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Get your outdoor space ready for summer gatherings with Viva®’s step-by-step guide on how to clean outdoor furniture
With the temperature rising and the days growing longer, we’re all excited to embrace the beauty of summer. As you prepare to make the most of the outdoors, now is the perfect time to make sure your outdoor furniture is clean, polished—and ready for all the summer gatherings and relaxing moments ahead.
For folks looking to spruce up their outdoor space, we’ve created a comprehensive guide on how to clean outdoor furniture.
Whether your furniture is made of cast iron or resin, wood or fabric, Viva® Signature Cloth™ paper towels are the ideal cleaning tool to have on hand. The softest and most durable paper towel*, Viva® Signature Cloth™ is tough on stubborn stains and dirt, while being gentle on fabric and protective coatings.
Our guide will walk you through the best methods to clean each type of outdoor furniture, along with some essential tips and watchouts to keep you on the right track. Let's dive in!
Pro tips for cleaning outdoor furniture
Before we get into the specific cleaning methods for different materials, here are a few overarching tips for how to clean outdoor furniture. Follow along to polish up your outdoor furniture like a pro!
Steer clear of abrasive cleaners or brushes that can scratch or damage the surface of your furniture. For a thorough but gentle clean, we recommend you save the scrubbing for Viva® Signature Cloth™—it’s 2x more durable when wet vs. the leading value brand and soft like cloth!)
Treat stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in, especially when it comes to fabric or light-colored plastic.
When using cleaning solutions, test them on a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture first to ensure they don't cause discoloration or damage.
Be cautious when using bleach or bleach-based cleaners, as they can fade or discolor certain materials.
Avoid using high pressure washers on delicate fabrics or wicker furniture, as they can cause fibers to split.
Store or cover furniture during harsh weather to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. Ensure the furniture is completely dry before covering to avoid rust or warping.
Check manufacturer's instructions for any specific cleaning recommendations or restrictions for your furniture to ensure proper care (and keep your warranty intact!).
How to clean outdoor furniture
To make sure you have everything you need to clean your particular furniture, we’ve set out a step-by-step guide for the most common materials. Below, you’ll find all the necessary tools and tips for cleaning cast iron, plastic, resin, wood, wicker, and fabric. Happy cleaning!
How to clean cast iron outdoor furniture:
Cast iron furniture adds an elegant touch to any outdoor space, but it requires special care to keep it looking its best. Here's what you'll need to clean it with a gentle touch:
Start by wiping down the furniture with a damp Viva® Signature Cloth™ paper towel to remove loose dirt and debris. (Viva® Signature Cloth™ cleans like cloth, so you can rinse out the dirt and keep reusing!)
Fill a bucket with warm water and add a teaspoon of mild dish soap.
Dip a Viva® Signature Cloth™ paper towel into the soapy solution and scrub the cast iron furniture gently, paying extra attention to any stubborn stains.
Rinse with a water hose (on a gentle sprinkle setting), and ensure all soap residue is removed.
Dry the furniture with a clean Viva® Signature Cloth™ paper towel.
Use a paper towel to apply a thin layer of car wax to protect the furniture from rust and corrosion.
How to clean plastic or resin outdoor furniture:
Plastic or resin furniture is popular for its durability and low maintenance, but it still needs a little TLC. To keep yours looking fresh and vibrant, gather the following supplies and work through the steps below:
Fill a bucket with warm water and add half a cup of mild detergent.
Dip a Viva® Signature Cloth™ paper towel into the soapy solution and scrub the furniture gently.
For stubborn stains, create a paste with two tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of water. Apply the paste to the stains, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a paper towel before rinsing.
Rinse the furniture thoroughly with a water hose, ensuring all detergent is washed away.
Allow to air dry completely.
How to clean wood or wicker outdoor furniture:
Wicker furniture adds charm and a timeless appeal to any outdoor space, while wood sets bring a natural, rustic touch to your garden oasis. The cleaning method is similar for both materials, with the option to apply the appropriate treatment at the end.
Check the manufacturer's instructions for specific cleaning recommendations for your fabric furniture.
Use a vacuum to remove loose dirt and debris from the furniture.
If applicable, remove cushion covers and follow the care instructions. Machine wash if recommended.
For non-removable fabric, mix the manufacturer's recommended cleaner with water in a spray bottle, following instructions on the bottle.
Spray the solution onto the fabric and use a Viva® Signature Cloth™ paper towel to gently wipe the surface.
If you find any stubborn stains, mix together two tablespoons of water, one tablespoon of dish soap, and one tablespoon of baking soda, then apply to the stain. 7. Leave for 5 minutes before blotting away with a clean, damp Viva® Signature Cloth™ paper towel.
Rinse thoroughly with a water hose, ensuring all cleaner residue is removed.
Allow the furniture to air dry completely before using it again.
By following these tips and being mindful of the specific cleaning needs of your outdoor furniture, you can keep it looking beautiful, extend its lifespan, and create a welcoming outdoor space for your summer gatherings and relaxation.
Cheers to spending long summer afternoons and evenings in your pristine outdoor space!