Why You Should Not Leave Patio Furniture Out in the Winter

Why You Should Not Leave Patio Furniture Out in the Winter

Winter can bring intense cold temperatures with snow, which can harm several things and living organisms if they are exposed to the outdoors during fluctuating weather. One of these vulnerable elements is your patio furniture.

You should not leave your patio furniture outdoors in the winter as it can damage the materials. Wood, plastics, furnishings, and others are at risk in extreme weather. Treated furniture may have a chance to resist, but ordinary materials may break. 

In this article, we will discuss how to prepare your patio furniture for winter and the three ways to store your furniture.


How to Prepare Your Patio Furniture for Winter

Patio furniture is commonly set up in the spring up until winter comes. The furniture may not withstand the temperatures and may get damaged over time. To prevent this from happening, you must store your furniture in a secured place.

Before you store your furniture, make sure to clean them first. The cleaning process should coordinate with the type of material your furniture is made of.

Plastic Furniture

You can clean plastic furniture by brushing it with a laundry detergent solution. You can rinse it using a hose since it can resist water and pressure. Cold temperatures can make the plastic fragile, so you should store it when winter comes. Dry it before storing it.

Wooden Furniture

Wood is susceptible to damages if exposed to water or moisture. As we all know, snow will melt at the end of winter, which can affect your wooden furniture. Another instance you should keep in mind is if the water or moisture enters the wooden furniture openings and freezes when the season comes. It can expand and impair the wood, which may completely ruin your furniture.

To prevent cracks and damages, you should apply oil finishes or sealants to your wooden furniture. However, clean it before applying these solutions to prevent other elements from mixing with it. To clean, combine oil soap with warm water and wipe or scrub onto the wood. Don’t overdo it as it can lacerate the surface of the wood.

Blend a mix of ammonia, vinegar, baking soda, and warm water to remove hard stains. Keep in mind not to use a pressure washer or make it completely wet. Once you’re done cleaning, let it dry and proceed to apply wood protective treatment or stain.

The next substances you should apply are oil and sealant. These can maintain the form of the furniture and prevent fissures. Using these is especially recommended if you live somewhere with cold temperatures. It can also protect the formation of fungi on the furniture, which can reduce its durability.

Teak Wooden Furniture

Teak is another type of wooden furniture that requires deep attention when it comes to maintenance. It is the most durable out of all of the hardwoods. Since it is more sensitive than ordinary wooden furniture, it is susceptible to fungi and molds.

In cleaning, prepare a mix of a cup of vinegar and a gallon of warm water. If there are hard to remove stains, prepare ¼ cup of bleach, ¾ cup of laundry detergent, and a gallon of warm water.

Use the solution to scrub or wipe the wood and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Rinse, dry it completely, and apply oil. You can also buy solutions made for cleaning teak furniture.

Aluminum Furniture

Aluminum can withstand rust and rain. Although it looks weather-resistant, it can be fragile after being exposed to winter. Usually, most aluminum furniture has a drainage outlet to let go of the water, but this can also serve as water access.

During winter, water will freeze and eventually melt as the temperatures randomly change. This change of temperature can impact the aluminum furniture, making it fragile. To prevent this from happening, you should store it so you can preserve and use it after winter.

Before storing it, make sure to clean it properly. Use detergent and warm water to scrub your furniture. Dry it afterward, and apply some paint if damages are showing. You can also apply anodizing or treatment coatings for aluminum.

Wrought Iron Furniture

Wrought iron patio furniture has vintage features and is made of iron. It is one of the most commonly used types of furniture by yard owners. The only downside to it is its vulnerability to rust, especially if exposed to water. That means you shouldn’t leave it outdoors when winter comes.

Clean the furniture thoroughly to remove the stains that can damage the coating of the iron. If the furniture is rusty, you should remove it with sandpaper before you start cleaning it. The solution you can use is a mix of soap and warm water.

Once you’ve dried your furniture, apply some paint to the damaged areas. You can use coatings to prevent rust and strengthen the protection from the outdoor elements that may affect the furniture.

Natural Stone Furniture

Natural stone furniture is durable and beautiful but has a weakness when it comes to winter temperatures. If water enters through openings in the furniture, the cold temperatures can freeze it, resulting in breakages or damages to the furniture.

Clean your furniture with water and laundry detergent. Remove the dirt by scrubbing it with soft cleaning material. Some sealants are specifically used for natural stone furniture. You can use this to protect it against moisture and dirt.

Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture is made of rattan, willow, bamboo, and reed. Synthetic materials are also used in making this type of furniture. Wicker is lightweight and durable and requires profound supervision when cleaning.

Cleaning solutions for wicker furniture include a mixture of oil soap and warm water. Use a cloth to scrub it on the furniture and rinse with a mist of water. Dry it afterward, either by wiping it or letting it dry under the sun.

If the wicker is made of rattan, avoid cleaning it regularly as the moisture can cause it to split. We advise you to ask the manufacturer about the materials used to make the furniture so you can observe limitations when conducting maintenance.

