Do I need to treat my garden furniture before storing it for winter?

Many of us will now be occupied with placing away our garden seating and storing our cushions for winter.

But ought to we be giving picket furniture a therapy, and are we in a position to depart weather-resistant metallic and rattan objects outdoor with out hazard of them perishing within the cooler months? Specific forms of garden furniture might require totally different upkeep.


Before storing aluminium furniture away on the finish of the season, take away seat and scatter cushions and retailer individually. Remove common floor filth utilizing heat soapy water, and rinse utilizing a hose and non-abrasive sponge, advises Tim Pennell, head of gross sales at luxurious garden furniture model Bramblecrest.

“In coastal environments (where there is usually a high concentration of abrasive salt in the atmosphere) aluminium furniture should be washed down with fresh water and covered when not in use.

“If a set has become scratched, use touch-up paint to protect the framework, allowing it to dry completely before storing away under cover.”

Dobbies Garden Centres senior purchaser Lynsey Abbott advises on different metallic furniture: “Before you pack away your metal furniture for winter, make sure it’s completely dry. Also make sure you store your metal furniture in a dry, sheltered area such as a garage or shed to prevent any moisture seeping in and causing rust.”


Hardwoods, similar to teak, acacia and eucalyptus, are harder than softwoods similar to pine.

Pennell advises gardeners with teak furniture, which is resistant to moisture and fungal rot, to take away common floor filth utilizing heat soapy water and a stiff brush, rinsing off with a hose. To take away cussed stains, use fantastic sandpaper when dry. Sand with, not towards, the grain.

Be conscious that when left untreated outdoor, the teak will regularly mellow to a lightweight silver/gray color and develop into rougher to the contact because the floor grain lifts. Small cracks also can seem as teak adjusts to its new surroundings, however it received’t have an effect on its structural integrity.

Good-quality teak ought to final for years with none intervention, Pennell says. Do not cowl teak furniture or use teak oil which might make the furniture flip black, sticky and patchy, he advises.

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Simon Burvill, founding father of oak garden furniture specialist Gaze Burvill, says: “If you are leaving your furniture outside but covering it over, either with purpose-made covers or wrapping it up in a tarpaulin, make sure it is clean and bone-dry before you cover it up. Make sure there is ventilation for air to circulate so that if moisture gets in it can also more easily get out on a dry day.

“Fortunately, oak is a very resilient material for the outdoors and doesn’t need to be treated to last over autumn and winter like other materials, such as softwoods.

“Remove any dirt, moss, lichen and bird droppings as these all retain moisture which, when left over time, can cause issues such as rot.

“This is especially pertinent for any pieces of furniture positioned in shady areas which are typically cooler and more damp. When cleaning your outdoor furniture, use a stiff, but not metal, brush, warm water and a pH-neutral detergent. For more stubborn dirt, we recommend using sugar soap or a wood cleaning solution.”

If the furniture is in fixed contact with grass or soil, place a chunk of slate or quarry tile beneath every foot, or transfer the furniture to a unique floor within the garden, similar to a paved terrace or balcony, he suggests.


Softwood garden furniture is commonly constructed from pine, spruce or fir and is continuously cheaper than hardwood furniture. Buy it pressure-treated, however know that you just’ll nonetheless need to wash down surfaces and permit them to dry before making use of a wooden stain or paint containing preservative in dry climate, before overlaying it or storing it in a storage over the winter, says the RHS.


Synthetic rattan furniture (pure rattan won’t face up to the outside parts for lengthy) is usually a really low-maintenance materials, Abbott says, however give it an intensive cleansing before storing over winter.

“Due to rattan’s woven nature, you might find that vacuuming the seats is more effective than simply wiping them down, and you should aim to remove all dirt and mildew from the furniture before packing it away.

“Ideally, store your rattan furniture indoors in a garage or shed, or if this isn’t an option and it needs to stay outdoors, make sure it’s properly covered.”

Use a non-abrasive sponge and lukewarm, detergent-free soapy water when washing rattan, Pennell provides.

Avoid jet-washing your furniture as this may end up in harm to floor areas, he provides. Rinse with recent water and permit to dry prior to overlaying or storing indoors.


Clean detachable cushion covers and use lukewarm water to wash by hand, then dry them completely. Don’t machine-wash season-proof cushion covers as this may increasingly harm the water resistant lining, and don’t depart unfastened cushions saved beneath a furniture cowl for lengthy durations of time, Pennell advises.

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