Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

Learn the secrets to great looking plastic, metal and wood outdoor furniture

Your outdoor furniture can last year after year, if you give it a good cleaning each season. Grime, pollen, bird droppings and sun exposure can all take their toll on outdoor furniture. Learn the basics to cleaning outdoor furniture and you will be able to maintain it for years. 

For plastic outdoor furniture, mix a little dish soap, some borax, and half a cup of peroxide into one gallon of water.  Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes and use it to scrub all your plastic outdoor furniture with a nylon brush before rinsing well.  Just test a small area first to be sure the peroxide does not react negatively with the furniture. Your plastic outdoor furniture should be periodically wiped down. Any cushions should be protected from the elements when possible. Store them away when not in use.
For metal outdoor furniture, use soapy water and elbow grease.  Remove any rust or stains with sand paper or a wire brush.  You can also repaint the entire piece with a rust prohibiting paint or a metal varnish.  And don't forget to periodically clean your furniture throughout the summer - don't let pollen or bird droppings sit on it and cover it up if you won't be using it for a while.
For wooden outdoor furniture, a durable finish is key. Many homeowners prefer the natural beauty of wooden outdoor furniture. Adirondack chairs, porch swings, gazebos, benches, side tables and picnic tables offer a natural and beautiful look that can add value to your home. And with proper care, even your outdoor wooden furniture can last for decades. Cleaning periodically with oil soap works well. But the best way to help outdoor wood furniture look great for years is the stain or finish you choose.
BEHR has a line of reformulated Premium Wood Stains and Finishes. The products now include an advanced 100 percent acrylic resin that thoroughly protects your outdoor wood furniture from rain, ice, snow and sun, and provides an incredible look that will last for years.
The advanced formula allows the stains and finishes to penetrate even deeper into wood fibers and provide a superior adhesive bond to the wood substrate. Made with NanoGuard® technology, the improved formulation was developed to resist moisture, UV damage and stains – the result is enhanced surface protection and longevity. Additional benefits include better adhesion with severe weathering (reducing likelihood of peeling), improved performance over knots and better color retention.
BEHR has eight ounce samples of Premium Solid Color and Premium Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing Wood Stains to allow consumers to test color and opacity before making larger product decisions. These eight ounce samples are also perfect to use on smaller do-it-yourself projects, like a mailbox or birdhouse.
BEHR Premium Solid Color Weatherproofing stain is available in over 1,600 colors and has been formulated for computer color matching. The newly-reformulated BEHR Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing Stain is available in 83 custom colors.
To help you choose projects, colors and products, visit WoodSmart by Behr Kiosks in The Home Depot stores nationwide. The kiosk is complete with inspiring images, how-to videos and information about stain and finish samples. The new line of stains and finishes from BEHR is currently available exclusively at The Home Depot stores nationwide. You can also follow BEHR on Twitter at and friend BEHR on Facebook at
Remember that cleaning outdoor furniture properly will protect it so you can enjoy your outdoor space for years to come.

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