How to Protect Outdoor Furniture

pine dining setEven the most durable furniture won’t last long if not well take care of. Outdoor furniture requires regular maintenance in order to protect them against the accumulation of rust and dirt. Regular maintenance also protects them from fading and rot.

Harmful environmental factors like rain and moisture might also cause your wooden furniture to rot or grow molds and fungi quickly if not well maintained and protected. Sun, on the other hand, causes fading and discoloring, which makes the furniture look old and unattractive. Having an idea on how to protect your outdoor furniture allows you to maintain it properly and ensure it is as long lasting as possible.

Importance of Cleaning Furniture

Regular cleaning and maintaining your outdoor furniture is something that is generally overlooked when cleaning your home. If you did not know that the outdoor furniture cleaning isn’t that important, but here are some reasons why you should consider cleaning them regularly.

  • Maintaining their Appearance. The main reason to clean your furniture regularly is to maintain their original appearance. Consider cleaning your outdoor furniture regularly to keep them looking nice and durable by preventing dirt and grime from accumulating.
  • Create a Healthy Living Space. If you want to live in a clean and healthy environment, cleaning your outdoor furniture is one way to have a clean outdoor space. Regular cleaning helps to keep away dirt, molds, and pathogens that are likely to build up causing unpleasant odors and bacteria that can cause a health risk.
  • Saves Time and Money. When the outdoor furniture is not well maintained, it will quickly fade or discolor thereby losing its value faster than expected. The furniture will also tend to give away easily and replacing it can be an expensive undertaking. By strictly adhering to your cleaning schedule, you are likely to save money that you could otherwise use in the repairs or replacement.

Using Furniture Sunscreen

Using furniture sunscreen ensures your furniture is well protected from the strong summer UV rays and heat that leads to discoloring of your furniture over time. Sunscreen can be applied evenly on the furniture for maximum protection.

Using Outdoor Furniture Covers

If not protected properly, outdoor furniture can rust and deteriorate at a rate much faster than you had anticipated. However, outdoor furniture covers offer a great way to protect your furniture from deteriorating elements besides keeping them looking new and always attractive.

Using the covers, you can protect your patio furniture from moisture, rain, destructive insects, and sun and UV damage. See our list of best outdoor furniture covers.

Protecting Your Pillows and Cushion

pillowsYour outdoor pillows and cushions also need maximum protection from bad elements in order to maintain shape, color, and be durable. Consider washing the pillow and cushion covers regularly. If they have stains, thoroughly clean them with proper washing detergents and warm water.

During the winter, ensure your cushions and pillows are kept dry to limit the growth of molds. In order to ensure your outdoor pillows and cushions are protected, make sure the furniture itself is cleaned regularly.

Storage During the Off Season

If you want your outdoor furniture to last longer, they should be stored during the off-season. Before storing them, it is important to have them cleaned thoroughly and repaired. You can do this by first considering the kind of material your furniture is made from.

How to Protect Outdoor Wood Furniture

Even when it looks like it doesn’t need it, it is important to have your furniture protected. One way to protect your outdoor wood furniture is to clean it regularly by using the right cleaning techniques.

Here are a few tips on how to get it right.

  • Remove all the cushions or upholstery if any before washing the furniture with soapy water. Ensure your wooden furniture is in good condition before starting the effort of protecting it otherwise all your efforts will go to waste due to internal decay and rot.
  • With soapy water and a brush, scrub the furniture in the direction of the grain and let it dry well. Sand the rough spots in the direction of the grain as well. Apply a furniture protector using a paintbrush on all the frame areas.
  • Paint the furniture in order to protect it against the heat and UV radiation from the sun. You can also apply a stain or water repellent to prolong the aesthetic value of your outdoor wooden furniture.

How to Protect Outdoor Painted Wood Furniture

Your outdoor painted furniture needs regular cleaning and maintenance to protect them and ensure they last longer.

Here are tips on how to clean and protect them.

  • You can regularly clean them without necessarily using water. A thorough dusting will help to keep the painted wooden furniture clean. You can use a microfiber cloth or a feather duster to clean all the dust and pollen without damaging the paint.
  • You can also consider vacuuming but if the paint is delicate and can easily chip, you can use a dry cotton swab.
  • If you are dealing with stains, you can gently clean with a damp cloth once you have removed the stains.

