Metal garden furniture, such as a classic wrought iron table and chair set, will last for many years if you care for it properly. Metal outdoor furniture is susceptible to rust (unless it is crafted from aluminium!), and no one wants to sit on a rusty seat or risk scrapes from degrading metal. You can wash metal garden furniture with warm water and soap (ensure it is fully dry before storing it away!), but care needs to be taken to ensure that you don’t damage or flake the layers of paint or treatment it has been given. If you do see cracks or gaps appearing, gently sand the area and then touch up the paint work. It is also possible to buy wax coatings to ensure the paint stays protected for longer. Metal outdoor furniture will need to be stored in a shed or garage if you want to truly ensure longevity, or you can look for a breathable cover if it has to stay in the open air.


Depending on the type of wood your garden furniture is crafted from, it will need looking after in different ways. Treated softwoods such as pine will need to be treated and maintained regularly to ensure they last for more than just a couple of years and may need to be overwintered in a shed or garage. Hardwoods such as teak will stand up to the rigours of outdoor use far better and should age to a beautiful silvery-grey patina. You will still need to clean hardwoods before you use them, and occasional application of teak oil or treatment will help it last longer.


How you care for your rattan furniture depends on whether it is crafted from synthetic or natural (wicker) materials. Synthetic rattan can be washed with warm soapy water and some types can be left outside all year-round (we would suggest a cover in case the metal frame underneath isn’t corrosion-resistant), however the cushions will need to be stored away. Wicker will need far more careful cleaning, for example with a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt from between the weave. It will also need to be covered or stored away during the wet and cold months of the year – or even during a particularly poor English summer!


We’re so pleased to see less and less purely new plastic furniture on the market, as consumers grow more aware of its environmental impact. There are some sustainable examples and leftovers from the pre-green era, so it’s worth taking a look at. The rather 90’s style white plastic tables and chairs largely haven’t stood the test of time but if you do have plastic furniture in your garden you still want it to look as good as possible. Washing it with warm soapy water will help it look smart, and you will need to ensure it is stored away in the winter as frost and rain may cause it to split and degrade.


We may be a little biased but POLYWOOD has so many benefits which make it the perfect choice for those looking for durable and comfortable outdoor furniture. It is fully weather and UV-resistant, so it will stay looking as good as new for many years to come. In fact, we offer an incredible 21-year warranty on POLYWOOD garden furniture which means it offers brilliant value for money, as you won’t have to replace it every few years. You can leave POLYWOOD out in the garden in frost, snow, rain, strong sunshine and damp, with no need to oil or paint it when you want to use it again. All you need to do is give it a quick wash if it is dusty or has attracted a little dirt.