How to Care for Your Outdoor Furniture


December 15, 2016

Outdoor furniture is a fantastic home accessory. Designed to make outside spaces more livable and comfortable, outdoor furniture brings the luxury and relaxation of the indoors outside. Like all things within the home, though, outdoor furniture requires some maintenance, and you’ll get more life out of your chaise lounges, outdoor sectionals, and dining sets if you care for them appropriately.

Here’s everything you need to know to keep your outdoor furniture beautiful and resilient, the whole year through.

Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture 101

Whether your outdoor sets are made of teak or rattan, caring for them is critical. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to keep your sitting area in tip-top shape.

1. Clean the furniture regularly

Outdoor furniture is exposed to dirt, dust, and the wind, all of which can cause grime buildup that slowly degrades the integrity of the materials. To prevent this from happening, clean your furniture regularly.

Some materials, like plastic, can just be wiped down and hosed off, while higher-quality materials, such as wicker and rattan, will need to be scrubbed carefully with a fine-bristle brush to remove buildup.

While outdoor furniture maintenance may seem like a pain, it’s the best way to keep your furniture investments clean and beautiful for years to come.

2. If you rinse your furniture, dry it well

Even materials like wicker and rattan can be hosed down, but it’s critical to dry them well. A weekly blast with the hose can prevent dirt buildup in crevices, but leaving your furniture damp is just asking for a mold or mildew infestation.

With this in mind, reserve spraying your outdoor furniture down for sunny, warm days, when you can place the items out to dry immediately afterward.

3. If you see mildew, treat it aggressively

If you live in a wet or humid climate, mold might begin to form on your outdoor furniture. If it does, treat it immediately to prevent severe damage. For best results, mix bleach with soapy water and use a scrub brush to clean the affected area. Once you’ve done this, dry the furniture entirely in natural sunlight.

4. Vacuum out dust and debris

Although furniture made from smooth materials, like teak or plastic, might not need regular vacuuming, rattan and wicker furniture can benefit massively from it.

To keep your furniture beautiful longer, give it a monthly vacuum with a shop or household vacuum cleaner outfitted with a brush attachment. This will prevent dirt buildup and keep the crevices of rattan furniture clean and strong.

5. Avoid direct sunlight

Just like prolonged moisture can have a devastating effect on rattan furniture, so, too, can direct sunlight. Extended exposure to UV rays breaks down rattan furniture over time and can damage the natural fibers the furniture is constructed from. To avoid this, keep your furniture in a shaded or protected area, where it’s not at risk of being bleached or damaged by the sun.

6. Oil or finish your furniture regularly

Natural materials like wood and rattan need to be oiled regularly to stay in top shape. Without regular oiling, these materials can become excessively dry, leading to splitting and fading. For best results, wipe your furniture with boiled linseed oil several times each year, especially if your outdoor furniture sees a large amount of sunlight or lives in an overly dry environment.

7. Avoid breakage by lifting (rather than dragging) furniture

Need to re-arrange your outdoor furniture? Lift it, don’t drag it. Dragging can split the legs and feet of outdoor furniture, creating a ragged appearance that brings down the entire look and feel of your home. Avoid this by taking care to pick up your furniture each time you need to move it.

Outdoor Furniture Care: A Critical Component of Luxury Summer Living

While everyone likes to enjoy a nice sit in a sunny chaise lounge, maintaining your outdoor furniture is essential to keeping it beautiful, functional, and strong.

Because outdoor furniture is exposed to the elements in a way that indoor furniture seldom is, it requires routine care, like washing, oiling, and cleaning to keep it looking and feeling great. Without this care, outdoor furniture can easily break down over time.

This summer, ensure that you’re getting all the value possible from your outdoor furniture by maintaining it regularly. Not only will this keep your outdoor furniture looking like it did the day you bought it, but it will also make luxury outdoor living easier and more accessible for your friends and family. 

Looking for high-quality, low-maintenance outdoor furniture you can love for years to come? Contact our team to learn about our unique selection of rattan furniture today!