Whether you’re storing outdoor patio furniture for the winter or because you’re moving, it’s important that you take the time to properly clean it and prepare it for self storage. Below, we’re sharing helpful storage tips for patio furniture so that you can ensure your items are in good condition when they come back out in the spring!
How to Store an Outdoor Couch
An outdoor couch is most likely the focal piece of your outdoor living room, so it’s a good idea to keep it clean and protected while in storage.
- Remove cushions and pillows, then hand wash them or put them in the washing machine on gentle. If patio cushions have non-removable covers, use a dry cloth and a small amount of detergent to remove dirt and dust. Completely dry cushions either in a machine or by hanging them to dry.
- Store any outdoor couch cushions or pillows in plastic bins or a sealed storage bag to protect them from moisture that could cause mold or mildew growth.
- For a metal or wicker outdoor sofa, clean the frame with warm water and detergent. If needed, add paste wax after drying completely as a finish to protect metal furniture from moisture and rust buildup.
- To clean a wooden outdoor sofa, use a mixture of ammonia, vinegar, baking soda, and water to disinfect surfaces. Rub in furniture oil to protect from moisture damage and allow the frame to dry completely.
How to Store an Outdoor Bench
No matter what type of material your patio bench is made from, proper cleaning and storage will increase its lifespan.
- For metal outdoor benches, brush off any dirt or grime that may have collected and rinse off the whole frame with water. If needed, you can touch up the metal with weather-proof paint after it’s fully dried.
- Wood patio benches are susceptible to water, moisture, and mildew. Be sure to completely dry the bench and store it in a cool, dry storage unit with good air filtration to prevent damage.
- A wicker bench should be gently wiped down with a cloth and a solution of warm water and oil-based soap. Similar to wooden benches, allow a wicker patio bench to completely dry before storing and keep it in a cool, dry environment.
How to Store an Outdoor Swing
Because outdoor swings are often large and awkward to move, they may not clean and store as easily. Still, it’s important to clean and store patio swings well so they stay in good shape.
- Dust off surfaces, chains, and ropes on your patio bench swing to remove any dirt, grime, or bugs.
- Rinse the swing with clean water. If there are larger dirt patches remaining, soaking them in water will loosen and help remove grime. Allow your outdoor swing to air-dry completely before continuing.
- Cover the seat with a patio or porch swing cover.
- If your outdoor swing is attached to a stand, remove the swing from its base and store in a cool, dry place.
How to Store an Outdoor Daybed
While most daybeds are made from weather-resistant materials, you’ll want to give them a good cleaning before moving them into storage.
- Remove daybed pillows, cushions, and covers. Either spot-treat, hand wash, or machine wash them, depending on their material cleaning instructions. Allow these items to completely dry before storing them in a plastic storage container or sealed bag.
- If your patio daybed is made of resin wicker, wipe down surfaces with a mixture of water and oil-based soap.
- A rattan daybed should be cleaned with a mixture of detergent and warm water. Be sure to scrub away dirt and grime from all tight crevices and fan-dry the frame.
- Allow all frames to dry completely before moving them to self storage.
How to Store an Outdoor Chaise Lounge
Because chaise lounges often sit next to a pool or out in the sun, they have a tendency to get dirty and sun bleached. Before storing loungers for long periods of time, make sure they’re clean.
- Chaise lounge fabric should be cleaned with a soft cloth or brush dipped in a water and soap solution. Gently scrub the entire area, wipe down with a damp cloth, and allow the fabric to dry completely.
- Wood chaise lounges, especially those made from teak, should be cleaned delicately with a vinegar and warm water solution.
- Aluminum chaise lounges can be cleaned with warm water and detergent. These are also lighter than other types of patio chaise lounges, so you may be able to stack these more easily in self storage.
How to Store Outdoor Chairs
Whether you have metal garden chairs, wooden Adirondack chairs, rattan armchairs, or plastic patio chairs, you’ll need to wipe them down, clean them, and store them properly to avoid damage.
- For metal chairs, brush off any dirt or dust on the frame. Wipe down the chair with warm water and detergent, then dry completely before storing to prevent rust.
- Plastic outdoor chairs and rattan chairs can be cleaned with warm water and dish soap solution and should be dried completely before storing.
- Use a combination of mild soap and water to gently scrub wooden chairs clean. Rinse them off and let them air-dry before moving them into storage.
- If possible, stack chairs together in self storage to save space. You might also consider covering chairs with a cover to prevent scratches and moisture buildup.
How to Store an Outdoor Dining Table
Though they’re typically made with weather-resistant materials, outdoor kitchen tables need some care before they go into storage.
- Clean the outdoor table frame and surface with a mixture of water and detergent. For table materials like wicker, use water and oil-based soap instead. Let completely dry before packing, moving, and storing.
