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September 08, 2023

Storing Your Summer Furniture for Winter

As the seasons shift and nature begins its annual transformation, it's time to turn our attention to the changing needs of our outdoor spaces. Outdoor furniture, which has faithfully served as the backdrop for countless gatherings, relaxation, and outdoor enjoyment throughout the warmer months, requires some thoughtful care before winter arrives. Properly storing your outdoor furniture during the colder months isn't just a matter of practicality; it's a way to protect your investment and ensure that next year's outdoor adventures start off on the right foot.

In this concise guide, we'll provide you with advice on preparing your outdoor furniture for winter. From cleaning and protective measures to smart storage strategies, we'll arm you with the knowledge you need to safeguard your outdoor retreat. So, let's jump right into these practical tips for winterizing your outdoor space!

Cleaning and Material Preparation

Cleaning your outdoor furniture before winter is essential to prevent damage and maintaining its appearance. Some materials may require further preparation, such as a sealant. Here's a simple guide on how to clean different types of outdoor furniture:

  1. Wooden Furniture:
    • Remove loose dirt and debris with a brush or a handheld vacuum.
    • Use a mixture of mild soap and warm water to clean the wood. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the finish.
    • Scrub gently with a soft brush or sponge, paying attention to any stains or mildew spots.
    • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely.
    • Consider applying a protective coat of wood sealant or outdoor furniture oil for added winter protection.
  2. Metal Furniture:
    • Remove loose dirt and debris with a brush or a cloth.
    • Use a mild detergent mixed with warm water to clean the metal surfaces.
    • Scrub with a soft brush or sponge to remove any rust or stubborn stains.
    • Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove soap residue.
    • Apply rust-resistant paint or sealant to metal furniture if needed.
  3. Wicker and Rattan Furniture:
    • Dust the furniture with a soft brush or vacuum to remove loose dirt.
    • Mix a mild detergent with warm water and use a soft brush or sponge to clean the woven surfaces.
    • Pay special attention to crevices and joints where dirt can accumulate.
    • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow it to air dry completely.
  4. Plastic or Resin Furniture:
    • Remove loose dirt and debris with a cloth or sponge.
    • Use a mixture of mild detergent and warm water to clean the plastic or resin surfaces.
    • Scrub with a soft brush or cloth to remove stains or grime.
    • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely.
  5. Fabric Cushions and Upholstery:
    • Remove cushions or fabric parts from the furniture.
    • Brush off loose dirt and debris.
    • Follow the care instructions on the fabric label, if available. Most outdoor fabrics can be cleaned with a mixture of mild detergent and water.
    • Scrub gently with a soft brush or cloth, paying attention to stains.
    • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the fabric to dry completely before reattaching it to the furniture.
  6. Glass Tabletops:
    • Clean glass tabletops with a glass cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water.
    • Use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe away dirt and streaks.

Once your outdoor furniture is clean and dry, you can proceed with any necessary coatings or protective measures to prepare it for winter storage.

Outdoor Furniture Covers

One type of protective measure you can take that is not chemical treatment is outdoor furniture covers. They are essential accessories for protecting your outdoor furnishings from the elements and extending their lifespan. These covers are typically made from durable, weather-resistant materials such as polyester, vinyl, or canvas, and they come in various sizes and shapes to fit different types of furniture, including chairs, tables, and grills. If covering your furniture is how you choose to winterize it, and yours did not come with a cover included, ensure you choose one that is the right size and shape for your furniture and that it has drawstrings or a zipper to keep it in place. If you choose to opt out of the cover and would like to store your furniture indoors instead, there are multiple options for your convenience.  

Storing for Winter

When deciding on where to store your outdoor furniture for winter, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Here are some steps to consider when storing the furniture in various indoor locations:

  1. Garage: Clean, dry, and cover your furniture in the garage. Arrange it efficiently to maximize space and protect it from dust and scratches.
  2. House: For smaller pieces, consider storing them indoors in basements or spare rooms, ensuring they're dry to prevent moisture problems.
  3. Storage Unit: Rent a climate-controlled storage unit for added protection. Clean and dry the furniture before storing it.
  4. Shed: Utilize your garden shed for storage but clean the furniture first and add extra protection like blankets or covers.


Now you've taken proactive steps to ensure your outdoor furniture weathers the winter months like a champ. In this no-nonsense guide, we've provided you with quick and effective tips to get the job done efficiently. Remember, a little effort now will go a long way in preserving the beauty and functionality of your outdoor furniture. From cleaning off the grime to applying protective coatings and finding the perfect storage spot, you've got the tools to keep your outdoor retreat in top shape. So, as you wrap up this seasonal to-do list, take a moment to envision the cozy gatherings and sunny afternoons that await when the warmer days return. Your outdoor space will be ready and waiting, thanks to your dedication to proper winterization!


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