How to Clean Outdoor Furniture After a Long Winter

Witnessing the degradation of your outdoor furniture after a grueling winter can be tough. Luckily, we have some great tips for cleaning your patio chairs and tables, backyard benches, and more.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read


Make sure your wicker furniture is front-porch ready for the spring and summer months. Blow-dry off the loose dirt, then clean with white vinegar and warm salt water, and apply a coat of lemon oil. Alternatively, cover the whole piece with a mixture of one gallon of warm water and three tablespoons of ammonia. Scrub it with a brush to get between the fibers, then set it in a shady area to dry.


Your wooden porch furniture may have seen better days but it will again once you polish it using vegetable oil or cooking spray. Rub the oil over the furniture to revitalize the dried-out wood. Buff with a dry cloth for extra polish.

Plastic or Resin

We’ll admit, we’re often guilty of doing things the lazy way. The laziest way to clean plastic or resin patio furniture? Just toss it in the swimming pool before going to bed, and in the morning it'll be good as new. Meanwhile, your pool’s filter will clean up the dirt.


Here’s a quick and easy way to clean plastic outdoor furniture: Use shaving cream! Apply a layer with a damp rag or sponge to your furniture, let sit for 10 minutes, then spray down with the hose. (For super-dirty furniture, rinse before and after applying the shaving cream.) It will look almost as good as new!


Your patio umbrella was looking good when you packed it away last fall…but now it’s a mildewy mess. Here’s the easiest way to clean it: Fill a bucket with warm water, then add 2 cups of white vinegar and a couple generous squirts of dishwashing liquid. Let soak for a half an hour, then scrub with a cleaning brush. Rinse with water and let it dry in the sun. The warmth will kill whatever the vinegar and soap didn’t.


Your porch’s doormat can be cleaned with a sprinkling of baking soda. Brush vigorously and then sweep away the dirt. The next time it rains, the job will be complete.

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.