There’s nothing worse than finally being able to get outside and enjoy your garden after a long winter only to see you can’t sit on your wooden patio set because it’s covered in lichen and fungus, or your iron furniture because it’s covered in rust.

The good news is that it’s not difficult to prevent this from happening, all you need is a bit of forethought and planning before the bad winter weather comes in.

In this post we’ll look at what you can do to help you keep your garden furniture looking nice no matter what it’s made of, and give you some helpful tips on storing different types of garden furniture.


Clean your furniture before storing

If you don’t clean your furniture before putting it away then you’ll come back to it later only to find it’s covered in mould or fungus.

The way to clean your furniture will pretty much always be using soapy water and a sponge. Don’t use a pressure washer on your furniture unless it’s plastic.


Dry your garden furniture properly

Once you’ve washed your furniture you can’t immediately put it away for storage, you have to leave it out to dry completely, so it’s best to wait for a sunny day before washing anything.

white garden table and chairs

Cover your furniture well

If you have to leave your furniture out in the garden then you’ll need to get a cover. The important things to look for when covering your furniture are:

  1. A waterproof cover – Water is going to be the main enemy for your furniture over winter, so the more you can keep away the better.
  2. A tight fitting cover – This will prevent your cover from letting wind underneath and being swept away, it will also mean that weather is less likely to make it underneath the cover.

Much better than using a cover would be to bring your furniture into a storage unit. This will not only prevent rain and wind from messing with your garden set, but it will also prevent frost and temperature changes from having as much of an effect on your set.

One more benefit of storing your garden furniture in a self storage facility is that you can store any fabric parts of your furniture in storage as well. You can’t leave your cushions outside in winter, even covered. Which means you’ll have to bring them inside, taking up storage space in your house that you might want for something else. This isn’t an issue with self storage – you can store your cushions in a facility along with the furniture it belongs with.

That’s the general advice that applies to all garden furniture. Now we’ll go through some of the more specific advice.


Use a soft brush and soapy water, if this doesn’t clean the wood properly you might need to make a homemade cleaner appropriate for your wood. Or, if you don’t want to use a homemade cleaner you can purchase one from pretty much any outdoor / diy store. Once you’ve scrubbed it clean and allowed it to dry then apply some oil, find an oil that’s appropriate for the wood your furniture is made of.

Applying oil to your wooden furniture is an important part of protecting it over the winter months.


Rust is your main issue when it comes to iron furniture. Wash your furniture clean so you can get a good look at where there might be any bits of rust starting to appear. A little bit of rust can compromise the paint or coating around it, meaning that part is then exposed to air and water, in this way rust can spread from a small spot into a big issue, so it’s best to deal with it soon.

Scrape off the rust using sandpaper or, if it’s particularly bad, a dedicated rust removal product. Then once you’ve cleaned and dried it you can repaint over it to protect the iron from air and moisture again.

garden table and chairs


Natural rattan will need to be stored inside during the winter months. Space self storage would be a perfect solution for this.

Synthetic rattan will likely be fine if you leave it outside uncovered, but to properly prolong the life of your furniture you would want to get a decent cover that will protect it while you’re not using it. Of course any cushions need to be stored inside away from the bad weather.


Plastic makes for great long lasting outdoor furniture. It does get dirty and discoloured though, but as long as you keep on top of cleaning it this shouldn’t lead to long lasting staining. Hot soapy water is all that’s needed for cleaning. You don’t want to use any scratchy abrasive sponges while cleaning it, as a lot of plastic does scratch easily.

Now you’re fully prepared for keeping your furniture looking its best during the upcoming winter months. Don’t forget that one of the easiest ways to keep your furniture at its best is to store it in one of our secure self storage units.