Patio Furniture Furnishings

Your patio furniture may feature pillows, cushions, etc. These components are placed in the furniture to make it comfortable and enhance its appearance. When preparing for winter, you must store these so you can use them again in the spring.

Clean the fabrics before storing them. You can remove pillows’ coverings and clean them using a washing machine. You can also machine-wash the curtains, but don’t use a dryer.


With the help of your lawn furniture, you can lounge comfortably outside in your yard when the weather is nice. But, it is not advisable to keep your lawn furniture outside all year round because extreme weather conditions can easily damage them and shorten their lifespan. When is the best time to take out your lawn furniture? Read our article to find out.


3 Ways to Store Your Patio Furniture for Winter

To store your patio furniture for winter, you can cover them with plastic wrap, tarps, patio furniture cover, or place them indoors. Although covering the furniture outdoors can provide protection, you may encounter a few disadvantages. Prevent any moisture or water from entering the furniture before you cover it to avoid the formation of mold.

Patio Furniture Cover

A great way to protect your patio furniture is to cover it. This is an advantage since you don’t need to move the furniture inside to prevent the snow from affecting it. If you don’t have any space left in your house, this is an ideal option for you.

A patio furniture cover can withstand snow and water. You can ensure the furniture is secured and prepared for you to use when spring comes. The cover will keep the furniture clean and preserve its quality over time.

Out of all types of patio furniture, wooden furniture is one of the most vulnerable to damages in the winter. When buying a covering, you must choose a fabric that provides ventilation to the furniture. We recommend you also remove the snow on top of the cover when the season comes. Since the cover is breathable, it can provide access to the snow or water to seep into the furniture.

You can use the patio umbrella’s cover to store the fabrics of the furniture. After you’ve put those inside the cover, you can proceed to store them inside your house.

Plastic Wraps and Tarps

Tarp is another option to cover your patio furniture. When you purchase it in stores, there are characteristics that you may want to consider. Tarp can protect your furniture from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, mold, and mildew. It can also keep it dry since it blocks the water from seeping in.

If you use tarp, you should ensure the wind will not sweep it away. You can use cords to strap down the tarp and secure the furniture from the snow. This material tends to move easily, and you should oversee it before leaving it during winter.

The downside of using tarp as a cover is that if water gets trapped in some parts of the furniture, it cannot evaporate. Although it has a characteristic to prevent moisture or water from getting in, it won’t allow it to go out. If water is confined inside the cover, it can form mold and mildew.

Since plastic wraps don’t absorb water, you can use them to cover your patio furniture. This method is used in places where there are strong snowstorms. Plastic wraps are available in different sizes, but if you have a lot of furniture, you may want to get some people to help you cover it before winter comes.

The drawback of using plastic wrap as a cover is similar to that of using tarp. Both materials don’t absorb water and intercept it from going in or out of the cover. Therefore, it can lead to the formation of mold and mildew on the furniture.

When buying plastic wrap, choose the thicker one so it won’t easily tear up if you try to cover the sharp and pointy areas of the furniture. Keep in mind that you may only be able to use this once and will be forced to buy some more for the next winter.

Storage Spaces Indoors

Storing your furniture inside your house is one of the best ways to protect it from winter. Thus, if you have extra space or room for storage, you can place your furniture there. At the same time, you shouldn’t leave it open and secure it with a cover before you leave it.

Even if your patio furniture is not exposed to the freezing temperature of winter, you should protect it from dust and moisture. That is why we advise you to cover it, even in the storage. Keeping your furniture dry and safe from the outdoor elements can maintain its quality beyond the cold season.


What type of furniture can you leave outdoors?

Treated teak, synthetic wicker, and cedar furniture are the types of furniture you can leave outdoors during winter. Since cedar and treated wicks have weatherproofing properties, they can withstand freezing temperatures. Although you can leave these kinds of furniture outdoors, storing them is still the most effective way of protecting them.

Other types of furniture that can be left outside include furniture made of plastic and rattan. Resin and recycled plastic furniture can withstand extreme weather, but ordinary plastic will most likely be damaged if exposed to extreme temperatures. As for rattan, avoid leaving it under the heavy snowfalls as those can break the furniture.


Lawn furniture, even though they are intended for outdoor use, cannot stay in your yard all year round. This is because changing seasons and extreme temperatures can cause them damage and affect their longevity. To learn how to store your furniture properly, read our guide to storing backyard furniture



Keeping your patio furniture safe in the winter may require a lot of work but provides several advantages. The furniture may not survive the freezing temperature outdoors, which is why you need to apply measures to prevent it from being vulnerable.

There are damages that your furniture may experience if exposed outdoors, especially to extreme weather and temperatures. Worst of all, snow and ice can completely crack or break it. To prevent this from happening, you need to properly store your items when the seasons change.

As we have discussed in this article, there are a couple of different ways to store furniture. All you need to do is figure out which one will work best for the furniture that you need to store. By protecting and storing your furniture properly, when spring comes, your furniture will still be in its best condition, allowing you to use it again.

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