Protecting Outdoor Wicker Furniture

Outdoor wicker furniture is made from rattan materials and makes an excellent furniture choice for patios, decks, and porches. If well protected, it can serve you for a long time.

Here are some steps on how to protect your wicker outdoor furniture.

  • Clean it by thoroughly by scrubbing it with a rag or a sponge dipped in soapy water and then rinse it clean.
  • If your wicker furniture has loose strands, make sure you tuck them into their rightful place when it is still damp.
  • After the furniture is dry, use a paintbrush to apply varnish, wax, or shellac. Leave it to dry and then apply a thin layer of wax. Afterwards, buff it out with a clean dry cloth to make it shine.
In order to avoid unnecessary damage, avoid foam cleansers since they often get into the woven strands and accumulate there. Additionally, do not sit on the damp wicker furniture since you might cause the wicker furniture to sag.

How to Protect Outdoor Cedar Furniture

Cedar is one of the oldest materials used for outdoor furniture. This is because it is known to be durable and naturally resistant to insects. Nonetheless, it has to be protected for it to serve you as long as expected.

Here is how:

  • Regularly wipe the furniture to remove any accumulating dust. You can also clean it using soapy water and a cloth to remove the stains it has.
  • If the furniture feels rough, you can sand it with a fine-grit in the direction of the grains. Wipe it again to remove the sanding dust.
  • Apply a heavy linseed oil on the wood and the frames and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Wipe out the excess oil with a rag and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes before rinsing it.

How to Protect Outdoor Teak Furniture

Teak is another ideal material for patio furniture since it is durable and doesn’t require much in terms of cleaning and maintenance. Even though it is relatively resistant to mold and rot naturally, however, rot and mold can still damage this furniture if not well cleaned and maintained.

To protect your outdoor teak furniture from being discolored and succumbing to mold and mildew accumulation, it is important to have it cleaned on a regular basis.

Here are a few tips on how to clean and protect your outdoor teak furniture.

  • Clean the furniture by scrubbing it using a plastic brush with a homemade cleaning solution. Never use a wire brush because it will damage the wooden surface.
  • Let the cleaning solution sit for about fifteen minutes before rinsing it with clean water and ensure the water stains are removed completely.
  • In case your teak furniture has been exposed to more elements, it is important to consider using a more aggressive cleaning solution.

How to Protect Outdoor Metal Furniture

Metal furniture should be cleaned by scrubbing it and then wiping it with cloth or sponge using a cleaning solution that is specifically meant for furniture materials. Tough stains can be removed using a toothbrush.

Rust stains ought to be removed by a wire brush. Scrub the rust in a way that you don’t scratch any design that comes with the furniture.

You can rinse or dry your furniture with a water-soaked cloth and ensure no rust or soap is left. Make sure the metal is completely dry before applying a protective coating.

When coating, ensure you apply directly to the frame while using a paintbrush. This will ensure the impact of heat and UV radiation is minimized. While at it, make sure to use protective clothing like mask and rubber gloves.

The coating should be done in the open or in a well-ventilated area.

When transferring the furniture, make sure that you don’t bump into other furniture or any other obstacle in order to avoid chipping the metal. A good way to transfer is to lift the furniture off the ground. This would require more than one person to lift.

Related: The Best Spray Paint For Outdoor Metal Furniture.

How to Protect Outdoor Cane Furniture

To ensure your outdoor cane furniture is well protected, keep it away from extreme direct heat and low humidity areas. These conditions often make the cane dry, thus becoming brittle and easy to break.

During the winter, consider using a room humidifier to keep the air moist.

You can also consider using a high-oil content furniture polish after dusting in order to keep the cane furniture flexible. Lemon or mineral oil can be applied sparingly to the top and bottom sides of the cane seat a few times in a year.


Your outdoor furniture requires regular cleaning, maintenance, and protection against bad elements that might compromise their appeal and durability. Learning the best ways to protect your outdoor furniture will help you to not only keep the furniture clean but also look as new as possible for many years.

We are confident that this article will equip you with everything you need to know about protecting various types of outdoor furniture without hiring a professional cleaner to do it.

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