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

Before you go wild with the pressure washer, remember this tip
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  • 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.

    Garden furniture never clean with pressure washer

    Image credit: David Giles

    Peter Tyrie, Managing Director at teak outdoor furniture manufacturer Barlow Tyrie 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.’

    garden furniture pressure washer

    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 furniture pressure washer

    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.

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