The garden furniture you should never clean with a pressure washer, according to experts

The pressure washer is a brilliant tool that makes light work of many gardening tasks - but it can't be used on everything.

Spring has sprung and we're preparing our best garden furniture for outdoor get-togethers with friends. But according to furniture manufacturer Barlow Tyrie, there's one kind you shouldn't blitz with a pressure washer.

Related: How to clean and restore garden furniture

If you have teak furniture in your garden or courtyard, you should absolutely avoid jetting it with your pressure washer. This is because it could cause long-term damage to the structure of the wood, and the joints.

balcony with flowers in pots and wooden table with pink bench

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Peter Tyrie, Managing Director at teak outdoor furniture manufacturer Barlow Tyrie (opens in new tab) explains. 'You’ll find video after video on the internet of members of the public recommending the use of a jet washer to clean teak and other wooden furniture.

'We cannot stress enough that this is not recommended,' Peter says. So, when dusting off tired furniture that's long been stored away in the shed, remember that teak items will need more gentle cleaning.

'While power washing is very tempting to achieve quick results, aggressive spraying could destroy the cellulose fibres and structure of the wood, which could irretrievably damage your furniture,' Peter adds. 'Should you choose to use a power washer, turn the power down and do not direct the jet into the joints.'

grass lawn with green trees and printed blue sofa set with cushions

(Image credit: Future/Polly Eltes)

Cleaning experts at Kärcher agree that when using a pressure washer on wooden decking and furniture, you need to do so gently. They suggest starting on a low pressure, always cleaning in the direction of the grain. The Kärcher Smart Control app (available on the App Store and Google Play) allows users to control the pressure of the machine using their phone and it gives feedback based on what they are cleaning.

garden living room with plant in pots and sofaset with cushions

(Image credit: Joanna Henderson)

Wooden furniture can be left out in the garden all year round, but it will develop a silvery coating over the years. To clean away dust and cobwebs before its first use, we recommend using a stiff bristle brush. Then, use warm soapy water to give the entire surface a good clean.

Related: North-facing garden ideas – top tips to make the most of a shaded outdoor space

The tried-and-tested bucket and sponge method is pretty painless and will help maintain teak furniture for years to come. Before you know it, it'll be time for warm days cooking on your best barbecue and enjoying the sun on your freshly cleaned garden furniture.

Just don't get carried away with the pressure washer.

Millie Hurst is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home. She first joined the team at the start of 2021. Previously, she worked in women’s lifestyle and homes news, writing about everything from budget kitchen makeovers and gardening tips to homeware dupes and cleaning hacks. Millie can often be found looking up trending terms, spotting news stories our readers need to know about and finding ways to decorate her rented flat.