How to maintain your garden dining set

How to maintain your garden dining set

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

220 guides

You know summer is on its way when you start thinking about cleaning up your garden furniture. But the steps you take will depend on the material. Teak dining sets require wood brightener and oil, plastic furniture should be cleaned with hot water and metal is best wiped down with a damp sponge. Read on for more tips!

Important features

  • Material
  • Cleaning products
  • Drying
  • Protection
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5 rules for cleaning your garden dining set


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1. Clean your garden dining set on a sunny day for easy drying. In order to get it right, check the weather and plan ahead!

2. Do not use a pressure washer any closer than 10 cm from the furniture item – doing so will damage the material's surface treatment.

3. Cleaning should be combined with any maintenance requirements the material may have. This can refer to treatments like restoring the colour of the material with a suitable product (the item will fade over time due to UV exposure) or applying a wood oil product.

4. Protect your garden dining set with a protective cover if you don't plan on using it over a long period of time. This also guarantees easier cleaning!

5. Do not use water that is too hot and avoid harsh or abrasive products – this includes any brushes with rough bristles – in order to avoid scratching the surface of your garden dining set.

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Garden dining sets

Cleaning a woven resin garden dining set


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These sets are very easy to clean: all you need is a sponge soaked in water and washing up liquid. Lukewarm water can be used for easier cleaning and to remove dirt marks from table and chair legs. Use a clay-based cleaner for stubborn stains. Make sure to remove any dust lodged in the gaps between the weave before you apply any products.

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Dusters

Cleaning plastic garden furniture


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These garden dining sets are easy to clean. A range of household products can be applied, starting with the traditional option: hot water and washing up liquid. You can also use household alcohol: simply soak a cloth in it and apply it to any stubborn stains for guaranteed results. You can also mix the alcohol with water and apply it using a crop sprayer, used exclusively for this purpose. You can also get special PVC cleaning products containing active agents designed to remove stains without damaging the material.

Restoring white plastic furniture

You can make your garden furniture white again by wiping pre-cleaned items with a cloth soaked with hydrogen peroxide. Bleach (diluted in a bucket of water can also be used). After bleaching, rinse with plenty of water using a garden hose equipped with a watering lance, or a pressure washer (the latter of which should always be kept at a safe distance from the furniture).

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Watering lances

Cleaning a metal garden dining set


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Metal tables and chairs should be treated with caution when cleaning. This is particularly important if the furniture has been powder-coated. This refers to an epoxy surface treatment that, if scratched, will allow rust to set in. You should not use a lot of water when dealing with metal furniture: a damp sponge and some washing up liquid will suffice. If the item has been painted, you can remove stains by sprinkling on some baking powder and gently rubbing the surface. No matter which of these methods you choose, it is essential to dry the furniture items properly after cleaning and to never use any harsh products. Metal should be maintained using specially designed products.

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Garden chairs

Cleaning a teak garden dining set


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Teak, like eucalyptus, is an exotic wood. It's relatively easy to clean using hot water, a sponge and a nylon brush. A wood soap will give your exotic wood set an impeccable finish. Exotic wood is water-resistant so you can rinse recliner chairs, side tables and dining sets to remove any residue left over from cleaning products.

Treating exotic wood

Exotic wood can turn grey over time, so it is highly recommended to use a wood brightener to restore the original colour of the wood. The brightener should be applied directly to a pre-cleaned garden dining set using a brush. Once the brightener has worked its magic, you then have the choice between oil and a special saturating oil. These two products are very similar – although wood oils made from natural ingredients are more environmentally friendly (and are recommended for this reason).

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Wood oils

Cleaning a wicker or rattan garden dining set


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Like woven resin, rattan garden furniture sets require thorough cleaning as dust tends to built up in the weave crevices. Before you set about cleaning the set with hot water and washing-up liquid, a good dusting is highly recommended. A variety of tools can be used for this task including a feather duster, cloth, dust extractor or dust blower. The aim of this step to obtain a dust-free surface to work on. Next, simply go over the material with a nylon brush. Once dry, wicker and rattan will need to be treated with linseed oil (applied with a soft cloth). As with any other material, it's always best to treat wood using specially designed products.

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Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 220 guides

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check. The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job! What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!