The essential garden furniture cleaning kit

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  • Pull your garden furniture out of the shed and get it shipshape in time for summer

    Teak oil and rag
    Teak oil will protect hardwood furniture from the elements and keep it looking new. Before you start, make sure the furniture is dry and lightly sand it with a fine-grade sandpaper. Using a rag, apply the oil, rubbing in gently and following the grain. You can add more than one coat of oil, but make sure they dry thoroughly before you apply the next.
    Teak oil, £10 for 1ltr, Baileys Home & Garden

    Furniture restorer
    If your hardwood furniture is a few years old and has silvered with age, you can restore it to its original colour by using a specialist wood restorer. Paint on, leave to work for up to 15 minutes, then wash off. You’ll then be able to preserve the final look with a suitable protector, such as Stay New, £13.49, Cuprinol.
    Garden furniture restorer, £10.49, Cuprinol

    Bucket of hot, soapy water and sponge
    If you have plastic garden furniture, simply wash it down with hot, soapy water with a splash of bleach in it to get rid of any dirt or stubborn stains. Use a sponge rather than anything abrasive, so as not to scratch or mark the surface, and rinse thoroughly before the furniture dries. Mop bucket, £17, Baileys Home & Garden

    Metal paint and brush
    Keep metal furniture and trims in tiptop condition by refreshing the paintwork with a specialist paint. Before painting, rub off rust with wire wool and brush off any loose dirt that will otherwise pit the surface of the paint once it has dried.
    Garden Metal Shades, £13.99 for 750ml, Hammerite

    Hand-held brush
    For a quick spruce up, run the brush over the surface of the wood, plastic, metal or fabric – the bristles will get into all the awkward nooks and crannies, and get rid of any loose dirt, dust or cobwebs that have built up over the winter.
    Hearth brush, £7, Garden Trading

    Upholstery shampoo
    Get fabric seats, cushions and parasols looking their best by cleaning with a specialist upholstery shampoo. Choose a sunny day, so they have a chance to dry out properly, without the risk of getting mildewed. If the fabric is just dusty or you’re short of time, use a vacuum to spruce it up in an instant.
    1001 Shampoo, £2.09 for 450ml, available from supermarkets

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