General Maintenance Tips

Routine cleaning and maintenance of your outdoor furniture will preserve its appearance and extend the life of the frames, slings, and vinyl straps.  As these pieces are always outside in the elements, they are exposed to the constant bombardment of sun, rain, salt air, pollen, and unfiltered sprinkler water.  However, what people often forget is that sweat, sun lotion, bug spray, and pool chlorine are also included in the barrage of contaminants that can damage the finish of outdoor furniture.  Even though the powder coating, fabric, and slings do not promote mildew growth, fungi particles may grown on the dirt, pollen, or leaves that land on the furniture.

Metal Furniture

Like your car, your outdoor furniture needs to be washed periodically.  Pollen, grime, dust, and water deposits accumulate on the furniture surfaces and degrade the coating.  Whether you have wrought iron, cast iron, aluminum, or older steel furniture, regular cleaning with a solution of mild dish soap, like ‘Dawn®’, and warm water will dramatically elongate the life and look of your metal furniture’s finish.  Make sure to avoid using abrasive cleaners or hard brushes and NEVER use a pressure washer.  Instead, feel free to apply a fine clear automobile wax after washing for maximum protection against UV exposure, salt air, chlorine, pollen, and other impurities.  Houston Powder Coaters recommends applying ‘Turtle Wax® Wax & Dry Spray Wax’ with a soft clean hand towel.  Spray on the towel, then apply.  This limits the overspray onto the slings and straps.

In general, limit direct exposure to suntan oils, lotions, bug sprays, and chlorinated water by laying down a towel on chaise lounges and chairs.  Never throw furniture into the swimming pool.  Note that prolonged exposure to pool chlorine will severely damage the frames, fabric, and sling materials – so even a weekly ‘water-only rinse’ will help.

Fabric Slings & Vinyl Straps

Houston Powder Coaters uses the highest quality fabric and sling materials from leading manufacturers like Phifertex®, Sunbrella®, and Twitchell®.  These top grade sling materials have built-in UV protection & fade-resistant design along with antimicrobial infused fibers.  Likewise, all strapping is made with heavy-gauge virgin vinyl with mildew inhibitors and color retention additives.  That being said, over 95% of all grime, stains, and dirt can be cleaned with soap and water.  In fact, a solution of a mild dish soap, like ‘Dawn®’, and warm water will combine to clean mold, mildew, and light stains from slings and vinyl straps most of the time.  

Always use a sponge or soft hand towel to wash the surfaces.  Afterwards, rinse thoroughly with with clean water to remove all soap residue – NEVER use a pressure washer.  For stubborn blemishes, try adding a couple tablespoons of bleach with the soapy solution.

In coastal areas or places where tree sap and pollen are more prevalent, Houston Powder Coaters recommends a monthly cleaning to remove the build-up of salt deposits and contaminants.  Further inland areas may require only quarterly or biyearly washes depending on the usage or cleanliness of the furniture and fabric. 

For extra protection of fabric slings, Houston Powder Coaters recommends using ‘303® Fabric Guard For Outdoor Fabrics’ to restore water repellency and stain protection on all synthetic and natural fibers. 


Remember, the quicker you clean spills and stains, the easier they are to remove.  This also goes for the first sign of mold or mildew.  Again, soap and water go a long way in breaking down oils and residue.  On long overdue cleanings, let the solution sit and soak on the furniture/fabric for 15 minutes before scrubbing. 

Don’t drag the furniture across the deck or patio.  This will damage the coating, thereby exposing it to moisture and oxidation.

Wrought iron pieces may show “Rust Seepage” – which occurs when moisture reaches the internal or hard-to-reach areas, corrodes the metal from within, then seeps out.  The result is an unsightly rust circle that lies on top of the coated surfaces.  Once this area is wiped down (since the coating is intact), use a wax or clear caulk to seal the area.  This keeps the rust in and moisture out.

Pay attention to the feet of your tables and chairs.  This is where 99% of problems begin.  Ensure they are never sitting in standing water and replace any broken or missing feet caps as soon as possible.

NEVER use a pressure washer.  Having now mentioned it three times, we hope you recognize the importance of this recommendation.