Cleaning and safe storage preserve the life of your outdoor furniture so you can enjoy your patio or deck for many summers to come. Spending $10 to $20 on cleaning supplies ensures grime and pests won’t deteriorate your outdoor furniture while $100 or less can provide adequate covers to protect your furniture from precipitation and freezing temperatures. Unless you like to update the look and feel of your outdoor space regularly (which can cost thousands of dollars), this small prevention investment can keep your outdoor furniture in great shape, year in and year out.

What to Do

Clean your outdoor furniture and stow it away for winter months.

What You’ll Need

The Basics

  •  Garden hose
  •  Bucket
  •  Sponges or scrub brushes
  •  Cleaning supplies
  •  Gloves
  •  Dust mask
  •  Tarps or furniture covers

How to Do It

Remove and launder all fabrics from outdoor furnishings (e.g., seat cushions, canopy drapery, rope hammocks). Let dry thoroughly, then fold and store in a cool, dry place.

Using a material-appropriate cleaner (e.g., oil soap for wood, bleach and water for wicker, gentle detergent for plastic), wash and rinse all outdoor furniture, then allow to dry completely. If the material is subject to cold-weather damage (e.g., wood or metal), apply a coat of rot- or rust-resistant treatment (e.g., sealant, oil, or wax).

Clear a space in a dry shelter (e.g., a shed or garage) and place furniture into the designated storage area. Cover with tarps or custom-fit furniture covers. Ensure the area around the stored outdoor furniture is inhospitable to any potential pests (e.g., lay down any traps for rodents or bugs).

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The opinions expressed in this post are for informational purposes only. To determine the best financing for your personal circumstances and goals, consult with a licensed advisor.