How to Prepare Your Patio Furniture for Winter

Give your patio furniture a little TLC before the snow and cold of winter to keep it in good condition for many summers to come. Preparing your patio furniture for winter will save you hours cleaning or repairing it in the spring. As soon as the warm weather returns, all you’ll need to do is set it up on your patio and enjoy it!

Protect your investment by regularly maintaining your patio furniture to keep it looking attractive and in prime condition.

We hope you find these tips helpful. Stop by Emerge2 today to learn more!

#1 – Clean Your Patio Furniture

Keep an eye on the weather forecast so you can plan to clean your patio furniture and put it away before it gets too cold.

  • Brush off leaves, debris and dirt, or vacuum for a more thorough cleaning.
  • Use a gentle dish detergent, warm water and a cloth or soft brush to remove built-up dirt or stains. Clean the underside of chairs and tables to remove cobwebs, plant material and insects.
  • Use a hose to rinse your furniture (a pressure washer can be too strong and damage the finish).
  • Remove mildew stains with a mild solution of bleach, dish detergent and water
  • Let your furniture dry thoroughly.

Teak and Cedar

Use mild detergent and water or a cleaning product designed specifically for teak, cedar or other types of wood. If you need to make any repairs, use sandpaper, wipe clean, and then stain and seal for extra protection. The sealant will also protect your wood furniture from UV rays, mold and mildew.

Plastic and Resin

A mild detergent and water will clean your plastic patio furniture. To remove stubborn stains and dirt, use white vinegar or baking soda. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to prevent scratches.

Metal – Aluminium, Steel, Stainless steel

Clean your metal furniture with a mild dish detergent, water, a cloth or a stiff brush to remove loose or chipped paint. Remove rust spots or loose paint with a wire brush. Always protect your eyes with safety glasses, and wear a mask to prevent breathing in dust.

If mildew or other dark spots have formed on your metal furniture, remove them by sponging on a four-to-one ratio of water and bleach solution. Leave it on for ten minutes, then wipe with a clean, damp cloth. Test this on a hidden part first to avoid damaging the finish.

Wrought Iron

Mild dish detergent and water will clean your wrought iron patio furniture. To help it maintain its lustre and repel dirt and grime, apply an automotive wax or mineral oil twice a year.

Wicker - Rattan, Bamboo or Willow

Vacuum or brush away any surface dirt, then wipe with a mix of a gentle wood cleaning product and water, or make a mixture with water and a small amount of vinegar or ammonia. Rinse and let the furniture dry completely.

Regular cleaning of your wicker furniture should help keep mildew at bay. If it does appear, clean it with an oil-based soap. Refresh your painted wicker furniture with spray paint with a matte, semi-gloss, gloss or high gloss finish. You can keep natural wicker looking beautiful by rubbing it with linseed oil. Wait at least a week after painting or applying the oil before storing your furniture.

Plastic or Resin Wicker

Dish detergent and water are all you need to clean low-maintenance synthetic wicker patio furniture. Rinse with water and let it dry before putting it away for the winter.

Don’t Forget About the Cushions!

Bring your cushions inside for the winter if you leave the furniture outside.

Read the manufacturer’s directions before you wash the cushions to prevent shrinking or damaging them. Outdoor furniture cushions are usually made with fabric that repels dirt and moisture, so a good wipe with a damp cloth and mild detergent may be all you need. In some cases, you may be able to remove the cushion covers and wash them in the machine, hang them to dry, and then put them back on the foam cushion.

#2 – Wrap and Store

Wrap and Store Cushions

Wrap your cushions in breathable storage covers or specially designed waterproof, breathable bags to keep them safe from moisture and dust in your shed, basement, garage or attic.

Wrap and Store Your Patio Furniture

Snug-fitting custom patio furniture covers will keep out moisture and dust to keep your furniture in good condition for many years. A lower-cost solution is looser fitting, waterproof heavy-duty tarps and covers. Make sure you wrap them tightly and tie them with rope or bungee cords to keep out the rain, dust and debris. If your patio furniture will be outdoors all winter, wrap tightly and stack in a sheltered location away from rain and melting snow or ice. If you’re short of space in the garage, shed, basement or other indoor space, consider renting a unit in a storage facility. It may add to your costs, but in the long run, it saves you money as you won’t have to replace your patio furniture as often.

#3 – Other Options

Enjoy Your Patio Furniture Outside All Winter

If you love being out in the cold weather, why not keep your patio furniture set up all winter? You can enjoy gathering around a toasty fire after a day of snowshoeing, skating or skiing. Ideally, find a sheltered corner of your deck or patio. Cover your furniture with a durable waterproof tarp when you’re not using it.

Use Inside Over Winter

If you have the space in your home, bring your outdoor furniture inside during the winter and use it in a spare room or sunroom.

Recycle or Donate Your Old Patio Furniture

The day may come when your patio furniture can’t carry on for another season. When it’s beyond restoration, check if your municipality will accept it for recycling. Metal furniture is the most likely to be recycled. If you replace your patio furniture with a new set when the old one is still in useable condition, you can sell or donate it to a charity thrift store.

Visit Emerge2 today to learn more about maintaining your patio furniture to keep it in good condition for many years of enjoyment.