How to Clean Outdoor Furniture, Including Metal and Rattan, Using “Basic” Cleaners

Outdoor furniture can be cleaned with several different products, but depending on the material, some may require a gentler cleaning. The experts at Luxury Rattan and metals4U have shared the best tips on cleaning outdoor furniture using “basic” cleaning products already found around the house.

Rattan furniture:

Laura Schwarze, Head of Luxury Rattan, said: “If you find that there is dirt trapped in the rattan weave, grab a toothbrush to loosen it.

“You should then be able to wipe it off or vacuum it up easily.

“When it comes to washing your rattan furniture, it’s important to be gentle and avoid any harsh cleaners or chemicals.”

For optimal cleaning, the expert recommended using warm soapy water and wiping gently.

Laura added: “Once you have cleaned your furniture, be sure to check the legs of your chairs and tables and replace them with new gliders if they are scratched or damaged to bring them back to life and improve their longevity.

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“Simply pour white vinegar evenly over the surface of the furniture and give it time to settle, an hour should be enough.

“Once you’ve done that, just wipe down with a cloth wearing gloves and repeat again if needed.”

Wooden furniture:

Wooden furniture can deteriorate over time, but there are ways to bring it back to life.

Laura said: “If you have an old wooden rattan piece of furniture that looks less well worn, I recommend using a soft cloth and rubbing a little olive oil on the product.

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“This will reduce cracking and add shine to your rattan, making it look like new.”

“Alternatively, you can give your wooden furniture a coat of paint to completely transform the ambiance of your outdoor space.

“To make the process of painting natural rattan as easy as possible, it is best to use spray paint.

“Before you start, make sure your furniture is clean and dry and you’ve prepared a well-ventilated area to spray paint. Also, don’t forget goggles and a face shield.

A coat of primer will need to be added before spray painting.

Depending on the paint used, several thin coats may be required before adding a coat of top coat.


To keep garden furniture looking its best, Laura recommended washing garden cushions with detergent.

If the cushions cannot be removed, detergent can be used to spot clean areas.

Britons should also avoid leaving cushions outside as the sun can bleach them.

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