Garden Furniture Care & Maintenance Guide

Garden Furniture Care & Maintenance

You might be starting to think about how to keep garden furniture in tip top shape as the weather changes. In this blog post, we will be sharing our useful tips and advice on how to care & maintain all of your furniture throughout the seasons.

Our tips will refer to different types of garden furniture (e.g. rattan, metal, wooden). We will be highlighting how to keep all of your items clean and the various treatments you can use to maintain their appearance, plus increase their lifespan.

Cleaning Garden Furniture

Wooden Outdoor Furniture Care

Whilst outdoor tables and chairs are available in different materials, one look that never goes out of style is wood.

Here are some advantages of owning this impressive style of garden furniture:

  • Create a Traditional, Long-Lasting Look:Not only does wooden furniture create an English country atmosphere in gardens, but they are also built to last for years as long as they are well looked after. Wood is an excellent option if you are looking for solid garden furniture that you can continue to use for a long period of time. Oiled and finished wooden garden furniture is easy to clean and care for, so it will always look great.
  • Unique Designs:From ergonomically designed benches to built-in tables, there are several different designs of wooden garden furniture available on the market.
  • Suitable for Gardens of All Sizes: Whether you place it on your patio or in the middle of your outdoor space, wooden garden furniture works well in large outdoor spaces. With the use of a huge amount of space, you will be able to place your furniture in an area outside where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. Wooden garden furniture also works well in smaller outdoor spaces as their innate appearance does not overpower little areas.

Alexander Rose Wooden Garden Bench

Two types of wood used to make garden furniture are softwood and hardwood. They are commonly painted or treated, and maintenance typically consists of keeping all areas clean and apply garden furniture treatment each season.

Cleaning Wooden Garden Furniture

Even though wooden garden furniture can be very stylish and complement green spaces, it does need maintenance and the occasional clean for all pieces to stay in peak condition. Cleaning wooden garden furniture can be carried out by applying the following techniques:

  1. Clean your furniture using warm, soapy water and a scrubbing brush. Allow the water to soak for a few minutes on stubborn areas before you clear away the dirt with the brush.
  2. After that, wash the soap off with a hose pipe (not a pressure washer as this could strip away the timber as well as the dirt) and allow all of your furniture to dry.

Be sure to clean your wooden garden furniture before winter starts as it will keep all of your items clean during the colder months and form less moisture. By cleaning your wood furniture regularly, you will be able to maintain its character and avoid replacing it.

Rattan Outdoor Furniture Care

Rattan Furniture is a popular choice for many people and makes a stylish statement in gardens of any size. The pieces are lightweight, durable, and eco-friendly.

But, like all garden furniture, it is ideal to take care of it and will require cleaning every now and then to keep the material clean and dust-free for years to come.

But how often should clean your rattan furniture?

We recommend using a soft brush to clear away any dirt or dust every week and all food & drink stains should be removed as soon as you spot them. A deep clean should also be carried out once a month; we recommend doing this in sunny weather every month to clear any remaining moisture with a cloth and let your garden furniture dry completely.

Weekly Cleaning Guidelines

Use a duster or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any dust and a soft toothbrush to tackle stubborn areas. 

If you notice food & drink stains, gently remove these as quickly as possible. Use a spoon or dull knife to clear any hard blotches from the rattan; you can also use a toothbrush to help clear away substances or other stains in the weaving. Once they have been eliminated, apply a wet cloth with a little washing-up liquid to wipe the affected areas, followed by a cloth covered in fresh water, and then leave your rattan furniture to air-dry.

Bracken Outdoors Dakota Rectangular Firepit Garden Furniture Set

Monthly Cleaning Guidelines

    Wash your rattan furniture with warm, soapy water (use light washing-up liquid; do not apply bleach) and wipe all areas with a cloth.

    Do not use bleach if possible; however, if you do apply it to your furniture, make sure you rinse it thoroughly with a garden hose to tackle any tough stains.

    Yearly Cleaning Guidelines

    If you leave your rattan furniture outside all year round, check all pieces for any changes in the fibres or mould & mildew growth once a year. Before you carry out any cleaning, make sure all of the cushions are taken off and perform the following checks:

    • Keep an eye out for any rifts or cracks, along with mould or mildew.
    • If you notice any mildew, combine water & chlorine bleach and wipe down your furniture with a soft cloth whilst wearing protective gloves.
    • Leave your rattan furniture to dry outside once you have removed any stains or mildew before you put the cushions back on.

    Teak Outdoor Furniture Care

    Cleaning Teak Furniture

    Teak is a beautiful hardwood that is not only durable and long-lasting, but it also has a number of other fantastic properties, like the way it looks when it is cleaned so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the great outdoors.

    Teak furniture, unlike most types of wood, can be left in any outdoor space and still look fantastic, and its durability allows teak to last for decades if properly maintained.

