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Cleaning Patio Furniture

Category Furniture
Cleaning Patio Furniture
Outdoor furniture, because of its exposure to the elements, often needs a thorough cleaning. This is a guide about cleaning patio furniture.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 1 found this helpful
July 9, 2009

A quick way to clean plastic patio furniture is to toss it into the pool for a few hours. This especially works good if the furniture is white. If you don't have a pool, mix up some chlorine a little stronger than a pool and spray it down generously. Let sit a few hours and then rinse off.


By notwrong

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
December 8, 2016

I have metal frame sling back patio chairs with cream mesh type all weather material in the inserts of the frame. The entire surface of the material exposed to the sun has turned completely dark brown. They have also been in storage for about 5 years. I have no idea how to get the brown off and restore it back to the cream colour. I've tried orange oil cleaning spray, scrubbing them and washing off with a hose which has reduced the brown, but it's still there. Any ideas?


Answer Was this helpful? Yes


December 9, 20160 found this helpful

It sounds rather as if chemical changes have occurred in the fabric due to strong sunshine or storage. I'd give it one last try using an enzyme detergent and a soft brush. If that didn't work, you might try recovering the chairs with canvas, quite a difficult job; or just make slip-over covers from a length of material. Measure the length of the back and the seat and double this. Join loosely underneath with Velcro, and have ties where the back rest meets the seat.

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December 9, 20160 found this helpful

How about tying on seat and back cushions, as I doubt that you can restore the color. Or you could get a paint made specifically for that mesh material. Take one of the chairs to a paint store to be sure to get the right type of paint.

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December 11, 20160 found this helpful

I have tried this after reading the Goop hand cleaner can I have a duvet down mattress pad that looked like someone got murdered i rubbed goop on a brush and brushed the stain ,do not use water. Then the next day ran it through the wash . I was blown away when you couldn't see not one trace of the stain. It

was a miracle. This should work the same on any surface use dry cloth and brush to apply. I bought goop at harbor frieght.

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December 23, 20160 found this helpful

Mix up a paste of dish detergent, ammonia, and water, Shake or stir well, and use the foam to scrub.

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December 29, 20160 found this helpful

You could try a bleach solution and after rinsing let the chairs sit in the sun to let them lighten as much as possible.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 6, 2009

How do you clean mesh fabric on patio furniture ? I have no idea what exactly is on the furniture, but it is very grimy. Thanks.

By bped from Wilson, WY

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July 8, 20090 found this helpful

Try ammonia mixed with water and a scrubbing pad or scrubbing brush and rinse well. May take a couple of tries.

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July 8, 20090 found this helpful

Hi bped, I feel your pain. I, too, have mesh patio furniture, approx. 6 years old, and over the years the chairs started to look dirty, even kinda moldy (yuk!) so I scrubbed them with bleach. That didn't work, so I experimented with the spray paint for plastics and masked off a stripe pattern with painter's tape, and did a light green, dark sage combo paint job on them, they look brand new which made me very happy cuz I couldn't bear to have to buy a new set just because of some discoloration, when the rest of the patio set was fine- I'll post a pic if I get time, but try it, I love how mine turned out-

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By 0 found this helpful
September 18, 2007

How do I clean my outdoor chair pads? Before bringing them in for the winter, I would like to get them cleaned. There are some small patches of mildew on the fabric. What gets it off?

Vanet from Saugerties

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September 19, 20070 found this helpful

Try spot cleaning them with a bleach and water mixture. Bleach is excellent for removing mildew.

Marge from NY

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September 20, 20070 found this helpful

I'm using a mildew remover on mine and hanging them in the sun and it's working great. I've treated them on each side and let them dry in the sun.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 2, 2011

How do you clean the outside cushions on chairs and swings? They are material, but I am afraid if I wash them in a washer, they will fall apart.

By Shirley

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January 4, 20120 found this helpful

It's important to know what kind of cloth it is first. There may be tags on them that you can still read that will tell you either what they are made of or the care instructions themselves. Canvas can be machine washed as long as it is put back on while still damp to retain its shape, and never dried in the dryer.

When in doubt, this should always be safe: (found in multiple places on the net)

1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent

1 quart warm water

1 tablespoon borax

Put it in a spray bottle and saturate cushions on both sides, paying particular attention to the crevices and creases. Let the cushion sit for 15 minutes. Spray the solution off with a hose using a strong force of water. Stand each cushions on its edge out of the direct sun to dry. When almost dry, spray with a fabric protector. To remove dust between cleanings, vacuum as needed. Or, if the cushions are small enough, just shake them out.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 4, 2009

How can I clean mildew from patio cushions?

By s from NJ

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December 7, 20090 found this helpful

If it was me I would try Simple Green; spray it on, scrub with a brush, hose it off. Looks like there are also some ideas below here in the archives.

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July 24, 20060 found this helpful

I have outdoor lounge chairs that are covered with fabric (store bought) that I want to clean. What will get the lightly soiled fabric/pads which are sewn/stuck on the frames clean? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

Ran-D from Northern California

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 27, 20060 found this helpful

The only thing I have come up with is Mr. Clean sprayed on, scrubbed with a brush and then sprayed off with the hose. Luckily, my cushions did not sag or buckle so far.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 7, 2014

Can anyone advise me on how to remove motor oil, from a chainsaw, that has leaked onto my outside couch fabric which is tapestry?

By Heather from Gold Coast, Queensland

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By 0 found this helpful
June 26, 2012

My patio chairs are metal, but the webbing used to be a cream color. One of the chairs is a dark brown. Can I fix it? Is there a product to reverse sun damage?

By Cindy G

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 4, 20090 found this helpful

How do you clean outside furniture? Especially the cushions with mildew.

Jennifer from Dallas, GA


Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

If vinyl weave fabric cushions and colorfast, you might do as I do and wearing long dish gloves, strongly spray cushions top to bottom with hot bleach/water/Dawn, (1 cup bleach, 1/4 cup Dawn, 1 gallon hot water mixture), on both sides, scrub with a stiff nylon brush, set cushions in sun for 1 hour, turn for another hour, then rinse with lots of warm water, and let dry in sun.

If cotton like fabric and colorfast, reduce sun time to 30 minutes each side and rinse longer with more water. Apply Scotchgard all over (outdoors) after last step, if you can, when totally dry to retard additional mildew attaching from the "spores" blowing in from other areas/things. Hang to drip dry once rinsed, turning after one side is dry. Try to keep them dry and in a sunny area, under a patio umbrella when precipitation is falling.

This is all I do for mine and they are fine. Most are stuffed with poly, which will never be completely nor "perfectly" clean, but what you do will certainly help a great deal and keep the mildew growth to a minimum, and you will likely have to do it each year.

Good luck, and God bless you. (01/25/2007)

By Lynda

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January 23, 20070 found this helpful

I have outdoor chairs with cloth cushions. They need to be cleaned before putting them away for the winter. If you have cleaned yours with something and it was successfull, please tell me about it.

Thank you,
Eletha from Waterford, CA


Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

I vaccuum my cushions (they aren't dirty but dusty) give them a shot of Lysol (let dry) and bag them in plastic outdoor bags. Then wipe down my chairs and stack them to put in the garage. I did this last year and when spring came around they were ready to just be taken out and placed on my chairs. Happy winterizing! (10/19/2005)

By Jennifer,CA

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

Try using a bathroom mold remover cleaning formula like lysol or other. It worked great on my PVC chairs and platic seating. Test for color fastness first on fabrics. (10/28/2005)

By Kris

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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