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Expert advice from Furniture Medic, the UK’s leading furniture restoration specialists

With summer now officially here our thoughts turn to outdoor living and investing in the latest stylish garden furniture. We can easily spend as much money on a set of teak chairs for our outdoor space as we would on our dining table and chairs, but do we invest as much time in looking after it? If the answer is no, then help is at hand. The experts at Furniture Medic have some handy advice on how to keep your outdoor furniture in tip top condition.

How often should I clean my garden furniture?

Furniture specialist, Carolyn Barnett says: “Whatever the material of your furniture, it should be protected from the elements when not in use. Ideally store it away over winter, cleaning and drying thoroughly beforehand and again in the spring when you bring it out for use. During the summer it is a good idea to tackle any stains or marks that occur straight away and generally keep it as clean as you would your indoor furniture.”

How do I look after my wood furniture?

Furniture Medic’s wood expert, Gary Butler says: “Much of the modern furniture we see today has an oil finish to it which requires regular maintenance. This kind of finish is not permanent.” Gary warns that each time you wipe your table or chairs down, a small amount of the finish is removed. He advises that when purchasing an item, it is best to enquire as to what type of oil it has been finished with. In order to keep your furniture looking at its best apply the oil once every one to two months.

Does plastic furniture need any special care?

Carolyn says: “Plastic outdoor furniture is more resilient to the elements than metal and wood and is definitely the easiest to look after. To clean, remove any stains or marks with a mild detergent and then simply hose down. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing brushes as this can scratch the furniture and for a nice shine try using your regular furniture polish.”

Is there any advice for looking after metal outdoor furniture?

Aluminium is a popular choice for outdoor furniture as it is lightweight and rust free, however, it still requires regular cleaning, Carolyn recommends simply using a high quality car wax for this task.

To clean painted metal furniture, ensure it is dry before you start and follow by cleaning out any dirt from the joints and seams with a soft brush, water and soap and finish with a gentle detergent and water, which is an effective and hassle – free way of keeping the furniture clean. Store the furniture indoors, if possible, when not in use and ensure it is dry when you do so.

For wrought iron furniture, Carolyn suggests cleaning with mild soap and water and leaving to dry out thoroughly. It is a good idea when cleaning to tilt the “feet” to ensure they dry properly.”

Caroline assures that “most modern day metal furniture has been treated to prevent rusting and corrosion, however if it does occur and is caught early enough, then a tarnish remover can be used to bring it back to new.”

What about my awnings, umbrellas and cushions?

Carolyn comments: “These materials have a tendency to attract mildew (mould that grows on fabric). To tackle it use a non-ammonia soap or dishwashing detergent and if it is a pale or white fabric use a non-chlorine bleach solution to remove mouldy spots and stains. Always rinse and dry thoroughly. Vinyl materials can be cleaned with convertible car hood cleaning products.”

If any of your furniture has been seriously damaged either by mould and mildew whilst in storage or has developed rust by being outdoors, then Furniture Medic will come to the rescue of any item of furniture, new or old, thus providing a cost effective alternative to replacement.
Skilled in all types of furniture repair, Furniture Medic will visit you at home and give you a
free assessment on the damage. They will cost the job and tell you whether they can repair
the furniture in your home or whether it needs to be taken to their workshop.

To find a Furniture Medic near you call 0800 021 3071 or log on to


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