How to Care for Outdoor Furniture

  • By YL CHEN
  • Published on January 30, 2023

    Outdoor Furniture

    outdoor furniture can make a beautiful addition to your pool area, backyard, patio deck, or outdoor space. Besides the beauty they bring into your space, outdoor furniture pieces are great for lounging and having great moments under the sun.

    However, these chairs and tables could be clunky, large, and heavy, making them a hassle to move around. This raises the very important question, what happens when the weather changes? Can you leave your furniture out in the rain? Would the temperature drop and snow ruin it during winter?

    These questions and more are what we'll be looking at in this article.


    • Can Outdoor Furniture Be Left Out in the Rain
    • Tips to Deal with Wet Furniture
    • How to Protect Outdoor Furniture during Winter
    • Caring for Outdoor Furniture to Maximize Longevity
    • Conclusion 
    • FAQs
    • Maybe it will be helpful for you:

    Can Outdoor Furniture Be Left Out in the Rain

    Ideally, you shouldn't leave any furniture out in the rain, irrespective of what it is made of. Wood can rot, metal can rust, and plastic can degrade over time. So what do you do if you would like your furniture to be outside, or for some reason, you can't move it inside? Can Outdoor Furniture be Left Outside in the Winter?

    One thing you can do is cover it with a tarp, a huge plastic bag, or any kind of waterproof material. You should put heavy stuff on the cover, so the wind doesn't blow it off.

    There are covers specifically made for covering outdoor furniture. They are waterproof and made from breathable materials. These covers are made to fit the furniture and are less likely to be blown off.

    Tips to Deal with Wet Furniture

    Sometimes your furniture may get wet for unavoidable reasons, but what do you do when this happens?

    First, move the furniture into direct sunlight for a couple of hours. This will help to evaporate the water on the surface or moisture that has been trapped within.

    To make it easier, you can use a piece of cloth to dab the furniture before drying it in the sun. Another way is to take a hair dryer, put it on the lowest level, and run it over the furniture. The heat will evaporate the fluid from the surface of the furniture. This is a quicker way to dry out your furniture.

    Make sure the furniture is dry before reusing it again. Otherwise, you give room for mildew and strange smells. However, this is only ideal for furniture with cushions and fabrics. Dabbing wooden and metallic furniture with a cloth might work fine.

    It's best to keep your furniture out of the rain. Putting it under an umbrella or a gazebo is something you should consider.

    This Art Ribbon Outdoor Set can withstand outdoor elements to last long in your outdoor space.

    How to Protect Outdoor Furniture during Winter

    A good rule of thumb is to give your furniture the same treatment, whether it rains or snows. This is because rain and snow are characterized by precipitations. So if the rain ruins your furniture, snow will likely ruin it too.

    If you live in an area with a lot of snow, you might have extra reason to bring your furniture in. The weight of snow on your furniture could ruin it, especially if it wasn't built sturdily.

    If your area sees light snow, and you think your furniture can handle it, perhaps you should put your theory to the test. After a bit of snow on your outdoor furniture, especially one with a cushion, if you see "beads of precipitation" like water drops rolling off the chair, your furniture could be waterproof. This means it can take some light precipitation. However, it still wouldn't be able to withstand anything heavy, either rain or snow.

    During winter, you should take the cushion off the furniture so that animals such as squirrels and other rodents don't burrow in your furniture while looking for shelter, which can also ruin the cushion.

    It's best to cover your furniture or bring them inside during winter.

    Besides snow, temperature changes can also affect your furniture's longevity. If your area experiences freezing temperatures, bring your furniture inside or install patio covers.

    Caring for Outdoor Furniture to Maximize Longevity

    Choose Good Quality Materials

    Certain materials, such as wrought iron, rust-free coated aluminium, rot-resistant wood, and plastic, are a better fit for outdoor furniture than others. They might be more expensive, but if you'd like to enjoy your outdoor furniture for a long time, you should consider buying those made with the appropriate materials.

    Patio Covers

    You should consider getting patio covers for your outdoor furniture, as they provide protection from wind, rain, and sunshine. Also, they provide shade so you can spend more time outside when it shines, rain, or snows lightly. Patio covers are made from different materials and come with different strengths.

    These covers come in varying designs, colours, and price tags to suit your budget, environment, and style.


