a man and a woman wondering how to wash a sling mesh patio chair

How to Clean Mesh Patio Furniture – Remove Dirt and Mildew

Patio furniture has to endure a lot since it is exposed to dirt all day. To keep outdoor furniture in pristine condition and ready for guests, you need to clean it regularly. 

You only need greasy food and red wine to stain your patio furniture. As well as the occasional rain, there is also the risk for mold and mildew.

But since most patio furniture is made of mesh, they’re easy to clean and maintain.

Discover the right tools and suitable cleaning materials so that you can easily clean your sling mesh furniture and have it looking new in no time.

Benefits of Mesh Material in Outdoor Furniture

Nylon, polyester, and acrylic mesh fabrics are used in various applications, including sling mesh patio chairs. 
Most high-quality patio sling furniture is made of PVC-coated polyester mesh. The strong synthetic textile is tear-resistant, stretch-resistant, and relatively easy to clean.
Additionally, they are highly resistant to UV radiation and fading. As with all materials left outdoors, slight discoloration is inevitable over time.

Clean Regularly, and Clean Spills and Stains Quickly

Don’t wait to deal with spills and stains, clean them as soon as you can. 

The shorter time you give a stain to dry and bleed into the fabric, the better. You’ll get better results if you clean before spills dry.

In general, the mesh is easy to clean, but some tricks are still to learn.

In the first place, regular cleaning prevents the job from becoming too burdensome and keeps it looking its best all year round. It also helps to prolong the age of your furniture.

To prevent mildew and mold, you should clean sling pool furniture at least every three months.

How to Clean Sling Mesh Chair

For specific instructions, check the care tag of the product. In general, however, it is safest to wash with a soapy water mixture.

Step 1: Get rid of dust.

When cleaning fabric mesh, start by getting rid of debris and dust. Rinse the sling with water and scrub the furniture with a soft brush. 

You’re not trying to get all of the dirt off at this point; just remove dust, and anything stuck onto the furniture. 

Step 2: Mix the cleaning solution. 

Next, mix two ounces of dishwashing soap in a gallon of warm water. 

Step 3: Scrub the fabric mesh with soap water.

Scrub mesh gently with a sponge, clean cloth, or car wash glove dipped in the soap water.

Although fabric mesh on outdoor furniture is made tough, you can still rip or tear it if you’re too rough with it.

Start from the fabric so that the detergent gets soaked in and between the fibers. Start from top to bottom. Remember to do both the front and the back of the mesh.

Allow your cleaning solution to soak in.

Wash the arms and frame with the same method. A car wash glove is usually the easiest with the arms and frame.

Check that the fabric and the frame are in good condition and that the plastic floor glides are still in place.

Step 4: Rinse

Rinse the sling carefully with water to remove all the cleaning substances. 

Step 5: Dry

When all soap has been removed from the furniture, dry it off with a towel and let it air dry.

Cleaning the Sling Mesh Chair With a Pressure Washer

When using a pressure washer to clean a mesh patio chair, set it at low pressure to not stretch or blow out the mesh fabric. Always wash from top to bottom.

Detergent is usually not necessary.

A spray bottle with a multipurpose cleaner will do the trick if the dirt is nasty (for example: Simple Green AllPurpose Cleaner). Let the solution sit for a few minutes before washing it off.

The all-purpose cleaner also works well with a scrub brush.

Plastic Mesh

The rules are similar but slightly different for patio furniture made out of plastic mesh. 

You’ll still start off by scrubbing off stuck-on debris with a soft-bristled brush. But you’ll wipe the surfaces with a gallon of water mixed with half a cup of oxygen bleach and one cup of powdered detergent. 

Again, use a sponge or cloth for dipping into the mixture and wiping the entire surface area of the furniture. 

Afterward, you’ll do what you did with the furniture made out of fabric mesh – rinse the soap off with water, wipe it with a dry cloth, and let it air dry. 

Rinse the mesh extra carefully to get rid of all cleaning products, especially bleach. Bleach remains can hurt the stitching in your chair.

Cleaning the Non-Mesh Parts, Such as the Frame and Arms

Of course, the mesh part of the furniture isn’t the only part to be cleaned. 

The frame and arms also need a good cleaning. For that, you’ll need to know what those parts are made of so you can use suitable cleaning materials. 

For the frame, use a mixture of warm water and dishwashing detergent. 

If the frame is made out of wood, you can add one-fourth of a cup of ammonia to some warm water and use that to clean it. You’ll have to use something non-abrasive for any type of metal frame.

Using non-abrasive cleaners or mineral spirits on your metal or aluminum frames is best. For iron frames, use a mixture of water and dish soap.

When pressure washing powder-coated aluminum furniture, keep the pressure setting low to avoid damaging the coating.

