shed or using protective covers will keep your set looking as good as new.”

Make sure you dry your furniture before storage too: “Before stacking your chairs up and covering them, make sure they’re completely dry to keep moisture to a minimum and avoid any damage.

“The only pieces you will need to keep inside are cushions as they are unlikely to survive a British winter or storm!”

2. Give it a hoover

Depending on where you’ve had your garden furniture stored, there may be a build-up of dirt or debris.

So, give your rattan furniture pieces a once over first with a vacuum or sturdy brush. 

Ryan adds: “If you find there is dirt trapped in the weave of the rattan, grab a toothbrush to loosen it, you should then be able to wipe or vacuum it away with ease.”

3. Gently wipe down the furniture

When it comes to washing your rattan furniture it’s important to be gentle and avoid any harsh cleaners or chemicals.

For the best spot clean Ryan advises: “Fill a bowl with warm soapy water using some washing up liquid and wipe down your furniture gently with a soft cloth.”

Be sure to wipe away any soapy residue on your furniture before leaving it to dry outside.

4. Don’t forget about the cushions 

Adding cushions outdoors can not only colour but comfort as well. However spills and general dirt can build up – so its best to get cushions which are built for outdoor use.

For removable cushion covers, Ryan says you should make use of your washing machine.

He explains: “For garden cushion covers that are in need of a simple refresh, pop them in your washing machine with your regular detergent.

“To dry, hang them outside or on your radiator and make sure that they are completely dry before placing them back on the sofa inserts.”

If your cushion covers cannot be removed for a machine wash: “Use warm water with your mild detergent of choice to spot clean non-removable cushion covers.

“A soft scrubber is preferred to work the stain away before cleaning with a damp cloth. Excess moisture can be absorbed with towels to ensure that as much moisture is absorbed before leaving to dry.”

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5. Refresh the feet

Often forgotten about, the feet of your garden furniture can become damaged as they are usually scraped across your decking or patio area. 

Ryan explains: “Once you have cleaned your furniture make sure you check the feet of your chairs and tables and replace them with new pads if they are scratched or damaged to bring them back to life and improve their longevity.”

You can find pads on sites like Amazon or ask at your local garden centre. 

6. Bring old rattan back to life

Rattan is one of the most popular choices when it comes to garden furniture, and sets have been selling out quickly.

However, if you have an old rattan set there is no need to replace it, instead try upcycling.

Old and low-quality rattan can crack over time which can also result in a loss of colour.

To add a layer of protection to your old rattan furniture, Ryan suggests: “If you have an old piece of rattan furniture that is looking worse for wear, I would recommend using a soft cloth and rubbing some olive oil onto the product.

“This will reduce cracking and add shine to your rattan, making it look as good as new.”

7. Perfect aftercare

Once you have cleaned your furniture, be sure to let it completely dry, just as you would before putting it away in storage.

This ensures the rattan is less likely to crack and generate mould. 

Ryan says: “When you come to wash your rattan furniture, make sure you pick a sunny day out in the garden to allow the chairs, sofas and loungers to dry quickly and effectively before use.”

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