    Here are our top tips for teak outdoor furniture winter care:

    • Clean your teak wood furniture when it is sunny.
    • Use a garden hose to remove any debris and dirt (don't use a pressure washer as this will cause surface erosion).
    • Mix a cup of vinegar with a gallon of warm water. Or you can use 1 cup of bleach and 1 cup of laundry detergent with a gallon of warm water to make your own cleaning solution.
    • Remove any stains and mildew from your furniture with a tough hand brush and the cleaning solution. Move the brush softly across the grain's direction.
    • Rinse the furniture completely with your garden hose, ensuring that no detergent remains on the wood. Then, leave the furniture to dry in the sun.

    To naturally remove all mildew and mould, we highly recommend keeping your teak garden furniture in an area where there is regular, direct sunlight.

    Alexander Rose Teak Garden Bench

    Teak Oil for Garden Furniture

    A common question people ask about teak outdoor furniture is if it needs to be oiled. There are various oil-based treatments on the market that can be applied to wooden garden furniture; some of which are specially manufactured for teak furniture.

    However, you don't necessarily need to oil teak garden furniture. This is due to the fact that outdoor teak furniture requires little maintenance and holds a good amount of natural oils that help protect the furniture from weathering damage and deterioration. 

    Here are other reasons why you should try and avoid oiling teak garden furniture:

    • Mildew: A lot of oiled teak furniture can cause mildew and mould to grow, culminating in unattractive patches or dark spots on the wood.
    • Dry Teak: If you use teak oil or a treatment on your furniture, you must be willing to do this regularly as the teak will become highly dependent on the oil and will dry out if the oil is not applied correctly. Therefore, it is ideal to avoid all treatments and let the teak look after itself naturally. 
    • Keep Its Colour Without Oil: If you would like to maintain your teak furniture's colour and not want to turn naturally grey, you don't need oil to do this. Just wash the teak with a soft brush and soapy water to resurrect its natural colour.

    Metal Outdoor Furniture Care

    Cleaning Metal Garden Furniture

    Metal Garden Furniture is great for livening up your outdoor living area, especially during the Summer. There are ways you can maintain your furniture to keep it all in excellent condition for years to come.

    Alexander Rose Portofino

    Step 1 - Scrub & Wash Your Furniture

    Give your furniture a deep clean to remove dirt and stains.

    Combine soap and warm water in a small bucket.

    Soak your metal furniture and apply the cleaning solution to all areas.

    Thoroughly clean away any dirt or mildew with a sponge.

    Use a garden hose to wash the cleaning solution and debris.

    Step 3 - Dry Your Furniture

    Allow your metal garden furniture to dry in the sun after cleaning it.

    Kettler Elba White Dining Set

    Step 2 - Tackle Stains

    If persistent stains continue to appear on your furniture, combine warm water and soap and test the cleaning solution carefully on an affected area to see if this clears away the stain.

    If there are negative effects, allow the solution to lay on the surface of your furniture for at least 15 minutes, so it interacts with the dirt.

    Remove left-over dirt and stains with a soft brush and clear away the cleaning solution and remnants using a garden hose.

    Step 4 - Polish Your Furniture

    Even though garden furniture made of metal is more wear resistant than other materials, it is susceptible to rust. Gently apply medium-grit sandpaper to your metal furniture and then clear away any remaining stains.

    Garden Furniture Treatment

    Treating Wooden Garden Furniture

    Wooden furniture is a solid material that will naturally change to a grey colour after a long period of time with fractures likely to become visible in the wood, but it can be treated with high-quality oil for garden furniture to prevent natural alteration to the colour of the timber and avoid any stains. Here is a selection of the different garden furniture treatments we sell that will help you to enhance your wooden garden furniture's appearance.

    Alexander Rose Timber Sealer

    Timber Sealer is a multi-purpose, protective sealant that allows the base layer of the wood to breathe whilst also reducing weathering, dirt, and moisture absorption. It also aids in the prevention of black fungal growth and mould.

    It can be used alongside Timber Treatment to seal in the treatment and extend the life your wooden garden furniture as well as enhance its appearance, giving a rich colour and finish. This high-quality timber treatment is suitable for use on all timber furniture such as Mahogany, Teak, and Pine. Water repellent is included in Timber Sealer to keep moisture out and also provides UV protection.

    Before you put this treatment on the timber, make sure all furniture is completely dry and cleaned thoroughly (do not apply to wet or damp wood).

    Use a fresh cloth to apply the sealer on all areas of your wooden furniture in equal amounts (over application could encourage black fungal growth). Then, use another cloth to remove any excess oil.

    Please allow 2 days drying time.

    For best results, we recommend you sand down any old dirty furniture before applying the sealer.

    One application of Timber Sealer per year is advised.

    Alexander Rose Timber Sealer

    Alexander Rose Teak Shield

    This timber treatment not only acts as a water & moisture repellent, but it is also specially formulated to provide an invisible barrier to help stop stains caused by food & drink, mildew growth, and dirt build-up penetrating into your Teak garden furniture.

    It contains no chemicals and is water-based, making it environmentally-friendly and also easy to use.

    Whilst helping to maintain the grey patina colour of Teak furniture, it provides protection for up to 12 months.

