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How To Clean Mildew from Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture can be so great for those beautiful days that you can not resist spending outdoors relaxing in the sun and shade. A few times a year you may need to do some furniture cleaning to make sure that you can enjoy your outdoor furniture as much as possible.

A big problem that can happen to outdoor furniture is mildew growth. With a little bit of outdoor furniture cleaning you can get rid of the mildew and help your furniture look as good as it can. Getting rid of that mildew with a furniture cleaner can be a great way to make sure that your outdoor furniture is comfortable to use and enjoy.

If you are not sure that you can handle cleaning your outdoor furniture, there are furniture cleaning services out there that can help you if you want. Professional furniture cleaning is the best way to make sure that your outdoor furniture lasts a long time and is always looking fresh and clean. 

For those of you who want to tackle outdoor furniture cleaning on your own, this guide will help you get some ideas on how to get mildew off of your outdoor furniture. With this helpful guidance you will certainly be able to get your outdoor furniture looking awesome and ready for the next sunny day.


If we want to clean mildew from our outdoor furniture, it will help a lot if we know a thing or two about the stuff! Mildew is a sort of fungus that can grow on the surface of organic materials when conditions are right.

Mildew can grow on cushions, metal, wood and even glass. It needs to be moist to grow, so it usually will pop out after winter when things are still wet and the air temperature increases. Then it can grow as long as it has enough moisture and warmth.

Luckily, mildew will not really damage any of your outdoor furniture, but it can leave stains and could make odors. If mildew spores get into the air, they can also irritate the lungs and cause some health problems.

Mildew will appear as little black dots on the furniture, or can even become like a solid dark spot on the furniture. It only takes one microscopic spore to land on your furniture for it to take hold and spread like crazy.

Preventing Mildew

The best way to prevent mildew is to not allow any moisture on the furniture. This can be really difficult with outdoor furniture, as it usually stays outside during rain and humid conditions, where the conditions are perfect for mildew to grow.

If you can take your outdoor furniture into a shed or garage, this is the best way to prevent mildew from growing. It is really good if you can take it into a dry place for the winter months, when it will be seldom used. 

Cleaning Mildew From Cushions

When cleaning mildew from cushions, you can use as mild a cleaner as just some soap and water, or something strong like a tablespoon of bleach mixed into a quart of hot water. Mildew will come off pretty easy, just use your favorite furniture cleaner and wipe the surfaces that are affected.

A stronger cleaner like bleach might be better at preventing any mildew from growing back, as it will surely kill any mildew spores on the cushion. Then because bleach is strong, you should test a small piece of the furniture with your bleach solution to make sure it does not damage the fabric.

Make sure to clean the cushions on a dry and sunny day, as they will need to dry for a few hours to make sure that the mildew doesn’t just come right back. Try to leave the cushions in the sun, making sure that all sides get some sun and that they are totally dry. You can then start using your cushions as normal.

Cleaning Wood Furniture

Wooden outdoor furniture can be so beautiful, unless it starts to get covered in black mildew spots. You have to be a little careful with cleaning wood furniture as some strong furniture cleaners might damage the wood.

Start by just wiping the furniture thoroughly with soap and dish soap. This should get all the mildew off. Make sure that the furniture has a proper amount of time to dry to prevent mildew from coming right back.

You want to be pretty conscious of keeping mildew off of wooden furniture, as over time it could start to stain the wood finish, then you would need to do a lot of work to sand the furniture and refinish it to make it look its best.  

Plastic, Metal, Glass

Cleaning outdoor furniture made of these materials can be very easy, you probably can not hurt them no matter how hard you clean them. You can simply wipe them with a good rag, or even blast them with a power washer.

Just be sure to do some maintenance cleaning on a regular basis and these pieces of outdoor furniture will be easy to clean and will last a very long time.

Cleaning Wicker

Wicker outdoor furniture can be the most difficult to clean, with all the surfaces that you are not able to reach. Try spraying it with some undiluted vinegar, letting it sit for about ten minutes and then washing it off with water. 

It is really important to do this on a hot and dry day where the wicker furniture will have ample opportunity to dry all the way out. You also need to be a little more careful about storing your wicker furniture to prevent any mildew from taking root.

Outdoor Furniture Cleaners

You may be thinking of buying some outdoor furniture cleaning products, but really you can easily make them from items you may have around the house. We have mentioned that soap and water, diluted bleach and vinegar can be good furniture cleaners. Some other products that might be of use are baking soda mixed with vinegar, borax as well as a paste made from lemon juice and salt. 

You can also call a local furniture cleaning company for help if you are still having problems with cleaning your outdoor furniture. 

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