rattan garden furniture set with green cushions

3 Natural Tricks to Clean Patio Furniture

With spring and summer quickly approaching, it’s the time to start getting our backyards ready for all the fun. But, with our patio furniture being in storage for the winter, do we even want to know what they are looking like? Worry not, because there are a lot of natural ways to make your patio furniture and decks shine in the sun for everyone to enjoy.

Home and Garden

Baking Soda

Resin furniture seems to be a dust and dirt magnet, but you have to be careful what you use on it so you don't scratch the surfaces and finishes. Baking soda, a sponge, and some water will do the trick. Just dampen the sponge and dip it in the baking soda. Move the sponge around in circular motions to clean the dirt off. When that’s all done, just hose it down and let it dry in the sun. Good as new!

Castile Soap

Castile soap is a very mild soap that is made of natural oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. This soap is mild enough to use on the fabrics that cover seat cushions, the cushions themselves, and even wicker. To use it, combine a tablespoon of castile soap with a gallon of warm water. Wicker is easy. Just start brushing the solution over the furniture and then hose it off. For fabrics there are a few more steps.

Start by brushing off the loose debris and then spray the solution onto the dirty cushions or outdoor fabrics. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes and then wipe it off with a non-abrasive sponge to remove the dirt. Follow that with the use of a cellulose sponge. This will lift the dirt up and out of the fabric without damaging the fibers. Repeat this step on the other side of the cushion. When you have cleaned both sides, hose them off with some water and let them dry in the sunshine. Do not forget to flip the cushion onto the other side once one dries.


Vinegar is great for cleaning off mildew that has started growing on wood furniture or decks. For smaller wood furniture pieces, simply dilute vinegar with water and pour it into a recycled spray bottle. Spray the furniture with the solution and wipe the mildew off. The vinegar will kill the mildew and prevent it from returning for a while.

Solution for Wooden Decks and Large Wooden Furniture

  • 1 cup ammonia
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 gallon water
wooden chairs and table in the garden

Combine the above ingredients into a bucket and grab a sponge. Start wiping the surfaces with the sponge removing the mildew buildup. The baking soda will make sure that the surfaces are not scratched up while the vinegar will kill the mold.

If the mildew or furniture has started to have a funky smell, just combine 2 cups of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap in a bucket of warm water. This solution is great for mildew growth that has started to find a home on plastic and mesh furniture. Use a soft brush to work into the grooves of the furniture then rinse with cold water. Leave the furniture in the sun to dry and it is all ready to go.

Time to Enjoy

It is all fun and games until someone’s brand new white shorts are covered in winter’s grime from your patio furniture. Keep your resin shining with some help from baking soda. Let your wicker and fabrics glow with the TLC of castile soap and warm water. Lastly, drop the dew with some white vinegar. Keeping your friends and family clean and healthy with these natural tricks are sure to get this years picnics started with a bang.


Craig Scott

I love to spend all the time I can outdoors and find every excuse to leave my house. I write about everything from backyard DIY projects to gardening. If you can't get a hold of me I am probably on a trail or a boat.

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