Caring for Your Garden Furniture This Winter

Now Is the Time to Care for Outdoor Furniture

Your garden furniture served you well last summer, so now it’s time for you to return the favour and give it some tender loving care before you put it into storage.

By giving up an hour or two of your time now, to ensure that your garden furniture is clean and ship-shape, you can rest assured that when you come to use it again next spring, it will be in perfect condition to offer you another year’s enjoyment.

The level of care required depends on the type of outdoor furniture you own; just follow our garden furniture maintenance guide and you can’t go wrong.

Winter Maintenance for Your Garden Furniture

a wooden garden table, 2 matching benches and 2 wooden planters

Wooden Garden Furniture

Cleaning Wooden Outdoor Furniture

Add a mild detergent to warm water and use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt and grime.

Once you’ve completed this task, rinse off the excess suds with a garden hose and leave the furniture to dry in the sun.

If it’s made from untreated or dip-treated wood, now is a good time to add its annual coat of wood preservative too, so that it’s protected from rot and fungal decay for another year.

Pressure-treated wood, of course, does not require annual treatment, so you can store it away as soon as it’s clean and dry.

a wooden circular picnic table and 4 matching picnic benches

Where to Store Wooden Garden Furniture

Just because wooden garden furniture is weatherproof, doesn’t mean that you have to leave it outside when it’s not in use, particularly over the harsh winter months.

Wherever possible, store it in a shed, or other garden building, for increased protection.

This should be easy if you own a fold-up garden table and chairs, in which case simply stack them up in the shed and place a dust cover over the top. This will protect your furniture from spillages, insects and the like.

Don’t worry if you don’t own a suitable storage facility, for there’s still plenty you can do to protect your patio furniture.

Ensuring that there’s enough air to circulate underneath, place a weatherproof cover over the top of it and then tie the cover down.

If your cover isn’t fitted with eyelets, use heavy objects, for example bricks, to secure it to the ground. Alternatively, wrap the cover underneath your garden table and chairs’ legs.

Always endeavour to wrap up items of furniture individually. This way, they are far more likely to remain in place during windy conditions. Even if one of the covers blows off, it’s far easier to rectify the situation than struggling to reposition one giant cover.

Another point to bear in mind is never to leave garden furniture on your lawn over the winter. Not only will this subject it to excessive levels of moisture, it is likely to ruin your grass too.

Instead, ensure that it is stored on the patio, or another suitably hard surface.

a green metal bistro set, with condiments on the table

Metal Garden Furniture

Cleaning Metal Garden Furniture

If your metal garden furniture is made of aluminium or powder-coated steel then it shouldn’t experience any issues with rust.

All you need to do is clean it with warm, soapy water and a soft brush, which should remove any dirt and grime.

Afterwards, use your garden hose to remove the excess suds and then towel the furniture dry.

If your metal garden furniture has developed rust, you should remove it before beginning the cleaning process. Specialist rust removers, white vinegar and baking soda are 3 common ways to do this.

Where to Store Metal Outdoor Furniture

Metal garden furniture is usually designed to fold-up for simple garden storage, so make sure that you keep it inside your shed, wrapped in a dust cover or blanket.

If you don’t have the garden storage space, cover metal furniture as you would wood.

a large, brown, plastic garden storage bench

Plastic Patio Furniture

Cleaning Plastic Garden Furniture Sets

Use soapy water and a sponge to clean plastic garden furniture sets, and an old toothbrush to remove dirt from the nooks and crannies.

After that, rinse off the excess suds with a garden hose, before drying the furniture with a soft cloth.

Where to Store Plastic Garden Furniture

Premium plastic garden furniture is incredibly robust and weatherproof, but it’s still advisable to store it undercover, wherever possible.

If you do have to leave it outside, again, follow the same routine as you would with wooden or metal garden furniture sets.

a grey rattan sofa, 2 matching rattan chairs and a wooden table

Rattan Garden Furniture

Cleaning Rattan Furniture

Use your vacuum cleaner’s soft brush attachment to remove the dust or debris from between the rattan weave.

Then give it a good clean with a damp cloth and leave it to dry in the sun.

Where to Store Rattan Garden Furniture

Follow the same procedure as for other types of garden furniture.

a book resting on top of a green relaxer garden chair

Fabric Attachments, Garden Cushions and Parasols

Cleaning Instructions

Always follow the care instructions on the labels when cleaning fabrics.

They can usually be machine washed but, if not, use a damp cloth and gently wipe them clean.

Do the same with parasols, then leave them to dry in the sun.

Always make sure fabric attachments, cushions and parasols are thoroughly dry before storage.

This will prevent them gathering mildew.

Where to Store Fabric Attachments, Garden Cushions and Parasols

Once they are clean and dry, store them inside the house throughout the winter months.

Don’t be tempted to put fabric products in the shed, where they might succumb to damp.

a man carrying tools out of a 6x10 amber-coloured plastic shed

The Importance of Checking Your Garden Furniture Over Winter

Periodically check your patio furniture every few weeks, just to make sure it’s in pristine condition and still properly protected.

Where the furniture is stored outside, make sure the covers are still in place and pay particular attention for signs of leakage.

If one of your covers has come away or leaked, clean and dry the exposed part of the furniture thoroughly before readjusting or replacing the cover.

It's Time to Invest in Some New Garden Furniture Too

a wooden garden dining table and 6 matching chairs

Winter is also the best time to grab a bargain on a new garden furniture set, so why not take a moment to browse our superb range of patio furniture?

Not only will you save money, you’ll also be able to enjoy your new outdoor furniture set at the first sign of sun.