Garden furniture care guide

 

Outdoor furniture can last for years if it's looked after correctly. We’ve put together this buying guide to take you through how to care for your new investment, so you can enjoy it for many summers to come.

If you want to give your furniture an added level of protection, particularly during the winter months, our furniture covers will help to prolong its life.

Wooden furniture

Wooden furniture

Tropical hardwoods, such as teak and eucalyptus, are naturally weather-resistant due to their high oil contents. This makes pieces easy to look after, especially as you can keep them outside during the season.

These hardwoods often develop cracks along the grain after they've been exposed to the elements. Over time, teak, courbaril, roble and cumaru will weather to a beautiful silvery grey colour. As these are natural timbers, variations in colour and markings will occur from piece to piece.

Give your hardwood furniture a yearly scrub with soapy water, followed by a thorough rinse. This removes algae and pollution to restore the timber's surface, keeping it in good condition.

If you really want your furniture to look less weathered, restore some of the original colour by applying teak cleaner, followed by teak brightener and finished off with teak oil. Make sure the timber is completely dry when you apply the oil, otherwise it can blacken. Teak oil should never be used on roble wood as it can cause spotting.

All of the wooden ranges we buy are FSC certified: read about our timber policy and FSC certification here.

Metal furniture

Caring for metal furniture is generally quite easy, as it has usually been given a hardwearing finishing coat. Gently wash pieces with a sponge and warm, soapy water – don’t scrub with anything abrasive, as this could scratch the finish.

Wrought iron and steel

Steel and wrought iron furniture is given an anti-rust treatment and finished with tough coatings, to ensure it lasts. If the surface of your furniture is damaged and exposes the bare metal beneath, touch up the paintwork either with the paint provided or with car paint in a matching colour.

Cast aluminium

Cast aluminium furniture can’t rust, but if the polyester coating is damaged it could peel. To prevent this, touch up the surface with a matching car or metal paint.

Folding steel chairs

We can't guarantee that steel will not corrode, but the occasional summer shower shouldn’t harm it. Our steel furniture is powder-coated for additional durability against the elements. As with cast aluminium, it’s essential you touch up any chips to the surface using a matching car or metal paint to avoid further corrosion.

Garden furniture accessories

Parasols

If parasols get wet, leave them open to dry out. They should always be taken down and stored in high winds and throughout winter.

Cushions

Our cushions are covered in a variety of textiles that need to be cared for differently.

Printed cotton covers are soft and comfortable, but can fade if exposed to too much sunlight. All are treated with a soil-resistant coating. With these cushions:

  • Store in a dry place
  • Do not leave out in the rain
  • Sponge clean with upholstery shampoo

Acrylic and olefin (polypropylene yarn) covers feel like canvas and are strong, do not fade easily and will not rot.

  • Keep under cover when not in use: the covers won't be damaged if they get wet, but the fillings may take a while to dry out
  • Do not store cushions in polythene bags or they may develop mould

Furniture covers

Our garden furniture covers are made from weather-proof fabric that allows air to circulate. Before fitting the covers, ensure that the furniturecushions and parasols are dry.

Tip: In high winds don't forget to remove parasols and canopies on swing seats when it gets windy, or they might disappear into your neighbour's garden!

Woven furniture

Most of our woven furniture is made from synthetic wicker. It looks like the real thing but has the advantage of being more weatherproof. Soft to the touch, man-made wicker is highly supple and tear-resistant, as well as being UV- and weather-resistant.

Although it can withstand very cold or very hot conditions, you'll find synthetic wicker becomes stiffer as it gets cold. Conversely, as it gets warm it'll soften and return to its original suppleness.

Being low maintenance, woven furniture's easy to clean: just use a pressure hose on a low setting. There are also non-foaming cleaners around that are specially formulated for woven furniture.

You should avoid using a foaming product, however, as the residue tends to get trapped in the weave and attract dirt.