    Body fluids, sunscreen lotions, food, and drinks can damage your furniture when they stay long on it. Even if they don't degrade your furniture, you want to protect your pieces from staining and becoming unattractive. These fluids could also lead to unwanted odours and cause mildew growth on the furniture.

    So how do you clean your furniture? All you need is mild soapy water and a sponge or clothing. Brush off dirt, dust, and debris on the furniture. Wet the sponge a bit and use it to clean the furniture. Apply some pressure if needed. Hose it down afterwards.

    If you're cleaning a cushion or fabric, use another wet cloth without soap for a second cleaning. Put the furniture in the sun to dry afterwards.

    Consider applying water-repellent sprays on your furniture. You could use a brush or a spray to apply them. This works best for wood and metal furniture pieces. You can also apply protective waxes to your furniture to protect them. They could be a bit more difficult to apply, but they are worth it. Not only do they give your furniture a shiny appearance, but they are also cheaper than sprays and are less harmful to the environment.

    Check this Swivel Art Ribbon Outdoor Set for ease of cleaning. 

    Outdoor Patio Bar SetOutdoor Patio Table Set

    Immobilize Them

    As much as possible, look for ways to immobilize your furniture, making it a bit more wind resistant. Besides the punishing effects of rain and snow, your furniture could get damaged when thrust by the wind. They could also damage other items around them, and trying to rearrange your space might be a hassle. Hence, it makes more sense to protect your furniture pieces from wind by immobilizing them.

    You could screw them to the ground during the right season or add immobilizers.

    Think Ahead

    Sometimes the weather changes without warning. It could go from sunny and bright to foul. What do you do if you're not home and there's no one around to protect or move the furniture? 

    As the season changes, make arrangements on what to do with your outdoor furniture. You might want to cover the furniture during the rainy season, whether it's raining or not, as long as you're not close by. Or you might want to move them inside at the start of the winter. Try to anticipate the weather condition, perhaps using the weather forecast and acting in a way that would protect your outdoor furniture.

    Related Reading:  Furnish your small outdoor space.


    Ideally, furniture shouldn't be left in the rain. Regardless of your furniture materials, rain can be detrimental to your furniture's lifespan. The best way to go about this is to bring your furniture inside. However, since outdoor furniture can be bulky and difficult to move, it is best to protect them with outdoor furniture covers.

    Are you looking for outdoor furniture to withstand outdoor elements? Our outdoor furniture section brings you different furniture pieces with ease of maintenance and long lifespan.


    Q1: How should wet furniture be dealt with?
    If your outdoor furniture gets wet, it is important to dry it properly to prevent mildew and strange smells. Move the furniture into direct sunlight for a few hours to allow the water to evaporate. You can also use a cloth to dab the furniture or use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to speed up the drying process.
    Q2: How can outdoor furniture be protected during winter?
    During winter, it is best to bring outdoor furniture inside or cover it with a protective tarp or cover. Snow and freezing temperatures can cause damage to furniture, especially if it is not built to withstand such conditions. Removing cushions and taking precautions against animals seeking shelter is also recommended.
    Q3: How can outdoor furniture be cared for to maximize its longevity?
    Choosing outdoor furniture made from high-quality materials such as wrought iron, rust-free coated aluminum, rot-resistant wood, and plastic can help prolong its lifespan. Regular cleaning with mild soapy water, protecting against body fluids and stains, and applying water-repellent sprays or protective waxes can also help maintain the furniture's appearance and durability.
    Q4: How can outdoor furniture be immobilized to protect it from wind?
    To prevent damage from wind, it is recommended to immobilize outdoor furniture by screwing it to the ground or using immobilizers. This helps prevent furniture from being thrust by strong winds and potentially causing damage to itself or surrounding items. Thinking ahead and making arrangements to protect furniture during changing weather conditions is also important.

    Maybe it will be helpful for you:

    1 thought on “How to Care for Outdoor Furniture

    Sam Andrews

    Thanks to you, I now realize that plastic furniture can certainly withstand extreme weather conditions. My step-aunt would appreciate this information because she wishes to add some seating arrangements to her newly built backyard patio. I’ll advise her to visit a reputable furniture store when making a purchase.

    June 18, 2023 at 22:55pm

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *