Tips for Storing Patio Furniture in a Storage Unit for the Winter

Storing patio furniture for the winter can be a hassle and time-consuming work. While it’s tempting to just tuck and stack your furniture in the corner of your garage, proper storage is essential to maintain it in good condition.

Here are some tips for how to store patio furniture in storage so that when summer returns, all you have to do is take them out of storage, ready for use.

Clean your patio furniture before putting it in storage

The chilly weather is gradually making its way in, and with it comes the winter season. During this time, people start to store away their seasonal yard decorations and furniture.

You don’t want to store your outdoor furniture in storage only to take them out next summer and find out you have to throw them away and buy new ones. It’s impractical and wasteful. Why squander when you can learn how to store patio furniture and easy cleaning tips to make sure they are prepared and conditioned for long-term storage.


Patio umbrellas are tricky to store and clean when you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s a tip for easy cleaning, clear a space in your yard for your umbrella. It’s easier to clean bulky and odd-shaped furniture when you have a wide space. Lastly, make sure you have your go-to household cleaning solution and hand brush prepared.

For detachable umbrellas, remove the fabric from the frame and lay the fabric flat in the open space. Sweep off accumulated debris or dust before brushing your umbrella clean. Using the same cleaning solution, soak a cloth and wring it before using it to wipe your umbrella frame.

Finally, dry your umbrella before storage to avoid mildew and mold. To save floor space, keep your umbrella closed and secure it with a tie. See to it that you’re storing the furniture upright in a corner to prevent it from toppling over your other belongings.


Cushions are a must-have in every patio furniture, they are great as decorations and an added comfort to your outdoor setup. Cleaning and proper storing are a priority to make sure they last for years and hundreds of summers.

But before throwing them in the washer, make sure to check if there’s a care tag. If none, proceed to brush your cushions clean with warm water and mild soap. Rinse thoroughly and let them dry before packing them in a bin.

Tip: You can add cedar balls or cedar planks in your bin to keep away pests and insects from your cushions.

Different materials

Not all patio furniture is made from the same material, some are sturdy wooden pieces, some are made from wicker or metal. Regardless of the material, there are proper ways on cleaning and storing patio furniture without damaging them and using the best product to preserve their quality.

  • Metal

The first thing you want to do when cleaning outdoor furniture made of metal is to look for rust spots. If you see any, scrub them with sandpaper and apply a rust-neutralizing primer.

Unless needed, you don’t need to do a deep cleaning of your metal furniture. Avoid corrosion by simply wiping your furniture clean with a damp cloth. After drying, apply automotive wax for protection from rust and oxidation.


  • Wicker

Cleaning a piece of furniture made of wicker takes the most time. You need to brush each surface in all directions to make sure you get rid of accumulated dirt and dust in the crevices of your furniture.

Wicker furniture is prone to rotting and fraying. But you can prevent this by applying paste wax to protect it from moisture and mildew.


Tip: Wicker furniture can be damaged from excessive sun and heavy use. Thus, it’s essential to regularly apply paste wax to your furniture.



  • Plastic

Plastic furniture is the easiest to clean and most durable too. But this doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful in choosing which cleaning materials to use.

When cleaning plastic furniture, avoid using harsh detergents and cleaning solutions that could make it lose its luster. Instead, stick with mild cleansers such as dishwashing soap, vinegar, and/or baking soda to clean stains and dirt on surfaces.


  • Wood

Wooden furniture pieces are delicate and require specific cleaning products to preserve them in their condition.

Much like metal furniture, you don’t have to do a deep cleaning with your wooden furniture unless necessary. Simply wiping your furniture with a damp cloth soaked in mild dish soap and water will suffice.

Depending on the finish of your wooden furniture, there are different coatings you can apply to help preserve its great condition and prevent wood rot and pests from infesting.

How to store your patio cushions so they don’t mildew

One of the most challenging items to store in a storage unit is cushions. No one is delighted when they take out their cushions from storage and they come out moldy and smelly.

With a few storing hacks you can avoid such inconvenience. Here’s how to store your patio cushions in storage so they don’t mildew,

  • Waterproof

While waterproof cushions are meant to withstand water and dust, make sure to clean and dry them thoroughly before storage.

Store your cushions either stacked on top of your patio couch or pack them in bins.

  • Cushion covers

Washing your cushion covers before storing them away helps significantly in preventing mold and mildew from growing. Before folding and packing them, iron your cushion covers, then air them out a bit to avoid moisture from forming inside the box or storage bin.

Also, it’s best practice to pack them in clear bins or labeled boxes to make it easier to find them when needed.

  • Plastic Bins

Put cedar planks inside plastic bins with cushions and make sure it’s packed snuggly, leaving no room for moisture or mildew to build up.

Make it easier to find your items by putting the box or bin close to where your cushions and patio furniture are placed to keep all patio furniture in one area.

  • Fabric Bags

Packing your cushions in fabric bags is one of the simple but convenient ways to protect them. It helps keep away debris and pests from your cushions. Plus, they’re handy and easy to store away when no longer needed.

Make sure to use a high-quality fabric bag made to carry cushions. Otherwise, you risk damaging your cushions rather than keeping them safe from mold and mildew.

  • Plastic Tarp

Keep your cushions clean and dust-free by covering them with a plastic tarp.

Also, there are advantages to covering cushions with a clear plastic tarp. First, it’s easier to find them in storage. Second, you can cover your entire furniture with a plastic tarp and no longer deal with disassembling your furniture and individually covering them.


  • Keep your cushions off the ground

Avoid placing your cushions on the ground without placing a barrier. Pad your patio furniture with something to protect it from the ground. Consider laying a tarp or wooden planks on your storage floor before storing your belongings.

Elevate your furniture, or any belongings you plan to store, to allow air to circulate and prevent moisture.

Cover your furniture to protect it from damage

Before storing your patio furniture in your storage unit, lay down a plastic sheeting to prevent moisture from seeping up into your furniture. You can store your furniture such as chairs and tables on top of each other. But avoid stacking them too high to avoid unwanted accidents.

Cover your patio furniture to avoid permanent stains and damage from accumulated dust and debris. For this, you can repurpose old sheets and blankets or invest in a patio furniture cover.

Tip: Furniture is delicate and prone to corrosion, rotting, and tarnishing if stored in an environment with fluctuating extreme temperatures. Go the extra mile and invest in climate controlled storage to protect your belongings.

Consider anti-mold spray

Even with a climate controlled storage unit, moisture and mold are two of the most common problems that most people encounter. The good thing is that there are ways to prevent mold and mildew from ruining your belongings.

Spray your patio furniture with an anti-mold spray to prevent bacteria and fungi from spreading in your furniture. Anti-mold sprays also eliminate existing odor and prevent it from recurring.

Check the storage unit from time to time

It’s essential to make it a habit to check your storage unit every now and then to regularly clean it and keep track of the condition of your belongings.

If you think driving to and from your storage unit is too much of a hassle, you can choose the nearest Shield Storage facility in your location here.


Overall, there are different ways how to clean and store patio furniture in a storage unit. Depending on the material used, there are specific products that you can and can’t use. For other kinds of furniture, it takes a little less effort to clean them up.

At the end of the day, regardless of the material of your furniture, it’s advisable to invest in a climate controlled storage unit. There are also general storage practices that you can take for your benefit, such as maintaining the cleanliness of your storage unit and belongings, elevating your items in storage with a wooden plank or tarpaulin, and making it a habit to clean your belongings before storing them.

If you need assistance finding the right storage solution, you can visit our website for more information.

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