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Cleaning Mesh Patio Furniture: Simple and Effective Methods

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Nothing beats the experience of spending time outdoors with your friends and loved ones. But after spending a whole winter season locked in your storeroom, your patio furniture is probably dirty and requires cleaning. The biggest challenge is figuring out the best way to do it. 

There is more than one method of cleaning patio furniture mesh, which you will learn if you read on.

The Main Method of Cleaning Patio Furniture Mesh

The key to keeping your patio furniture shining is to clean it regularly.

It’s recommended to clean them at least four times every year to keep them in good condition and maintain their aesthetic appeal.

The PVC polyester mesh coating in the furniture makes them very easy to clean, and you don’t need many resources to get the job done.  

For fabric mesh:

  1. Start by scrubbing the dirty area with a soft-bristled brush to get rid of the dirt or any debris that might have stuck on the surface.
  2. Mix one cup of warm water with a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent or powdered soap.
  3. Dip a piece of dried cloth or sponge in this water and gently scrub the fabric, starting with the front side.
  4. Wipe the chair from top to bottom, and repeat the process to the back side. 
  5. Rinse the fabric with a bucket of warm water to wash down the soap. 
  6. Wipe the entire surface with a dry piece of cloth, and let it air dry. 

Plastic mesh requires a different approach:

  1. Use a soft brush to scrub off the dirt and other debris. 
  2. In a gallon of warm water, pour a cup of powdered detergent and half a cup of oxygen bleach. 
  3. Dip a piece of cloth in the mixed solution and gently wipe the surface, starting with the front and then moving to the back. 
  4. Rinse the furniture with a bucket of warm water to wash down the soap, wipe it with a dry piece of cloth, and let it air dry. 

How Do You Clean the Arms and The Frame?

The arms and the frame of your furniture require cleaning as well. Unless the frame has a stubborn stain on it, you should only clean it with a mixture of warm water and a dishwashing detergent.

For wooden frame and arms, mix a quarter cup of ammonia with warm water and gently wipe the frame with a soft piece of cloth.

Due to ammonium’s pungent odor, make sure you wear a mask and you’re cleaning in a well-ventilated area. Avoid high concentrated ammonium. 

Rusting is the primary concern when dealing with aluminum, iron, and metal frames. In this case, avoid using alkaline cleaners such as ammonium since they cause oxidation.

Use non-abrasive cleaning products on aluminum frames, naphtha, or mineral spirits on metal frames, and a mixture of dish soap with water to clean iron frames. Use polyurethane sealant or paint on these frames to prevent rusting. 

How About Tough Stains?

While it’s easy to get rid of dirt and soft debris, tough stains such as wine and coffee stains require a different approach. Be careful when using commercial cleaners since a good number of them are too abrasive for resin furniture. 

Baking Soda

A great and cheap DIY way of getting rid of stubborn stains on the patio furniture mesh is using baking soda. Dip a wet sponge in baking soda and scrub the stained area in circular motions. Remember to scrub gently to avoid damaging the fabric.

Make sure to rinse with a bucket of warm water to wash down the baking soda. Repeat this process until the stains are completely gone. 

Rubbing Alcohol

Alternatively, you could try cleaning the stains with rubbing alcohol. Alcohol is very effective in dealing with different types of stains and would save you the money of hiring professional cleaners or buying expensive stain removers.

In case the stains prove to be stubborn, try wetting a piece of cloth with rubbing alcohol and set it on the stain. Let it sit in place for a few minutes, and rub gently. Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove stains such as:

  • Makeup products like foundation and lipsticks
  • Grease
  • Mustard
  • Grass stains

However, avoid making rubbing alcohol your primary stain remover since it may lead to faded color if you use it for too long. It should only be used to deal with stains that ordinary detergents cannot handle. 

Is Bleach Good To Clean Patio Furniture Mesh?

Bleach is excellent for whitening and disinfecting the fabrics, making it perfect for removing stains from the patio mesh.

However, chlorine bleach is not safe for colored patio mesh, but instead, use oxygen or color-safe bleach. 

  1. Start by scrubbing the fabric with a soft brush to remove any dirt and expose the stain.
  2. Mix ½ a cup of color-safe bleach in a bucket of warm water. 
  3. Dip a piece of cloth or sponge in the water and rub gently over the fabric from top to bottom. 
  4. Repeat the same in the back of the chair, and rinse off the bleach with a bucket of warm water. 
  5. Dry the fabric with a dry piece of cloth and let it air dry. 

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Patio Mesh?

White distilled vinegar is the best for household cleaning since it has a lower pH. Other than cleaning off the stains, vinegar can be used to deal with mildew and grime.

However, not all fabrics do well with vinegar due to its acidic nature. To avoid damaging your furniture, choose mild vinegar. Even so, you still need to dilute the vinegar with a lot of water

  1. Pour one cup of white distilled vinegar into a gallon of warm water. 
  2. Use a soft brush or a piece of cloth to apply the vinegar solution to the patio mesh, and let it sit for ten minutes. 
  3. Rinse the furniture with a lot of water to get rid of the vinegar solution completely.
  4. Wipe the fabric with a clean piece of cloth and let it air dry. 

When Should You Replace Patio Furniture Mesh?

Sometimes all it takes is washing the patio furniture to regain its look. There are other times when you have to replace the patio mesh from your furniture or even replace the furniture entirely.

In case the mesh is damaged from the stain, worn out, or when you used the wrong washing agent such as bleach on fabrics that don’t support it, then you should consider replacing the furniture, as there’s nothing you can do to correct the situation.

This is especially important if your patio is visible from the road or plays frequent host to guests. You don’t want to give off a negative appearance with bleach marks or your last barbecue’s ketchup stains. 


Patio furniture gives your outdoors a great look, and that’s why it should be cleaned at least four times a year. Scrubbing with a soft brush is the first step of removing dirt and debris. A mixture of dishwashing detergent and warm water will do the trick.

In case of stubborn stains, try baking soda or rubbing alcohol as they don’t have a negative effect on the fabric. Oxygen bleach is ideal for colored fabric if you must use bleach. Make sure to use mild vinegar to deal with mildew and grime problems. Make sure to dilute the vinegar with a lot of water. 

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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