How to Clean Wooden Garden Furniture

As autumn approaches and rain starts to fall it’s time to put your wooden garden furniture in the shed or at least cover it over before the damp and cold weather arrives. To increase the life span of your garden furniture and save on a job next spring, preparing your garden furniture for storage over the autumn and winter months is certainly recommend. Importantly, removing algae that’s built up over time while ensuring the furniture is as dry as possible before storage or covering.


Algae is a group of eukaryotic organisms, or to us a green slimy film that forms and dry’s on the surfaces of garden furniture and garden fences, you will also find it floating on top of ponds and growing on tree trunks. Left to remain on garden furniture during the winter months the algae, which is a type of fungus will soon begin to damage the wood, starting with a noticeable colour change before decaying.


To remove algae without using toxic chemicals, then try vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. White vinegar is a biodegradable, nontoxic cleaning agent that is not only safe to clean wood and other hard surfaces but is usually found in your kitchen cupboard and if not is considerably less expensive than chemical cleaners, whilst better for the environment and those who are applying it to the garden furniture.


Things You Will Need

White vinegar
Bicarbonate of soda
Scrubbing brush
Bucket and sponge
Old towels or cloths
Rubber gloves and safety eyewear


1) First remove any soft cushioning from the garden furniture and wash these as indicated on the label with the addition of 2 cups of vinegar added to the water.


2) Make sure you wear rubber gloves and safety glasses before taking your bucket and mixing up two parts vinegar to one part warm water with three large tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda.


3) Use the scrubbing brush to apply the vinegar solution over all surfaces of the garden furniture, ensuring it makes it to those difficult to reach corners and gaps.


4) After leaving for a couple of minutes, apply more of the solution and vigorously scrub to remove the algae. If cleaning soft woods take care that the scrubbing brush doesn’t scratch the furniture, test a small area first and use a softer scrubbing sponge if the brush is leaving marks.


5) After you have thoroughly scrubbed the surface use either a bucket of fresh water or garden hose to rinse off the algae deposits and solution.


6) Check for any areas you have missed or stubborn spots that need more work. Remember the vinegar solution is made up of natural products which are effective but often require more elbow grease than chemicals.


7) Once all traces of algae have been removed make sure the garden furniture is rinsed down and left to dry before finishing with wood wax or polish.


8) Wrap the furniture using polythene and store within your shed or garage where possible. Should you be leaving the furniture outside then raise it off the ground using bricks or similar so that it does not stand in water for extended periods of time.


If you found this article helpful, then you may also like to read our tips for keeping mould off bathroom ceilings.