- Pad any sharp edges of an outdoor table with bubble wrap or moving pads to ensure the table doesn’t damage other items in storage.
- If disassembling is possible, store the tabletop against a wall in a storage unit. Make sure to wrap the table legs with padding. Keep screws and other hardware in a plastic bag attached to the tabletop.
How to Store an Outdoor Coffee Table
With both outdoor coffee tables and patio end tables, it’s a good idea to clean them well before storing them, as they’re often used as a place to set food, drinks, plants, candles, and other messy items.
- Wood, plastic, and metal outdoor coffee tables can be washed with a warm water and mild soap solution. Allow each table material to completely dry after rinsing.
- With glass tables, use white vinegar or glass cleaner on a microfiber towel to wipe away any built-up dirt or grime. If possible, remove the glass tabletop from its frame for both cleaning and storage.
- For pieces made from wicker, use a water and oil-based soap solution. Be sure to clean all crevices.
- Cover patio tables with bubble wrap, sheets, or tarps for protection in storage. If tables are sturdy and don’t use glass, you might consider stacking them in self storage for additional space.
How to Store an Outdoor Bistro Set
While bistro sets are designed to withstand harsh weather and treatment, they still need to be cleaned, maintained, and properly stored to stay in good condition.
- Aluminum bistro sets are popular and often lighter than other metal table options, which makes them easy to store. Wash these pieces with warm water and detergent and allow them to dry.
- If your patio bistro set is made from wood, dust away any dirt or grime, rinse down the pieces, allow them to dry, then apply a wax or wood oil depending on the material.
- Stack chairs together to save storage space, and cover the bistro table with a tarp to help repel moisture and dirt.
How to Store an Outdoor Fire Pit
If your fire pit isn’t built into your patio, deck, or outdoor living space, you’ll need to clean it and store it whenever it gets cold outside or if you’re moving to a new home.
- Remove firewood or fire pit stones and disconnect any propane tanks.
- Clean each piece of your outdoor fire pit, including grates and screens, in a mixture of washing soda or dish soap with hot water. Be sure it’s cleaned thoroughly of any ash and soot.
- Keep in mind that most self storage facilities don’t allow propane tanks and other flammable items to be stored. If you store a portable fire pit, it cannot be attached to or have anything in it that’s flammable.
How to Store an Outdoor Grill
Once grilling season is over, you’ll still need to take good care of your outdoor grill by cleaning it, covering it, and storing it properly.
- Clean out charcoal from charcoal grills, unplug electric grills, and disconnect propane grill tanks.
- Wipe down the inside and outside of your patio grill to remove any crumbs, grease, and grime. Soak and scrub any removable burners in water and dish soap.
- You can store a grill in self storage, but charcoal, propane tanks, and other flammable items must be removed and stored elsewhere in a dry environment.
How to Store Outdoor Umbrellas
Patio umbrellas are one of the more fragile pieces of outdoor furniture, so it’s important to properly clean and store them so that they remained intact for future outdoor use.
- Move your umbrella into a shady area, open it, and clean out any loose leaves, dirt, or bugs.
- Using mild detergent and lukewarm water, gently rub a soft cloth or brush across the surface to remove any grime or stains. Rinse down the umbrella with clean water and allow it to dry before folding it up.
- Lubricate all locks, joints, and switches. Wrap the folded patio umbrella in a plastic drop cloth or tarp.
How to Store an Outdoor Hammock
Cloth and rope hammocks can be stretched and ruined by water or snow weight, so it’s best to pack them up and store them away when the weather turns.
- Gently wash your patio hammock either by hand or in a washing machine with detergent.
- Lay out the hammock material on a flat surface and let it air dry completely.
- Carefully fold the hammock and store it in its original bag or an airtight, closed container.
- If you have an outdoor hammock frame, wash it with a mixture of warm water and detergent before storing.
How to Store Outdoor Rugs
While outdoor rugs are designed to be quick-to-dry and durable, they still need to be cleaned and stored well to hold up over the years.
- Sweep or vacuum a patio rug to remove any dust, dirt, or leaves. Use mild dish detergent and water, and rinse with a hose or clean water.
- Lay the patio rug out flat or hang it up so it can air-dry. Make sure it’s completely dry before you pack it away for storage.
- Roll the rug up and store it either in a plastic storage bin or sealed bag.
How to Store Outdoor Curtains
Want your patio curtains to stay in good shape? Make sure you clean them well and store them safely so that they’ll be ready to go for your next outdoor get-together.
- Before storing outdoor curtains, soak them in a mixture of detergent and warm water to remove any dirt or stains.
- Hang the curtains up to air-dry completely before folding them.
- Seal outdoor curtains in an airtight container where dust and mildew are less likely to form.
Need self storage for your outdoor furniture? Extra Space Storage has storage facilities located across the country. Find a storage unit near you!