Cleaning Patio Furniture

July 9, 2009

Cleaning Patio FurnitureA 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 Meemaw


11 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

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?


Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 155 Answers
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.

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.

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.

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.

June 10, 20180 found this helpful

I have the same thing happen this year. Ive tried bleach, magic eraser, LA Awesome (recommended by a lot of people), and would you believe the only thing that cut through some of it was a Brillo pad!!! I guess I need another box. We kept the chairs stacked under a tarp for the winter but just now getting around to uncovering and temps have been up in the 90s some.


All 6 chairs did the same thing. Its not mold, mildew or dirt. Its like they were cooked. By the way Magic Eraser is great for the black mold and mildew spots on pool furniture.

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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 Betsy Pedersen from Wilson, WY


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
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.

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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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


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
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

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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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


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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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, 2006

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


By Eletha (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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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 petlover from Gold Coast, Queensland

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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, 2009

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


January 23, 2007

I have outdoor chairs with cloth cushions. They need to be cleaned before putting them away for the winter.

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