    To apply the Teak Shield:

    • Check that the wood is free from any kind of dust, soil, water and oil or grease.
    • Before using, shake the bottle for 1 minute.
    • Use a soft cloth to apply the treatment and then let it sit for about 10 minutes.
    • Apply a second coat of Teak Shield after letting the first one dry for 4 hours. Once you have put on the second coat, leave the wood to dry for a day.

    Applying this treatment to garden furniture made of Teak once a year is recommended.

    Alexander Rose Teak Shield

    Alexander Rose Teak Cleaner

    Revive the colour of your wooden garden furniture with Alexander Rose Teak Colour, which will help get rid of stains and blackening problems hardwood experiences when exposed the elements, plus eliminate the impact of the weathering process.

    It can be used on Teak, Mahogany, and Pine garden furniture.

    This cleaner for teak garden furniture has a concentrated, water-based formula designed to clean and brighten weathered timber in easy steps. Fast and easy to apply, it is not an oil, so it is not greasy. When applied to wet furniture, it easily removes atmospheric dirt that accumulates over time.

    To apply Teak Cleaner:

    • Shake the cleaner before use.
    • Apply the cleaner to the timber with a sponge or soft cloth and allow it to soak for 3 minutes.
    • In the direction of the grain, clean the furniture with a scrubbing pad.
    • Rinse your furniture with water.
    • Leave the furniture to dry and apply Teak Protector for colour retention; if you're not working with Pine, you could apply Timber Treatment Oil to restore the wood's rich brown colour. 

    It is recommended that Teak Cleaner should be used once a year.

    Alexander Rose Teak Cleaner

    Alexander Rose Teak Protector

    Teak Protector is designed to nourish and even out the appearance of your timber, resulting in a healthier and more uniformed piece of wooden garden furniture. The new appearance of the timber will last longer, slowing the sun's discolouration effects.

    We recommend checking it out first by applying a small amount to a hidden area on your furniture as it traces on the wood.

    Simple to use, this treatment preserves the light-brown colour of Teak up to 4 times longer than Timber Treatment and twice as long as Timber Sealer.

    It is water-based and free of chemicals.

    Teak Cleaner must first be used to clean any wood that is grey or has previously received Timber Treatment. If the timber still feels dirty after using the Timber Cleaner, lightly sand it.

    Before applying Teak Protector, ensure the wood is completely dry and free of dust.

    Shake the protector for 1 minute and apply a small layer with a dust-free cloth. Prior to putting on a second coat, wait for 30 minutes.

    It is recommended that Teak Protector should be applied at least once a year.

    Alexander Rose Teak Protector

    Alexander Rose Timber Treatment Oil

    Hardwood furniture's natural beauty can be enhanced, preserved, and be protected from the aging effects with multi-purpose Alexander Rose Timber Treatment Oil, which nourishes and re-moisturizes the wood. It can be used on Teak and Mahogany, plus other hardwoods (do not use on Pine).

    To apply:

    • Make sure the wood is completely dry and all surfaces have been cleaned thoroughly with Teak Cleaner before applying.
    • Apply with a cloth very lightly (surplus use could lead to fungal growth).
    • Use a clean cloth to wipe away extra oil.

    Allow a minimum of 2 months before you add another coat of this oil for garden furniture and apply the treatment when it is distilled.

    Use Timber Sealer afterwards as a finishing touch 7 days after you apply the Timber Treatment; it will act as a strong shield so you will only need to use both treatments once per season. If you decide not to use Timber Sealer, you will need to apply Timber Treatment 3 - 4 times each season, but you must wait 2 months before each application.

    Alexander Rose Timber Treatment

    Alexander Rose Cornis Wood Oil

    Suitable for Cornis timber, this oil is a protective coating that allows the base of the timber to breathe and will enhance the appearance of your wood furniture, giving it a rich colour and finish.

    This product can be used after the furniture has weathered to restore the wood to its original state.

    Prior to treatment, thoroughly clean all surfaces of timber with Timber Cleaner to remove all traces of dirt, stains, or fungal growth.

    Sanding down heavily weathered furniture may be necessary to restore the appearance of the original surface.

    Use a cloth to apply the oil uniformly. Excessive application may promote black fungal growth. Never apply to damp or wet wood and always let it dry completely. Allow at least 2 months between coats.

    Alexander Rose Cornis Wood Oil

    Before you put treatment on your wooden furniture, make sure you are wearing rubber gloves and safety glasses, and your working area is well-covered underneath your furniture and the timber is free from moisture or liquid.


    We hope these tips will assist you in cleaning and maintaining your garden furniture this winter. If you have any questions about the various materials discussed in this article, please contact our Customer Service team at 0118 3800 381 or Alternatively, you can come to our Moss End Garden Village showroom to see our most recent garden furniture collection and our staff will be happy to provide you with further advice on how to keep your furniture set in top condition.

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    Bracken Outdoors offer a wide variety of rattan garden furniture, including firepit sets and cube garden furniture sets.