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How to Clean and Maintain Your Garden Stools Effectively

Garden stools are the unsung heroes of our outdoor spaces. They act as extra seating when we have more guests than chairs, serve as makeshift tables for our cocktails or afternoon tea, and even add a splash of design flair. 

But as much as they offer us versatility and convenience, they're often subjected to the harsh elements of the great outdoors, which can take a toll on their appearance and durability. Therefore, regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to keeping these hardy items looking their best.

Wooden Garden Stools

Let's start with wooden garden stools. The natural look of wood brings warmth and an organic touch to your garden setting. However, wood is prone to wear and tear from the elements. To maintain its lustre and extend its lifespan, it's advisable to clean your wooden garden stools regularly.

To clean your wooden stool, use a mild soap and water mixture to gently scrub the surface. For those stubborn stains or mildew, a mix of vinegar and water can be quite effective. A soft-bristle brush will help you get into the grooves and corners without damaging the wood.

Once clean, dry the stool thoroughly before applying a layer of wood conditioner. This helps to prevent splitting and keeps the wood supple. A quality wood conditioner usually contains beeswax or carnauba wax, which provides a protective barrier against water and UV rays.

Painting or Staining
Depending on your aesthetic preference, you might want to paint or stain your wooden stools. A good quality outdoor paint or stain can add an extra layer of protection as well as a splash of colour. But remember, always sand down the stool first to ensure that the paint or stain adheres well.

Metal Garden Stools

Metal garden stools bring a sleek and modern vibe to your outdoor spaces. These stools are generally made of aluminium, steel, or wrought iron, each with its own set of maintenance needs.

Metal stools are relatively low maintenance and can often be cleaned using just a damp cloth. However, for a thorough clean, mild soapy water can be used to wipe down the stool. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean cloth to prevent water spots.

Rust Prevention and Treatment
Despite their hardy nature, metal stools are not immune to rust. If rust spots appear, lightly sand the affected area and apply a rust-resistant primer followed by outdoor paint. For those who prefer a more natural look, there are clear rust-proof coatings available that preserve the appearance of the metal.

Some metals, like aluminium, benefit from a protective sealant. This can extend the life of the stool and protect against weathering. When choosing a sealant, make sure it's suitable for the type of metal your stool is made from.

Ceramic Garden Stools

Ceramic garden stools are perhaps the easiest to clean. These glossy, glazed beauties add a touch of elegance and come in an array of vibrant colours and designs.

Simply wipe them down with a cloth dipped in a mixture of water and mild detergent. For tougher grime, a soft-bristle brush works wonders. Just be careful not to scrub too hard to avoid damaging the glaze.

Although ceramic stools are fairly durable, they can crack in extreme temperatures. If you live in a region with harsh winters, it's advisable to bring your ceramic stools indoors or store them in a garden shed.

Regular Checks

Regardless of the material, it's a good idea to periodically inspect your garden stools for any signs of wear or damage. Catching issues early can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Look for signs of cracking, rust, or any loosening components.


If you have the space, storing your garden stools in a shed or garage during the off-season will protect them from the elements and prolong their life. If you don't have storage space, consider investing in outdoor furniture covers. These water-resistant covers provide adequate protection and are easy to put on and take off.

To summarise, garden stools are versatile, functional, and stylish, but they require a bit of care to keep them in tip-top shape. With regular cleaning and some simple maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your garden stools will continue to serve you well for many seasons to come.


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