High-quality wooden garden furniture is a long-term investment. Hardwearing, reliable, and comfortable, wooden furniture is a favourite in gardens across Britain. However, as with any outdoor furniture, you’ll need to keep wooden pieces clean to make your investment last.

Although it might seem like an intimidating task, there are a few ways to approach the job that will make it a simpler task than you might think. Here’s how to clean wooden garden furniture, so it shines like new in no time at all.

You will need

  • A stiff brush
  • Medium-grit sandpaper or an orbital sander
  • Hosepipe
  • Warm soapy water or
  • Chemical cleaning products
  • Sponge

Never use a pressure washer when cleaning wooden garden furniture, particularly teak pieces. A hard-hitting jet of water can impair the structure and joints of the wood, destroying the cellulose fibres and irreversibly damaging your furniture[i]. Although a pressure washer can be okay when used on a gentle setting, it’s not worth risking your furniture to save a bit of time.

1. Prepare The Wood

Before you start cleaning, you’ll have to clear your wooden furniture of any mould and ensure the surface is smooth enough for a successful clean. To prepare wooden furniture for cleaning, you should:

  • Use your stiff brush to rid the furniture of lichen and mould. A stiff brush may mark the furniture, but, if this happens, try using one with softer bristles
  • Gently sand down the furniture with medium-grit sandpaper until it is smooth
  • Use a hosepipe to rinse the furniture and remove any leftover dust and mould. Do NOT use a pressure washer!

2. Wash with soap and water

There are a few ways to clean your wooden garden furniture, but scrubbing down with soap and water is best. A mild mix of warm water and detergent, washing up liquid or dish soap is perfect for cleaning wooden garden furniture.

  • Use a sponge to apply your chosen product or solution to the wood gently.
  • Leave the substance on the wood for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Apply the cleaner to the furniture once more.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub briskly and remove any dirt.
  • Rinse off with a garden hose, then leave to dry.

3. Sand Away Any Stains

You can easily deal with stains and stubborn dirt once the rest of the wood is clean and dry. Use your medium-grit sandpaper to sand away any stubborn blemishes gently. Make sure you sand in the direction of the grain, then brush away any lingering dust once the stains have gone.

4. Stain and protect

someone using a brush on wood showing how to clean wooden garden furniture

Knowing how to clean wooden garden furniture is only a step towards protecting your favourite pieces. To further maintain your wooden furniture, we’d recommend applying a protective treatment, like varnish, that will waterproof the wood and protect it from scratches and marks. On top of this, you should put your outdoor furniture in safe garden storage over the winter to save it from the elements.

Wooden garden furniture is a fantastic addition to any garden, but cleaning it to make it last longer doesn’t have to be a big chore! Do you have any advice on how to clean wooden garden furniture? Let us know!


  [i] https://www.idealhome.co.uk/news/experts-garden-furniture-never-clean-pressure-washer-271815 

[ii] https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/porch/outdoor-rooms/how-to-clean-outdoor-furniture/

[iii] https://homeguides.sfgate.com/how-to-clean-outdoor-wood-furniture-13404181.html

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