How to clean wooden patio furniture – top tips for keeping wood damage-free

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Now the evenings are getting longer and the weather is slowly but surely getting warmer, it’s time to turn your attention to your potentially long-neglected patio furniture. As dining al fresco with friends in your garden is now back on the cards, there’s no better time than now to spruce up your kit.

How should I clean wooden furniture?

First, make sure the surfaces are free from debris.

Using a soft brush, brush away any small bits of debris stuck inside ridges and grooves in a gentle flicking motion.

Next, take a clean microfiber cloth and some white spirit – if it comes in a spray bottle, spray a medium amount onto the cloth, and if it comes in a bottle, make sure the cloth is reasonably well covered.

When working with white spirit, be sure to cover your hands and skin well.

If your wooden furniture is painted, then opt for a cleaner with more natural ingredients.

Mix one part warm water, two parts white vinegar and three heaped tablespoons on bicarbonate of soda.

For both substances, wipe down the wooden surface as normal, and take the soft-bristled brush to any particularly dirty or stained areas.

Leave it for a few minutes to work its magic, and then rinse dry with your garden hose.

If you need to remove more stubborn issues like mildew, you can use a different mixture.

Mix one cup ammonia, half a cup of white vinegar, and a quarter of a cup of baking soda into one gallon of water.

Use a sponge or cloth to wipe down the furniture – leave for around half an hour, then hose down.

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How can I keep my furniture clean and undamaged?

The easiest way to keep your furniture damage-free is to put it away in the colder months.

Covering it with a waterproof sheet and placing it in a shed or garage will help it last much longer.

Keeping it somewhere dry also stops mildew from forming.

If you want to keep your wooden furniture looking like new, you can treat it with sealant for added protection.

You should also be careful to clean up quickly after your furniture – products like suncream can permanently stain wood, so act fast in the event of spillages and never simply rub it across the surface.

That being said, the best way to look after your garden furniture is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Different types of wood will react differently to different types of cleaners and can be harder to maintain.

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