Complete Guide to Cleaning All Types of Pool Furniture

By Meagan Deacon

The most efficient method for cleaning commercial grade outdoor furniture is with a pressure washer, using plain water and a mild disinfectant or detergent under low pressure. DO NOT use chlorine or harsh cleaning solutions. Not to self: If the pressure is strong enough to blow your items around the deck, it’s probably strong enough to peel off the finish as well! Don’t have a pressure washer? Simply clean your outdoor furnishings with a soft brush, mild soap and very warm water. After a few years, when plain soap and water do not clean the worn finish, begin to add small amounts of household bleach. When a half and half solution no longer cleans, it’s time to think about getting new furniture.


Using these care and maintenance tips WILL reduce repair AND replacement costs (alphabetized by material):

Acrylic has a durable, yet lightweight composition that can last for many years if taken care of properly. Cleaning acrylic is one of the best ways to extend its lifespan. If you don’t clean your acrylic surfaces, they can become marred with stains, dust, dirt, mold and mildew – however, cleaning them the wrong way can harm the surfaces.

  • Instructions:
  1. Sweep off any dust or debris that can be dislodged easily – this prevents the dust from acting as an abrasive when you begin to wash.
  2. Dip a soft cleaning sponge into a bucket of warm, soapy water, and use it to wipe the piece.
  3. Rinse with clean water.
  4. Allow the acrylic surface to air-dry in a warm, well-ventilated area.

Your outdoor furniture is exposed to a lot, and aluminum is built to take the heat and the elements. Prolong the life of your Aluminum by keeping it clean and properly treating it as needed. To extend the beauty and life of your aluminum simply follow these instructions.

  • Instructions:
  1. General cleaning: Use a cleaning rag with mild dish soap and water to wipe down aluminum on a regular basis.
  2. Removing scuffed areas: Try a gel or liquid non-abrasive cleaner (such as SoftScrub). This will allow the scuffed area to be removed without damaging the finish.
  3. Rinse: Use a garden hose to rinse off after cleaning and removing scuffed areas.

While concrete, for the most part, is virtually maintenance free, dust, dirt and debris can still build up on its surface quickly if it’s not cleaned off regularly. You can easily clean your Concrete, but making sure it’s done routinely.

  • Instructions:
  1. Wipe down with a damp rag to remove dirt accumulation and dust.
  2. Mix warm water and mild detergent in a bucket.
  3. Dip rag into bucket and wash down thoroughly.
  4. Dry with a soft towel.

Fiberglass is one of the most popular types of outdoor furniture on the market today. It’s highly durable, affordable, comes in an assortment of styles and, most importantly, is easy to maintain! There are certain steps that should be taken to effectively clean fiberglass furnishings.

  • Instructions:
  1. Spray down with a standard water hose to loosen up any dirt and grime.
  2. Mix hot water, a good portion of dish washing detergent, and cup of vinegar into a bucket.
  3. Soak a sponge in the mixture and begin to wipe down.
  4. Grab a water hose, rinse and allow to dry.

Most Recycled Plastic has been purified and UV protected. It’s generally cared for and cleaned with soap and warm water. For certain stains and additional cleaning power, a 1/3 bleacher and 2/3 water solution can be used on recycled plastic without affecting the color. The surface characteristics of the furniture may require the use of a soft bristle brush to get into the creases. Although the quality of the hardware has a high level of corrosive resistance, the hardware can still show signs of corrosion in salt air environments. A practical solution to these signs of corrosion is to wash the hardware and furnishings with soap and water, and using a soft bristle brush to scrub the corroded areas is also helpful.

Resin is an ideal alternative to metal or wood, which can rust, splinter, continually need painting or are just plain heavy. Keeping new tables and chairs clean and looking good for years to come is easy – it’s the older pieces that take a little more effort to restore to a cleaner, newer looking state. Resin is porous, allowing stains to sink in. If stained, try scrubbing with a mild detergent or dishwashing soap. Non-abrasive household cleaners may also help.

  • Instructions:
  1. Brush loose dust and debris from resin with a stiff-bristled brush.
  2. Spray with water from a garden hose. Use some pressure to remove as much dirt and debris as possible.
  3. Add dish detergent to a bucket of hot water and use a nylon scrubber to scrub down the resin.
  4. Finish the cleaning process with a final rinse and allow to dry before use.

Get your Slings looking clean and fresh with a little elbow grease, and cleaning supplies you probably already have on hand. If mildew is a problem, a bit of extra effort on your part can help control it.

  • Instructions:
  1. Prepare a solution of 1/2 cup mild detergent mixed with 1/2 cup bleach in 1 gallon of warm water (yes, it’s okay to use a mild bleacher solution on marine grade acrylic outdoor fabrics).
  2. Use a soft scrub brush to work the cleaning solution in to the mesh.
  3. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry in the sun.

Many people don’t care for the upkeep of wood, so steel is an ideal substitute, especially if you’re looking for a clean, modern or contemporary look! Steel requires much less upkeep than wood; however after a few years it may rust or tarnish. You can easily keep this from happening by using a sealant to protect your steel pieces from rusting, which only needs to be applied and re-applied every few years. Regular attention is required to prevent rust, which if left unchecked will eat through your steel. Remember to check your steel pieces regularly, especially at any welded joints.

Vinyl Straps are ideal when you’re looking for the perfect addition to your pool area. However, body lotions and oils can cause damage to vinyl straps. In fact, if possible, require your guests to use a towel when sunbathing or drying off from the pool so that your vinyl strap furniture will have a longer life span. Vinyl is porous, so it is important to protect it from moisture and chemicals.

  • Instructions:
  1. Mix a cleaning solution of mild dishwashing detergent and hot water.
  2. Scrub the vinyl straps by dipping the scrub brush in the bucket and scouring your vinyl in a circular motion.
  3. Rinse off the soap with a cloth or a hose.
  4. Dry the vinyl with a clean towel.

Wood definitely has it’s appeal. Your outdoor space is exactly that: outdoors; so wood items will blend in beautifully with your natural decor. It looks great, and can add definite flair to your outdoor space. Before you replace your dirty looking wood, try cleaning it first!

  • Instructions:
  1. Use a dry brush and scrub.
  2. Use the garden hose and rinse off.
  3. Fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap then saturate a clean cloth in the mixture.
  4. Clean a small area at a time (don’t forget the bottom of your pieces as well).
  5. Rinse thoroughly, removing all traces of soap.
  6. Dry using a clean, dry cloth.
  7. Finally, protect your wood during the season by using an oil specially formulated for wood.

The top surfaces of your outdoor pieces are the most critical, and should be cleaned weekly or bi-weekly. Simply wipe down the top surfaces and rinse with filtered water. Once every four to six weeks, wipe down the bottom and back surfaces to control mildew. Note to self: Never throw your furniture in the swimming pool unless a hurricane is imminent and there is nowhere else to put it. This is NEVER a good way to clean off your pool furniture.

Following these simple rules and instructions will result in extended life for your outdoor seating. Annual costs will decrease substantially, the pieces will look great, and your guests are sure to be happy!

ParknPool Corp is a leading online distributor of commercial grade furniture and site amenities such as pool furniture, picnic tables, park benches, trash receptacles, and bleachers. For more information on keeping your outdoor furniture clean and maintenance free contact ParknPool at 877.777.3700.

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