Wood Garden Furniture Care Guide

Beach Lounge Set on a modern garden terrace in the sunshine

There’s just something about wood garden furniture that oozes relaxation and comfort. Its rustic texture and colouring helps promote a homely atmosphere that’s perfect for any natural outdoor space. Versatile, durable and long-lasting, wood furniture is an excellent choice for relaxation or utility use.

However, like many other types of garden furniture, wood garden furniture demands the correct level of care and maintenance to ensure many years of use. Sometimes, it’s hard to know exactly what you should do to keep your wood furniture in its best condition; but we’re here to help.

Here, we’ll discuss the tools and processes needed for cleaning wood garden furniture, along with some additional tricks to prolong its lifespan.

Things You’ll Need:

Looking after wood furniture requires some simple pieces of equipment:

Due to the workable nature of wood, wooden garden furniture maintenance is much more straightforward than other materials. Some of it can be accomplished with household items, but other tools like sandpaper and wood stains can be used if your wood furniture needs restoration.

How to Clean Wood Garden Furniture

Detail of Adelaide wooden coffee table with tea set

By far the easiest way to continually maintain your wooden garden furniture is by using a specialised cleaning and protection kit. Thankfully, at KETTLER, we have exactly that. Our Hardwood Cleaner and Restorer is 100% water-based, with no hidden, harmful chemicals. This makes it an eco-friendly alternative that provides just as much cleaning power. Our heavy duty formula also incorporates specialised nanotechnology to introduce water and dirt resistance to your furniture, making it look better and last longer.

After cleaning, our Hardwood Shield can be used to give even more protection to your wooden furniture. Inside this formula is a mould and mildew inhibitor – a great addition to any piece of wooden garden furniture that’ll ensure it lasts for many years to come. Just like our hardwood cleaner, it is 100% water based with no harmful chemicals inside and suitable for use on all wood including Acacia, Eucalyptus and Teak Wood.

To clean wood garden furniture, follow these steps:

  1. Preparation: Kettler furniture is designed to be left outdoors all year round (excluding cushions). The first step is to remove any outdoor cushions or decorative accessories from your wood furniture. Any loose debris can be removed with a brush or broom.
  2. Dust: Remove dust regularly with a clean soft brush and wipe down with a clean damp cloth. Tree sap and bird droppings should be cleaned off immediately with warm soapy water.
    a. For tables – Use pads, mats and coasters under plates, glasses cups etc to protect them from scratches, spills, stains and heat damage. Wipe spills immediately to prevent staining.
  3. Rinse: Once you are happy that the stains and grime have been removed, you are free to rinse the furniture free of any cleaning products.
  4. Dry: In combination with fresh air, and ideally sun exposure, you should then start to dry your wood furniture by wiping it all over with a dry cloth/towel. Be sure to get the furniture completely dry, as left over moisture could get trapped after the next step.

How To Treat Wooden Garden Furniture

With your wooden garden furniture nice and clean, now comes the time to treat it.

If you haven’t protected it with an outer coating yet, you’re in luck. This is the best time to treat your wooden furniture, as it’ll allow you to dig right down into the material and rid it of any hidden contaminants.

Wood Furniture Treating Process

Ensure the product is clean. If the product is clean, you can go straight to stage 2. Cleaner is only required if it hasn’t been treated for 6-12 months.

  1. Ensure the product is clean: If the product is clean, you can go straight to stage two . Cleaner is only required if treatment hasn’t been applied for 6-12 months.
  2. Apply: Your application method depends on the type of wood you’re treating. We recommend applying these treatments twice a year (once in April, once in October) with a soft cloth.
    a. White wood: For white wood furniture, like our Cora range, apply a thin layer of Instant Smoke White Protector.
    b. Light oak: For more traditional wood finishes, we recommend using a thin layer of Hardwood Colour Protector.
  3. Dry: Allow to dry for one hour for the treatment to fully work its way into the wood material. Then, allow for a further 48 hours before exposing the wood to rainfall.

Wood Furniture Maintenance Tips

RHS Hampton wooden lounge set with green cushions on a garden decking in the sun

Pictured: RHS Hampton Lounge Set

While a deep clean is a good idea every so often, it’s not something you’ll want to do all the time. Here are a few things you can do in between those deep cleans to keep your wood furniture in top shape:

Use Coasters and Placemats

Unfortunately, wood garden furniture stains relatively easily. Water rings especially are one of the largest culprits for this, which is why we strongly recommend that you use coasters and placemats whenever possible while dining.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

In direct sunlight, wood garden furniture can begin to change colour in an uneven manner. This may be rectified by moving your arrangements every so often to evenly distribute the bleaching effect or negate it entirely.

Keep Screws and Bolts Tight and Lubricated

This maintenance tip depends on how your wooden furniture is constructed, but if you find any loose bolts or screws on your furniture, we recommend tightening them up to keep everything connected. Over time, loose bolts may cause the wood to warp or become unstable.

In addition, it’s important that locking mechanisms, catches and joints are lubricated where necessary. This helps reduce friction, and ensures more structural rigidity.

Store Correctly

During winter/wetter months, your wooden furniture should be stored in a cool, dry and well-ventilated location to prevent excessive shrinkage or expansion of the wood. Alternatively, you can cover the furniture with a Kettler tailored cover (where available) or use a universal breathable cover.

If you do opt for a cover, make sure that there’s some breathing space between the cover and your furniture itself. To do this, you can place one of our Tent Poles on top of the furniture before draping the covers on top.

How Often Should You Clean Wood Garden Furniture?

Despite how strong and resilient wooden garden furniture is, it does fall into the more involved maintenance category over the course of a year. We expect you to clean your wooden furniture at least two times a year, with a deeper clean often being needed after the winter months.

You should then factor in the remaining few cleans to account for spills and debris accrued over the summer months of outdoor entertainment.

How Long Does Wood Garden Furniture Last?

Buyers should think of wooden garden furniture as more of an investment. With the correct level of care, cleanliness and maintenance, there’s nothing stopping your wooden garden furniture lasting an entire lifetime’s worth of use.

Some woods are less rigid than others, with softer woods tending to last around five to ten years, and harder, heavier woods lasting anywhere from ten years and beyond.

Remember, wood furniture tends to be generally easily recycled. When your wood furniture has run its course, please dispose responsibly.

Luxurious Wood Garden Furniture, Here

If you’re looking for garden furniture that’s built to last, wooden materials may be the choice for you. At KETTLER, we stock all sorts of wooden garden furniture constructed with care and precision. Looking for something modern? The Fiji Lounge Set is your best bet. For a more traditional look, we love the RHS Hampton dining set.

Have a look through all the wooden garden furniture ranges we have available and bring an authentic touch to your garden, today.