The essential garden furniture cleaning kit

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

garden area with wooden bench and cushion
(Image credit: TBC)

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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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.