Make sure the frames dry entirely, and if you’re still concerned about rusting, you can paint the frames with a polyurethane sealant. 

How do You Remove Mildew from Mesh Outdoor Furniture?

Mildew and heavy stains can be removed from mesh fabric with bleach, soap, and water or outdoor furniture cleaning products.

Bleach or other harsh chemicals work, but they aren’t always advisable. 

Bleach can seriously weaken the stitching (or even the mesh fabric itself in some cases), potentially shortening its lifespan by up to a year. 

If you’re not confident your sling mesh chair can handle the bleach, you should use a fabric- and thread-safe cleaner. There are products that remove mildew without affecting the chair itself.

Is Vinegar Safe for Patio Mesh Cleaning?

Vinegar can be used to remove mildew in addition to cleaning off stains. 

Due to its acidic nature, vinegar may not be suitable for all fabrics. 

Use mild vinegar with a lot of water to avoid damaging your furniture. In general, white distilled vinegar has a lower pH, so it’s better for cleaning the house.  

  • Pour one cup of vinegar per gallon of warm water. 
  • To apply the solution to the mesh, use a soft brush or a piece of cloth, and let it sit for five to ten minutes. 
  • Rinse the mesh and other parts of furniture thoroughly with water to remove the vinegar.
  • Allow the fabric to air dry after wiping it with a clean cloth. 

How to Get Rid of Tough Stains

To get rid of tough stains, here are a few things you can use:

● Baking soda, which should be used by scrubbing in a circular motion

● Bleach (either oxygen or color-safe), but mix half a cup of the bleach in a bucket of warm water

● Distilled vinegar, which is suitable for mildew and should be used by mixing one cup with a gallon of warm water

● Rubbing alcohol, which is ideal for grass stains and grease stains

When you’re spot-cleaning these stains, keep in mind that you still need to make sure the furniture is completely dry after you’re finished cleaning. 

It is best to let the furniture air dry, but you might have to move it to a drier location while it is being air-dried. If it rains on the furniture before the stain has had time to dry, it could be made worse and maybe even cause mildew. 

You need to wait until the stain is completely dry before using the furniture normally.

How to Keep Clean in the Future?

Furniture Covers

You can extend the life of your outdoor furnishings with furniture covers, especially if exposed to extreme temperature changes or rain and salty air.

Covers should be waterproof while at the same time providing adequate ventilation. A piece of furniture that remains wet inside the cover can develop mold, rust, or rot.

General covers are designed to protect various types of furniture as long as they fit within their dimensions.

Vailge patio chair cover

Storage and Shelter

You might want to bring your patio furniture inside during the rainy season or when temperatures start to drop.

Mesh furniture is lightweight, so it’s easy to move to the storage room for winter. However, you can still use furniture covers to keep dust and pests away. 

Ensure that the furniture is clean and dry before storing it in your garage or basement. Mildew can grow in warm, humid areas, so you need to find a cool, dry space. 

Regular Maintenance

Your outdoor furniture will last longer if it is regularly cleaned. Taking care of your outdoor furniture will extend its life. 

Mesh materials can be safely cleaned as often as necessary. It is recommended to perform this maintenance two or three times a year in low pollution areas, and more often in high pollution areas. 

How to Prevent Recurring Mildew?

Mildew can grow on mesh lawn chairs if the chairs are left outside during a rainstorm, and the weather is humid. Chairs that haven’t been appropriately dried may grow mildew.

Keeping outdoor furniture clean and ensuring they are completely dry before storing will help prevent mold and mildew. 

It might help to use a mildew-protection spray or a water-repellent spray. Make sure you follow the instructions on the container. Generally, it’s recommended for use on patio cushions rather than wicker or other non-fabric materials.

Repairing and Replacing Sling Mesh Chair

Sling mesh patio furniture isn’t particularly easy to repair. It’s probably best to purchase a new sling chair if the material breaks or isn’t as supportive. 

You could end up with a sketchy piece of mesh chair if you attempt to repair the sling material. 

There are some vendors who can repair the sling material, as well as vendors who sell replacement mesh fabric.

The Bottom Line

When cleaning your mesh patio furniture, it’s good to know what makes it so dirty since different problem areas need to be taken care of with different cleaning solutions. 

If you have mildew, for example, you can find over-the-counter products that are made explicitly for mold, as well as for mesh patio furniture. 

These are super easy to use, very effective, and generally inexpensive. Besides, they are usually more convenient than making up a solution on your own.

The main things to remember are to make sure you’re using the proper cleaning solutions and ensure the furniture air dries after you’re done. 

Unless you have a lot of tough stains, cleaning your patio furniture should be easy, and it will always be worth it in the end.

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