Clean Outdoor Furniture

No-Fuss Cleaning Tips from Trex Outdoor Furniture

Remember when, as a kid, you couldn’t wait to grow up and do exciting adult things like staying up late, watching what you want on TV, and eating whatever you want without anyone there to tell you what to do?

At age five, or 10, or 15, growing up seemed like such a grand adventure, a milestone we all reached toward. It was hard being a kid, after all. And then … you grew up … and longed for your childhood.

As a newly minted adult, you spent a lot less time lounging in a hip New York coffee house with your quirky cast of friends (a la “Friends”) and more time slogging through the days, paying bills, worrying about a dishwasher leak, and moving haystacks of laundry from room to room … all fueled by enormous coffee consumption.

We at Trex® Outdoor Furniture™ remember what it was like to be children. We didn’t envision spending all our time cleaning house either. And we actually designed all our outdoor furniture to minimize the mundane task of cleaning.

When your Trex® Outdoor Furniture™ does need cleaning, we keep it simple.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Water
  2. Soft-bristle brush
  3. Soap

That’s it. Well … and maybe a little bleach.

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And here are our quick steps to keeping your patio furniture in tiptop condition:

The Basic Cleaning

  • Use a soap and water mixture (Dawn or other dish soap is fine)
  • Loosen any dirt and debris that may catch in surface grooves with a soft-bristle brush
  • Rinse clean

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The “Oh No, I Should Probably Clean My Furniture at Some Point” Cleaning

  • Mix a solution of 1/3 bleach and 2/3 water, using a soft-bristle brush as necessary. (You can also use a commercial anti-fungal product for mildew and mold, but the bleach solution will also work.)
  • Let the solution sit for a few minutes
  • Rinse clean

The Deep Cleaning

Think of this cleaning like a dental checkup. Once every so often, it’s nice to have someone else really get in there and polish your teeth till they look brand-new.

  • Use a pressure washer, making sure pressure doesn’t exceed 1,500 psi
  • Loosen any debris in grooves with a soft-bristle brush where necessary

The Cushion or Upholstery Spot Cleaning

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Sunbrella® fabric covers all Trex Outdoor Furniture cushions. Apply similar cleaning principles as the furniture.

  • For new spills or stains:
    • Blot with a clean, dry cloth
    • Spray on a mild solution of dish soap and water, and rinse thoroughly
    • Air dry
  • For grease stains: apply a natural absorbent like cornstarch, allow to sit and absorb stain. Remove cornstarch once grease has been removed, then follow steps above, if needed.

The Cushion Deep Cleaning

Although the fabric has moisture-wicking properties, Sunbrella reports that debris left on cushions exposed to damp or wet conditions may foster mold or mildew growth. To remove, prepare a solution of 1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of water.

Spray surface, allowing to sit for 15 minutes before cleaning with a soft-bristle brush or sponge, rinse well and allow to air dry–propping cushions on their sides for a quicker dry time.

You may not get to sit around acting out your ’90s sitcom fantasies, but at the very least, while you’re busy mopping your kitchen floors, taking the dog for a walk (again!), or washing mountains of laundry, you won’t have to worry about your outdoor furniture.

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16 thoughts on “No-Fuss Cleaning Tips from Trex Outdoor Furniture

  1. Grease stains are annoying to deal with, this is the first time I’ve seen tips on how to deal with them though. Maybe now it will be easier now that I know to use cornstarch. We have spilled on our outdoor furniture countless times, now I can put a stop to the permanent stains.

  2. Brilliant advise! Have you had any problems with the bleach doing any damage to the furniture or the cushions?

    1. Thank you! We haven’t had any issues with the diluted bleach solution discoloring the lumber, and the bleach/water recipe is actually recommended by Sunbrella® particularly for their fabrics. If you wanted to be extra safe you could opt for a color safe bleach.

  3. Using a pressure washer is a great option if you really need to do some deep cleaning. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind. Thank you for sharing the tips.

  4. Regular cleaning is important to keep outdoor furniture looking good, but it’s never more necessary than after a long, messy winter. Harsh weather can leave patio or lawn furniture looking dingy, tired and less than inviting. These tips for cleaning outdoor furniture of all types are helpful for keeping that deck furniture looking good all year long. But you’ll find these suggestions especially handy when it’s time to spruce up those outdoor living spaces as warm weather finally returns and the backyard beckons for lounging, grilling or entertaining alfresco. Dust, leaves and other loose debris are likely to gather on any furniture that has been left uncovered during extended periods without use. Start your cleanup by using a brush or dry cloth to wipe away any loose materials. Wood, metal, plastic or fabric may be sprayed down using a garden hose with a spray attachment to dislodge lingering surface debris.

    1. Hello William, Thanks for getting in touch! You are correct, we do not recommend that you stain our TREX furniture because this may void the warranty. It may be possible, but stain will probably not hold on the lumber. We appreciate your question!

  5. I understand…so how about you all consider the color///
    CHARLESTON GREEN
    by Benjamin Moore…it is a classical garden color!…see note below…
    Charleston Green
    Local legend says that Charleston Green, a green so deep it looks black, came about after the Civil War when Union troops sent buckets of black paint to help rebuild the decimated town. Colorful Charleston residents couldn’t bear the thought of their Holy City being painted government-issued black, so they tinted the paint with yellow and green, creating Charleston’s signature greenish-black accent color.
    Regardless of the tale’s truth, the inky green is ideal for defining shutters, doors, ironwork, and window trim on homes everywhere. It looks especially great against a white body. For maximum impact, try it in a glossy finish.
    Get the Color: Historic Charleston Green (DCR099) by Duron; duron.com.

  6. Hi,
    This is a great article with so many helpful hints. We have a new deep seating set and really like it! I have a few questions.
    1) Deep cleaning with the bleach and mild soap (mentioned above). Even though the bleach is diluted, doesn’t that mixture still have the potential to fade cushions?
    2) We have been very delighted that our furniture does not get “hot” in the sun. (Note–We have a white set, if that makes the difference.) We are now planning to put in a new deck and looking into Trex decking (Transcend) In light of this, can we expect our deck not to get “hot” also? …and is Trex furniture content the same as the decking materials? If not, how does the furniture content differ from the deck content?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi there!

      Thank you so much for reaching out to us with your questions. For your first question, this cleaning solution has been tested on the fabrics and you will not run into an issue with it causing fading of the cushion color. For your second question, the material for the Trex Outdoor Furniture is different from the material used for Trex decking. Trex Outdoor Furniture is produced from HDPE (#2 plastic) plastic material, which allows the furniture to be all weather and low maintenance. Trex.com is a great resource to answer any of your questions regarding Trex decking.

      These were great questions! Thank you for taking the time to ask.

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