Outdoor furniture is great for entertaining and helps to create a secondary living area for your family. And your Frontgate outdoor furniture will last for years.
But no matter how mold- and mildew-resistant your outdoor furniture may be, it still requires a bit of periodic maintenance to keep it looking great and ready for use.
The key is to use the most delicate cleaning your furniture requires, taking care to avoid causing damage.
STEP 1: A DRY SURFACE CLEANING
Begin by removing covers, cushions and pillows from the outdoor furniture.
Remove loose debris with a leaf blower, a soft-bristle brush or your hand.
Then, wipe the surface of the furniture using a soft-bristle brush or a soft, dry cloth. Be careful not to be too rough, as pushing loose debris into the surface may scratch your furniture.
Next, assess the construction and materials of your furniture, as that can help you determine the best method for performing a more thorough wet cleaning, if necessary. This ensures you won’t potentially damage the surface with a harmful chemical or cleaning agent that isn’t compatible with the material.
For cleaning your cushions, check out our Cushion Cleaning and Care Guide
STEP 2: A MORE THOROUGH CLEANING
The safest thing to use on any outdoor furniture is water, so start with a simple rinse, using a garden hose on a mid-level – not high-power jet – setting. This will loosen and remove dust and dirt left over from the dry surface cleaning.
Then, fill a bucket full of warm water and add ¼ cup of mild, unscented liquid dish soap.
Use a soft sponge, rag or soft-bristle brush to scrub away the remaining dirt. Be sure to get each side of all surfaces, scrubbing especially dirty areas as needed but avoiding pressure that might cause permanent scratches. For caked-on grime, allow soapy water to set on that spot for a few minutes to help loosen it before re-trying to wipe it clean.
(If your furniture is in a coastal or saltwater area, you’ll want to wash your outdoor furniture each week to prevent accumulated salt deposits from causing damage.)
Before the furniture dries, rinse off the soapy water to prevent water stains, left-behind dirt and soapy residue. This is easiest to do during cool, cloudy days or when the sun is low – such as early in the day or around dusk – so the high heat of the sun will not dry the soapy water before you can rinse it off.
You will want to allow the furniture to completely dry to determine whether or not you want to give it a deeper cleaning. If not, you’re done! If you do…
STEP 3: A DEEPER CLEANING
Before you perform a deeper cleaning, determine what your outdoor furniture is made of. If you are unsure of the materials, check the product web site to get that information.
Frontgate uses durable, premium teak hardwood for all our teak outdoor furniture. Teak contains high levels of resinous oils that make it naturally resistant to moisture, repellent to insects and impervious to drying. Rain and damp conditions will cause some – but not all – of the resinous oils to naturally release from teak, which can stain some patio surfaces and cushions. This natural leaching will stop over time but, until it does, prevent stains by placing teak furniture on a rug, removing cushions from wet or damp teak and cleaning cushions with soapy water as soon as stains begin to appear.
Treating teak with oil or teak sealer every two or three months helps to retain and enhance the wood’s natural golden honey color. Tung oil is recommended by professionals, but linseed oil and store-bought teak oil can also be used. (If using a commercial teak sealer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.)
Please note: When left untreated, teak will develop a silvery gray patina. This does not mean your teak is dirty, and a deeper cleaning will not remove this appearance.
Spray your teak furniture with water from a garden hose.
Always begin with a mild – or more diluted – cleaning solution (see below). If that does not work, try a stronger concentration or a store-bought teak cleaner.
Teak Cleaning Solution:
- 1 cup chlorine bleach
- 1 cup laundry detergent
- 1 gallon warm water
Apply the cleaning solution to the teak using a brush with soft, plastic bristles (avoid using metal bristles, as they will scratch the surface) or apply a high-quality teak cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the furniture for approximately 5-10 minutes. Stubborn or difficult stains may require a longer soak time.
Thoroughly rinse it with clean water (such as spraying it with a garden hose at a low or medium pressure).
To remove any remaining stains, lightly sand the affected areas with a fine-grit sandpaper.
Frontgate uses premium-quality powdercoated aluminum for all of our aluminum outdoor furniture. It does not oxidize and it does not require a deeper cleaning.
If there are scuff marks, you can remove them using a soft cloth with a non abrasive cleaning product. Thoroughly rinse with clean water when done.
ALL-WEATHER RESIN WICKER
Frontgate uses high-performance, all-weather, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) resin wicker for all of our wicker outdoor furniture.
The textured surface means you’ll want to use a brush with long, soft bristles for most of the cleaning, and an extra-soft toothbrush for areas that require more attention.
Spray a piece of furniture with clean water and then apply either warm, soapy water or a mild multisurface cleaner. Scrub with the brush and, as soon as you are done, rinse thoroughly with clean water to prevent stains from forming.
STEP 4: LET IT DRY
No matter the material, be sure to let your outdoor furniture dry completely.
If, after drying, your furniture is due for additional treatment, move on to the next step. If not, kick back and enjoy your freshly cleaned outdoor furniture.
STEP 5: PROTECT YOUR FURNITURE
After cleaning your Frontgate outdoor furniture, you do not need to treat it, as each piece is crafted of materials designed to last for many years (with the exception of preserving teak’s initial, buttery appearance – more on that below).
Teak can be treated every two or three months with tung oil, linseed oil or a manufactured teak sealer (applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions), but that is only to maintain its color. It doesn’t affect the strength or longevity of the furniture in any way.
Likewise, aluminum – including powdercoated aluminum – outdoor furniture can be given a coat or two of high-grade, clear automobile rubbing compound designed for aluminum (applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions), to restore its luster.
The best way to add longevity to your outdoor furniture is to store it out of the elements when not being used for an extended period. We offer Outdoor Furniture Covers that are specially tailored to fit our furniture collections as well as Universal Outdoor Furniture Covers that fit many types of outdoor furniture.