5 budget cleaning hacks to get your outdoor furniture summer-ready in no time

Want to revive your garden furniture in time for summer? Look no further than these budget cleaning hacks for as little as 30p

 picture of outdoor rattan furniture in a levelled garden
(Image credit: Future)

The time is nearly here, long summer nights spent by the fire pit curled up on your beloved garden furniture. Before that can happen there's the task of cleaning the greening leaf-covered seats and tables, and what better way to tackle that than with a budget hack? 

Whether you're keeping up with the garden trends or have a set of garden furniture that's served you well for years, there's no escaping the fact that your best outdoor furniture quickly becomes dirty and less inviting thanks to being exposed to the elements each year. 

So with that in mind, why not try out one of these toxic-free garden furniture cleaning hacks that start from as little as 30p? Using affordable, natural cleaning products never looked so good. 

5 budget garden furniture cleaning hacks

There are various things in your garden that should never be pressure washed and your outdoor furniture set can be one of them. So whilst you may want to keep the cleaning as short as possible, using more gentle methods will ensure your furniture lasts longer and looks better.

"Unfortunately garden furniture can accumulate a lot of grime and dirt after being kept in cold and damp conditions over the winter period, so it will need a cleaning to get it sparkling again," says Andy Ellis, furniture expert at garden furniture retailer Posh.co.uk. 

Luckily many natural ingredients are also incredibly cheap and can be used to clean your grubby furniture and get it looking like new. So if you're looking for cheap cleaning solutions, for as low as 30p for a lemon, here are five hacks to try out this spring cleaning season. 

1. Lemon juice

picture of lemons, juicer and bottle on a striped tray

(Image credit: Future)

Whilst you may know of lemon juice's cleaning power through the way you can clean a microwave with a lemon, it can be used outdoors too! 

Andy explains that garden furniture can quickly grow mould and moss if neglected, however using lemon juice can be a super effective solution. He says, "Simply mix it with salt and dip a sponge or brush in the solution before using it to clean off and scrub any mould stains and growing moss." 

After that, hosing your furniture down will ensure any sticky residue or salt particles are washed away. This is also a great opportunity to use old towels in your garden as you can speed up the drying process by giving them a quick wipe over with a towel. And the best part? 

You can pick up a lemon for 30p in Tesco or a bottle of pre-squeezed lemon juice for as little as 44p in Aldi stores

2. Baking soda

It's no secret that cleaning with baking soda can leave you with some rather impressive results, we know this from cleaning an oven with baking soda and cleaning a mattress with baking soda. And it turns out your outdoor furniture can benefit from it too. 

"Baking soda is very effective when tackling mould and grime on outdoor furniture because it causes dirt and grease to dissolve when mixed with water," explains Andy. 

The abrasive texture of the powder also makes it a great help when you're faced with tougher patches of dirt and grime no matter the material. 

Andy recommends using a wet sponge, simply dip it in the water solution and rub the dirty areas in a circular motion before rinsing it off thoroughly with clean water. Or better still embrace one of the rainwater harvesting ideas to adopt a more sustainable garden approach.

3. Vinegar

picture of wooden table and chairs set in garden

(Image credit: Future)

Another hero ingredient, there are not many items in your home that cleaning with vinegar can't transform back to their sparkling self. The powerful cleaning agent not only makes quick work of stubborn dirt but it's also a natural anti-bacterial so it is great for outdoor tables. 

Andy says because of its acidic nature, it's great for removing stains and cleaning a range of outdoor furniture, especially wood. He continues, "It must be diluted with water at a 1:1 ratio beforehand to prevent any damage. After this, use a soft sponge to gently rub the mixture on the dirty surfaces." 

As with baking soda and lemon juice, simply rinse the surfaces afterwards and dry off with an old towel. 

You can also use this method for cleaning patio slabs without using a pressure washer, just be sure to check your stones are suitable because using acid-based cleaning products on certain natural stones, limestone in particular, can cause damage. Always dilute the vinegar first and rinse off immediately after use. 

4. Olive oil

This one might surprise you as it's not exactly something you'd grab when looking at how to clean wooden garden furniture or any outdoor cleaning really. However, you might be surprised just how good it is for your rattan sets. 

"Rattan furniture can be tough to clean, but using just a small amount of olive oil to clean and buff it can make it look as good as new. Rub the olive oil on a soft cloth and buff it into the furniture to add shine and reduce cracking," explains Andy. 

5. Coffee grounds

aeiral view of a BBQ with three chicken skewers on it

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You may already know many of the ways you can use coffee grounds in your garden, but using them to clean your outdoor furniture might have not yet made the list. 

Andy explains that because the grounds are abrasive, they're great for removing build-up on hard-to-clean furniture and can also act as a sort of exfoliator when scrubbed onto surfaces like those when cleaning a BBQ

"The grounds can also minimise the appearance of scratches on wooden furniture when mixed with warm water and gently buffed on to scuffs," he suggests. 

Now you know all the best budget ways to get your furniture summer-ready, why not clean your outdoor cushions to remove any dirt, mould and mildew

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.