Whether you’re getting ready for some al fresco dining or you’re just wanting somewhere to sit with a good book and a cuppa, outdoor furniture can make all the difference to your garden. It doesn’t take too much time at all to look after and maintain your garden furniture, and our handy how-to guide will walk you through it.  With just a little bit of care, your outdoor furniture can stay looking lovely year after year, and what’s great is that with most furniture, you won’t need special cleaning materials.

How to restore plastic and rattan garden furniture


For minimal maintenance, there’s nothing better than rattan garden furniture including plastic.

  1. All you’ll need to do is use warm, soapy water to wash it regularly – especially if you’ve got light-coloured furniture. Use a sponge or soft cloth rather than anything abrasive.
  2. Rinse thoroughly then rub dry with soft cloths
  3. Store in a shed or outbuilding over winter to avoid any discolouration

Top tip: Clear car wax is great for protecting your furniture from the sun

How to restore wooden furniture


Hardwood furniture (e.g. eucalyptus and teak) is incredibly easy to look after because it contains natural oils that help protect it from varying weather conditions. This weather resistance means you can actually leave your wooden furniture out all year long. Follow these simple steps to restore your hardwood outdoor furniture back to former glory:

  1. Wash with a cloth or brush (depending on how ingrained the dirt is) and mild soapy water once a year to remove the build-up of pollen, sap or mildew.
  2. Bring it back to life by applying some teak oil – simply rub it into the furniture, following the grain. You can add another coat if needed, just make sure you let the first coat dry completely beforehand.
  3. Apply a wood furniture stain if you prefer to provide colour and lasting weather protection.
  4. Allow to dry following manufacturer’s instructions.

Top tip: Try to keep the feet of your furniture off the floor and the furniture tilted when not in use to prevent rotting.


How to restore metal garden furniture


From standard bistro sets to metal framed swing seats, it’s important to keep on top of looking after metal furniture as it can start looking tired if you’re not careful.

  1. Give it a good wash with soapy water before drying it down completely.
  2. Check for any rust on the metal (this is also important for plastic-coated metal furniture, as the metal could rust if cracks have appeared in the plastic).
  3. Remove any rust with a wire brush or steel wool.
  4. Use a clean cloth to ensure that all the rust particles have been removed.
  5. If needed, sand down and touch up rust spots with specialist paint.

Top tip: You may also need to oil the fixings and joints to keep folding furniture moving freely.

Storing your garden furniture

Even though it’s ideal to pack garden furniture away in a shed or garage, it’s not always possible (and no one wants to go through the rigmarole of cleaning their shed or garage out to make space!). That’s when hard-wearing garden furniture covers come in very useful, helping to keep out most of the harsh winter weather.

Got any top tips of your own? We’d love to hear them. Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Shop the full garden range online at wilko.com

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