The Cleaning Hack That'll Make Your Outdoor Furniture Sparkle

Our garden furniture might look pristine and stylish when taken right out of the box, but it looks dusty and haggard by the end of the season. And for good reason! It takes quite a beating. From spilled drinks during margarita nights to rogue ketchup splatters from hot dogs, owners aren't precious with their outdoor furniture. The weather also affects its appearance, especially if you don't throw a tarp over your patio each night. The rain leaves behind residue, the wind brings leaves and debris, and even sunny days bring problems by fading the paint or finish of the frames. It's just the nature of the situation — outdoor furniture will get messy. It's why they're built with tough materials and covered in performance fabric. But what happens if you want your set to look clean and new once again? Rather than buying an entirely new set, you can use the power of baking soda to make it look pristine again. 

As it turns out, you don't have to use a whole lot of muscle power to clean your outdoor furniture. All you need are the correct products. Baking soda is a must-have staple for this project because it's a mild abrasive due to its texture. It will help scrub away dingy layers of dirt and soot that make the patio or deck look drab, all without using harsh cleaners. Here's how to do it.

How to use baking soda to clean patio furniture

You'll need to do a little more than sprinkle some baking soda over your patio chairs to make them look new again, but don't worry — it won't take too much effort. All you will need is 1/2 cup of baking soda, warm water, and dish washing liquid. Mix the 1/2 cup of baking soda with a squirt of dish washing soap in 1 gallon of warm water. You want to take special care that the water is warm, not just room temperature or cold, since warm water helps loosen caked grime and dirt. You also want to use a drop or two of soap and no more than that. Adding too much soap can leave behind a sticky residue on the furniture, which will then require you to douse it with water. This can wreak havoc on wooden pieces in particular, which don't like being exposed to too much moisture, or else they can warp or splinter. You also don't want to do this on metal furniture, since the baking soda can corrode it.

Once you have your cleaning solution, use a soft bristle brush to apply it to the furniture, which will help remove more dirt and dust than a simple sponge or cloth. Then rinse it off with your hose or a damp microfiber cloth. Ensure it dries in the sun thoroughly, and you'll be left with a sparkling patio set.