How to Store Your Summer Furniture for the Winter

Autumn is here and that means that for many of us, it’s time to store our summer furniture. The key, of course, is to clean and store it properly, so that it’s in great condition and ready to use when the warm weather returns.

At Storage West, we understand how important it is to protect your summer furniture. Here’s some advice on how to prep and store your outdoor furniture this fall.

Storing Outdoor Cushions and Fabric Items

A lot of summer furniture has cushions, and you may also have fabric umbrellas and hammocks that help you enjoy the summer heat. Here are some pointers for storing fabric items.

  1. Wash all pillow covers and hammocks and dry them thoroughly before storing them. You can use enzymatic stain remover to get rid of stains.
  2. Once pillow covers are dry, put them on the pillows and store the pillows in a dry place. If you’re storing them in a shed, you may want to consider covering them with a cloth tarp.
  3. Cloth umbrellas should be washed with detergent and a brush to remove dirt and stains. Make sure to dry thoroughly before closing the umbrella and storing it.

It’s easy for fabric to mildew when it’s stored. Drying everything completely will minimize the risk.

Storing Wrought Iron and Metal Furniture

Rust is the big risk with metal furniture. Use these steps to keep your wrought iron furniture in good shape:

  1. Wash every surface with detergent and water, scrubbing to remove heavy dirt and rinsing thoroughly.
  2. Dry the furniture completely.
  3. Apply rust-neutralizing primer to any oxidation. Follow by smoothing the primed area with steel wool and painting.
  4. Apply a coating of car wax to all surfaces and buff them before storing in a dry place.

Provided your metal furniture stays dry, it will be ready to use in the spring.

Storing Wooden Furniture

Most wood furniture is at risk of warping if it gets wet. Use these steps to protect your wooden furniture:

  1. Wash wood using detergent, bleach, and water. (For cedar and teak furniture, use bleach alone to kill mildew and lighten the wood.)
  2. Rinse furniture (except cedar and teak) with the hose.
  3. Re-apply finish as needed.
  4. Coat wooden surfaces with wax to protect them and store them in a dry place.

Cedar and teak furniture can be stored outside. Simply sand them and apply tung oil as needed.

Storing Wicker Furniture

Wicker furniture is prone to mildew. Here’s what you can do to get it ready for storage:

  1. Brush your wicker with a mixture of bleach and water to remove stains and mildew.
  2. Gently rinse and allow the wicker to dry.
  3. Reapply spray paint as needed. Dry thoroughly before storing.
  4. Apply moisture repellent to the legs and feet of wicker furniture.
  5. Store in a dry place or on blocks.

It’s extremely important to keep wicker furniture dry while it’s not being used.

Storing Plastic Furniture

Storing plastic furniture is easy. If you’ve got plastic resin tables and chairs, simply:

  1. Wash thoroughly with detergent and water.
  2. Rinse and allow to dry.
  3. Store in a warm, dry place. (Plastic resin may crack in freezing temperatures.)

We suggest cleaning plastic resin furniture regularly during the summer to prevent stains.


You’ve invested in quality summer furniture. The steps we’ve outlined here will ensure that your furniture is properly stored for the winter and ready to use when the warm weather is back!

Need someplace safe to store your summer furniture? Click here to learn how Storage West can help.

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