How to Clean Outdoor Wood Furniture

If you want your outdoor furniture to last you years, then you need to make sure it's in good shape. If you don't take care of it correctly, it can become dull, discolor, and even break.

So, it's important to know how to clean outdoor wood furniture like a pro.

In this article, we'll teach you how to do just that. From steps on how to clean your furniture to tips on how to maintain it, you'll learn everything you need to know to keep it looking great. So, let's dive right in and find out how easy it is to take care of your outdoor wooden furniture.

What this article covers:

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products

Finding the right cleaning solution to clean outdoor furniture can be a challenge. There are so many available products on the market that it can be hard to know where to begin. And you'll want the best possible products to keep your patio furniture or wooden garden furniture looking good.

When choosing a cleaning solution, there are a couple of things you need to consider.

how to clean wood outdoor furniture

First, what kind of wood is your furniture made of? Certain types of wood need specific cleaning methods and products. For example, you might need a different product for cleaning oak furniture versus cleaning teak furniture.

Next, consider the state of your furniture. If your furniture has had a lot of wear, such as with cleaning old wood furniture, and tear or is moldy, you might need a more intense cleaning solution. For instance, if you’re faced with pet stains or urine, we recommend using a pet urine remover.

how to clean wood patio furniture

Preparing the Furniture for Cleaning

Tools Needed:

First things first, you'll need to gather your supplies. Here are a few of the things you'll need to get ready:

  • Soft-bristle brush or broom
  • Garden hose with a spray nozzle or a pressure washer (if you have one)
  • Bucket
  • Mild soap or wood cleaning solution
  • Soft cloth
  • Gloves and protective eyewear
  • Sandpaper (if necessary)

Removing Loose Debris and Dirt

Start by getting rid of any loose dirt. You can do this by using a soft-bristled brush or broom. Clean off any loose dirt, leaves, or anything else that has gathered on the furniture. Make sure to pay extra attention to spots where dirt tends to gather.

Pre-Cleaning Treatments

If your outdoor furniture is very dirty or stained, you may need to treat it before actually washing it. You can do this by using a mild soap or a cleaner made for wood to get rid of any stains or trouble spots.

Follow the directions on the bottle for how to use the cleaning solution. We recommend that you always test it on a small, hidden part of the furniture before using it on the whole piece.

If your furniture is in a very bad state, you might need to sand off any rough spots where the paint or stain is peeling. The surface should be smooth before cleaning or treating it.

how to clean wooden outdoor furniture

Cleaning Your Outdoor Wood Furniture

Now, to actually clean your wood furniture. To get it looking spick and span again, simply follow these steps:

  1. Wet the furniture with a low-pressure garden hose or pressure washer.
  1. Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge and a mild soap or wood cleaner to clean the furniture.
  1. Scrub the furniture in a circle, paying special attention to very dirty areas.
  1. Use your hose or a low-pressure pressure washer to rinse the furniture well.
  1. Let the furniture dry completely in the air before you treat it or put it away.

Tips for Cleaning Hard-to-Reach Areas

Wooden outdoor furniture with grooves or designs that are hard to reach can be hard to clean. Here are some good cleaning tips for these places:

  • Use a toothbrush or a small, soft-bristled brush to scrub places that are hard to reach.
  • Put the cleaning solution right on the brush or sponge to stop it from going everywhere else.
  • You can get dirt and other things out of grooves and other small spaces with a toothpick or another small tool.
  • Take your time and be patient so you can clean every part of the furniture.
how to clean outside wood furniture

Treating the Furniture

Why You Should Treat Your Outdoor Wood Furniture

To keep your furniture looking good and make sure that it lasts a long time, it's important to treat it. The benefits of treating your outdoor furniture include:

  • Protection from the elements: Treating your furniture will protect it from rain, sun, and other weather that might damage it.
  • Aesthetics: Treating outdoor furniture can bring out its natural beauty. It will highlight the wood grain and bring back its color and shine.
  • Maintenance: Treating wood outdoor furniture can make it easier to clean and maintain over time.

Different Types of Treatments

There are many different ways to treat wood outdoor furniture, such as:

  • Oil-based treatments: Oil-based treatments protect the wood and bring out its natural color and beauty by going deep into the wood.
  • Water-based treatments: These give the wood's surface a protective coating and are often better for the environment than oil-based treatments.
  • Stains: These can change the color of outdoor furniture with a wood stain, but the natural grain will still be visible.
  • Sealers: Sealers make a barrier on the surface of the wood that keeps water and other things from getting inside.
how to clean wooden patio furniture

How To Apply Treatments

If you’re wondering how to actually apply a treatment to your wood, then look no further. Simply follow these steps:

  • Make sure the furniture is clean and dry before you put anything on it.
  • Use a paintbrush or roller to spread and cover the treatment.
  • Let the treatment dry completely before you add more coats or use the furniture.
  • If you need to, give the finish a light sanding between coats to make sure it is smooth.
  • Repeat the process as many times as you need to. This will depend on the kind of treatment and how much protection and improvement you want.

Maintaining the Furniture

It’s all well and good to clean built-up messes on your wooden furniture, but long-term maintenance is just as (if not more) important. Here are some tips to maintain your furniture and keep it looking good in the long run:

  • Clean the furniture often so that it doesn't get dirty.
  • Cover the furniture to protect it from the weather when you're not using it.
  • Use pads or coasters to keep plates and cups from scratching your furniture or leaving marks.
  • Clean up spills and stains right away to keep them from getting worse.
  • Bring the furniture inside during the off-season to protect it from bad weather.
how to clean wooden garden furniture

How Often to Clean and Treat Outdoor Wood Furniture:

The type of wood, the weather, and how often you use the furniture will affect how often you need to clean and treat hardwood furniture.

Generally, you should clean and treat outdoor furniture at least once a year, preferably at the beginning of the outdoor season. But if you use it often, or leave it outside in bad weather, you might need to do this more often.

Preventing Common Problems

Weathering, mold and mildew, and bug infestations are all common problems with patio furniture or wood garden furniture. If you’re struggling with one (or more) of these things, here are some tips to help prevent them:

  • Use a protective treatment on the furniture to keep it from getting damaged by the weather or the sun.
  • Clean regularly so that mold and mildew can’t grow.
  • During the off-season, store the furniture in a way that will keep bugs out.
  • Check the furniture often for signs of damage or wear, and if you find any, fix or replace it.
how to clean outdoor wooden furniture


If you want your outdoor wood furniture to hold up well, it's important to take care of it. By cleaning and treating it regularly, you can protect its natural beauty and prevent common problems.

Using the right cleaning methods and products is vital. And that's where we come in. At TruckMountForums, we offer the best wood cleaning products so that you never have to worry about your furniture again.

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