How To Clean And Protect Wooden Garden Furniture

From al fresco dining to picnics or BBQs with friends, there’s nothing quite like summers spent in the garden. High-quality garden furniture is a must-have throughout summer, allowing you to unwind and relax in your very own homemade Eden.  

However, once summer is over, how do you ensure your garden furniture is protected throughout the winter months? And how do you clean and restore old wooden garden furniture ready for the new season? 

Join us at Arnold Laver as we run through everything you need to know to restore, clean and maintain your favourite wooden garden furniture

How to restore wooden garden furniture 

Garden furniture that you have owned a while may begin showing signs of age. Beautiful glossy woods can splinter and fade to dull silvers, paint can peel, and mould and dirt can build up.  If you have a forgotten about wooden patio set or picnic bench that has seen better days, don’t give up hope. With a little time and effort, you can easily give old wooden garden furniture a whole new lease of life. 

If your wooden garden furniture gets wet and isn’t cleaned regularly, you may find mould or mildew has built up across the surface. This is the worst-case scenario when it comes to cleaning, but is definitely not a lost cause.

To remove mould or mildew from wooden garden furniture, first use a brush to gently brush down the furniture. This will remove any larger build-up of dirt, mould or mildew. Make sure you’re using a brush with reasonably soft bristles – a brush that is too harsh could mark your furniture. Once you have removed the worst of the mould, use a sander to sand down the furniture and leave a smooth finish. A professional sander will make this task much quicker and easier, although regular sandpaper works just fine. 

Once you’ve sanded your wooden garden furniture, remove any excess dust and dirt by hosing down the furniture. As tempting as it may be, don’t use a pressure washer; it may be quicker but can remove layers of wood and damage wooden furniture.

Once your furniture is dry, you can treat the wood with new paint, wood restorer or varnish, and enjoy garden furniture that looks brand new. 

How to clean wooden garden furniture

Whether you’ve successfully restored old garden furniture or you’re enjoying a new furniture set, it is vital to keep on top of cleaning it. This will prevent the build-up of mould and dirt, and ensure you can keep your furniture looking its best for longer.

While there are a number of specialist garden furniture cleaning products you can use, there are also a number of options you can try using products you likely already have to hand. When it comes to cleaning garden furniture, this can be as easy as wiping down the surface with soapy water. Take a mild, regular detergent or washing up liquid and mix in with warm water, then use a gentle brush or sponge to wipe the surface of your furniture and remove any dirt. Once finished, use a hose to gently rinse off any excess product, then leave in the sun to dry naturally. 

If you have any more stubborn areas of dirt, a solution of warm water, white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda applied with a scrubbing brush is ideal for leaving furniture spic and span. 


How to protect wooden garden furniture

Of course, as with anything, prevention is always better than cure. The bulk of the damage you will notice to wooden garden furniture is due to the elements – damp weather, frost, snow, wind and sun can all age and damage outdoor furniture. 

To combat this, treat your garden furniture with an oil. Teak oil is a great option for this, as it is available as a clear oil, meaning you don’t have to worry about matching to your furniture. This will rehydrate wooden furniture, preventing it from drying out, cracking and splintering. 

Another great way to protect garden furniture is by storing or covering it when not in use through the winter months. If you don’t have a garden shed or garage with ample room, furniture covers are a quick and easy way of ensuring your favourite pieces are protected from the elements.


And there you have it – with these tips, you can ensure your favourite garden furniture continues to look and perform its best for years to come! 

If you’re wondering where to buy garden furniture, the Arnold Laver collection has you covered. From Forest Garden picnic sets and garden benches to wooden garden tables and chairs, you’re sure to discover the perfect options to help totally transform your outside space.

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