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How to clean garden furniture – affordable hacks to bring ‘timeless’ wood ‘back to life’


Wooden furniture is a timeless investment for the garden and can be enjoyed for years to come with the right care. While oak, teak and pine are all durable materials, they can’t all be cleaned in the same way according to Ronseal’s DIY expert, Jimmy Englezos. He explained that wooden furniture can “fade fast” and leave your garden looking “drab” if you use the wrong technique or ingredients, so what is the right way to clean each type of wood?

Pollen residue, dirt and food stains can leave wooden garden looking unpleasant in the summer months.

While plastic and metal surfaces are easy to wipe clean with some soap and water, solid wood requires a more tailored approach to banish grime from the cracks and crevices.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Mr Englezos said: “As a general rule of thumb, an annual clean and oil is the way forward to enhance wood’s natural beauty, but there are some other insider tips when it comes to keeping your wood clean and protected for years to come.”

READ MORE: Clean walls and remove odours with speedy baking soda hack

How to clean oak garden furniture

Oak is loved for its light, earthy shades and even more so for being a low-maintenance material.

However, it is one of the more expensive styles of outdoor furniture, so it is crucial to treat it with care.

My Englezos said: “Prevention is better than a cure when it comes to spillages with oak, as it’s quite porous.

“A damp cloth to wipe away initial dirt is the first step, then you should leave to dry before it’s finished with wax or oil.

“If you have some light stains however, an interesting solution may be hiding in your kitchen.”

How to clean teak garden furniture

Maintaining this chic material is easy to do using the correct technique, and it all lies in the direction you scrub the wood.

Mr Englezos said: “A scrubbing brush lightly along the grain is key to cleaning and maintaining this wood.

“If you scrub too hard then the wood might ‘blonde’. Don’t worry if this does happen. The beautiful natural grey of this wood will return if you leave the furniture in the sun.”

To keep teak looking good all year round, Mr Englezos recommended keeping it covered when it is not in use to avoid weathering or irreversible damage from bird poo.

He said: “Teak is timeless and can be durable enough to be kept in sun or shade. However, you’ll need to remain eagle-eyed for bird poo on your furniture.

“Ammonia in the poo will stain furniture with prolonged contact, especially over winter when it’s not regularly used.

“It is a good idea to invest in some good quality coverings to keep the worst of the weather away.”

How to clean pine garden furniture

Pine may be the most affordable wood to craft into outdoor furniture, but it is also the least durable.

Mr Englezos said: “Be sure to coat with a stain or timber sealant to keep your furniture looking great and protected from spills.

“If the worst does happen, you can also use toothpaste and baking soda as a way to lift wood stains.”

To make the erasing solution, mix the two ingredients into a thick paste and work into the affected area with a cloth.

Continue to buff it onto the stain until it “feels warm” and then wipe the paste away with a clean, damp cloth.

The DIY expert added: “For general cleaning, the standard soap and water won’t suffice for this type of wood.

“If you don’t have the Ronseal Garden Furniture Cleaner to hand, you’ll need to mix your homemade cleaning solution with oil.”

Oil-based cleansers work to restore and preserve the wood whilst cleaning away dirt and grime, but it is important to apply it in the same direction as the grain of pine furniture to avoid splinters.



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