Garden Furniture Care Over Winter

All Garden Furniture Needs Some TLC Before Winter

Garden furniture brings a lot of pleasure when it’s sunny and warm outside but, to ensure it remains functioning and attractive, you need to look after it when it's not in use.

How you maintain outdoor furniture depends on the materials used to construct it, as well as some of its other characteristics.

Follow our 3-step winter care guide and your patio furniture, whatever it's made of, should come out of storage in pristine condition, all ready for you to use next year.

Garden Furniture Winter Care Guide

Step 1: Always Clean and Maintain Garden Furniture Before Storage

a wooden garden table, 2 matching benches and 2 matching chairs

Wooden Garden Furniture

You should clean wooden garden furniture with a mild detergent, mixed with warm water.

Use a sponge or soft brush to remove the dirt or grime, then, once it’s clean, rinse off any excess suds with a garden hose and leave it to dry in direct sunlight.

If your patio furniture is pressure treated, there’s no need to take any further action.

If it’s untreated or dip-treated then now is a good time to apply its annual coat of wood preservative.

6 grey rattan chairs and a glass top outdoor dining table

Rattan Garden Furniture

Firstly, use the soft-brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or debris from between the rattan weave.

After that, wipe the rattan furniture down with a damp cloth and leave it to dry.

a green, 3-piece patio furniture bistro set

Metal Outdoor Furniture

Aluminium and powder-coated steel furniture will not rust, so is relatively easy to clean with a garden hose.

If there is any ingrained grime then use warm, soapy water and a soft brush to scrub it off.

Other types of metal outside furniture may develop rust. If this is the case, you should remove it before cleaning.

Commercial rust removers, white vinegar or a mixture of baking soda and water are 3 popular ways to achieve this.

a brown, plastic garden coffee table with storage

Plastic Patio Furniture

Plastic patio furniture is exceptionally easy to clean.

Use damp, soapy water and a sponge to remove the dirt, with an old toothbrush to get in between the nooks and crannies.

After that, rinse the surface thoroughly and then dry it with a soft cloth.

2 garden cushions and a throw on a wooden garden bench

Outdoor Cushions, Covers and Parasols

You should clean garden cushions and covers in line with their care instructions, which can be found on the labels.

Most of them can be put in the washing machine but, if not, a damp cloth and cold water should suffice.

Parasols are best cleaned with a damp sponge.

They should then be left to dry in the sun before you store them away.

Like with any fabric, make sure all cushions, covers and parasols are thoroughly dry before storage, or they are likely to develop mildew.

Step 2: Where to Store Garden Furniture Over the Winter

a fold-up, wooden garden dining set, consisting of a table and 6 chairs, each with a green seat pad

Fold-up Garden Furniture

Even if your patio furniture is weatherproof, there’s no point putting it through the harsh winter months just for the sake of it, especially when it can easily be stored in your shed, garage, or other garden building.

Fold up your garden table and chairs, neatly stack them in your garden building, and place a dust cover over the top for added protection.  

a 4ft wooden picnic bench, with condiments on the tabletop

Solid Garden Furniture

Where this type of undercover storage is unfeasible, use a waterproof cover to protect your outdoor furniture in the garden.

Firstly, ensure that it is situated on a patio, or similarly hard surface.

If you leave it on your lawn then it will encounter far more moisture and probably damage the grass too.

Once it’s in a suitable position, place the cover over the top of the furniture, ensure there’s sufficient room for air to circulate, and then tie the cover down.

If your cover has eyelets then it should be simple to secure.

If not, then either use bricks or place the bottom of the cover underneath the garden furniture legs.

This should prevent it from blowing away in windy conditions.

It is always better to cover garden furniture items individually, rather than using one large cover.

This way, the covers are more likely to remain in place and, if one does happen to blow off, it’s far easier to rectify. 

a relaxer garden chair with a green, patterned cushion

Garden Cushions, Covers and Parasols

Once they are clean and dry, all of these items should be stored indoors, in a cool, dry place.

Don’t be tempted to put them in the shed or garage, either of which could be damp.

Step 3: Monitoring Outdoor Furniture Sets Over the Winter

outdoor furniture on garden decking, all covered in snow

There’s always the chance that you’ve overlooked something when storing garden furniture away, so check it periodically.

If you do this, you will be in a situation to quickly put things right and avoid a nasty shock when you come to remove your furniture from storage next spring.

Pay particular attention to items stored outdoors, by checking underneath the weatherproof cover for any signs of leakage.

If the furniture has got wet and dirty, be sure to clean and dry it thoroughly before readjusting or replacing the cover.

Garden Furniture for Sale

a 4-piece rattan garden sofa set on a patio

Another reason not to forget about garden furniture over the winter months is the sheer number of bargains available on new items.

What’s more, buying now ensures that everything’s ready to use at the first sign of sunshine.

So, once you’ve finished preparing your outside furniture for winter, take a look at our fantastic range of garden furniture for sale.

You’re sure to find something to perfectly complement your own outdoor space.