Outdoor Wood Furniture Maintenance: Cleaning Tips to Take Note

Are you planning to invest in outdoor furniture made of wood? Heads up, it’ll be a tedious task since wood, no matter how expensive and durable it is, requires regular maintenance. Check this post and find the basics of cleaning outdoor wood furniture.

Outdoor wood furniture is prone to wood decay, rot, insect infestation, warping, and cracking. And to avoid all of those wood problems in the future, here are some useful cleaning tips that can extend the life of the furniture.

#1: Scrub and wash it

Never use a power washer to clean off the dirt from the wooden furniture because it may hurt the wood. Using a power washer to remove dirt and grime from the furniture may strip some of the softwoods in between the grain lines, causing holes. Instead, use a soft scrub and mild soap or non-detergent liquid soap to clean off dirt and grime. However, for tougher stains, dirt, and mildew, you will need water and white vinegar solution.

If the dirt and stains are too deep, you may use powdered oxygen bleach and water solution and scrub the parts where the stains are. Then, leave it for 15 minutes before washing it off.


When you clean hardwoods such as oak and teak, you do not need to be too careful to clean off the dirt. Since the wood is tough enough, you may scrub off the dirt thoroughly. However, for softwood such as pine and cedar, you need to scrub the wood along the grain lines only to avoid scratch and wood damage. Also, clean every part of the furniture individually to avoid cross-grain scratching.

#2: Dry it well

Moisture can cause mildew, wood decay, and mold on wooden furniture. To avoid this from happening, dry off the furniture under the sun or in a warm and dry place.

#3: Smoothen the grain with medium-grit sandpaper

After washing and drying the wooden furniture, the grain becomes prominent. To smooth the grain, use medium-grit sandpaper and make sure to smooth the wood at the direction of the grain.

#4: Use sealers or oil

Proper waterproofing is critical to outdoor wood furniture. So, after hand-sanding the furniture you’ll need to apply a wood sealer or oil.

Sealers, paint, varnish, and oil can help retain the original aesthetics of the wooden furniture while it works to protect the furniture from wood rot, decay, warping, and insect infestation. However, you should use the right waterproofing product that you can use for a specific type of wood. Also, you may use this guide on how to weatherproof wood furniture efficiently.

#5: Clean it regularly

Regular cleaning of the wooden furniture may be a tedious task; considering how wooden furniture can be expensive, it is justifiable to clean the furniture regularly or once a week. Also, if you find bird droppings on the wooden furniture, make sure to clean it off as soon as possible to prevent wood damage and corrosion.

Lastly, if you do not have enough time to clean the furniture at least once a week, cover your furniture with tough and efficient furniture cover.