How To Remove Stains From Outdoor Furniture: Bird Droppings, Sap, & More

Nothing enhances the appeal of your home more than how it appears from the outside. Your outside space will provide you with an area to entertain guests, hold family meals, or relax. However, your outdoor furniture will be exposed to–you guessed it–the outdoors! Weather can degrade your furniture, but don’t forget it’s out there with wildlife too, and it may pick up a few stains from this exposure that you’ll be on the hook to clean up.

To remove stains from plastic furniture or cushions, mix baking powder and baking soda (or “washing soda”) with water and scrub gently. For metal furniture, use soap and water followed by a metal polishing paste. Soap and water will work on wood, but you may need to apply a finishing oil after.

We’ve got you covered if you’re not sure how to get stains out of your outdoor furniture. Continue reading to learn about the cleaning supplies you’ll need, as well as how to remove specific stains from various types of furniture. We’ll also provide cleaning and maintenance tips for your outdoor furniture.

Things You’ll Need for Outdoor Furniture Cleaning 

Joyful woman with detergent for cleaning

If you have outdoor furniture, you should be aware that it will take a great deal of care and upkeep. The furniture will be exposed to various conditions, including weather, animals, and human accidents. All of these things could stain your outdoor furniture.

Here are a few items you’ll need to get rid of all the stains:

  • Dull knife or spoon: a dull knife or spoon will mainly scrape off stains before they dry. The dull edges ensure that the knife or spoon does not damage the furniture. Here is one on Amazon Practice Knife Blunt( on Amazon).
  • Soft-bristled brush: mostly used after scraping off your stain or applying a detergent to scrub. Some stains like bird droppings will need to be brushed off after they’ve dried. You’ll need a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratching your outdoor furniture. Check this brush on Amazon: soft-bristled brush (on Amazon).
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent: you’ll need some heavy-duty detergent for stains that may be more stubborn. You can remove most stains by just scraping and wiping. Stains like bird dropping will need more than just water. We recommend Tide Hygienic (on Amazon).
  • Hard-bristled brush: some stains will need heavier scrubbing. In that instance, you will need a hard bristled brush. Amazon, fortunately, has one here: Amazer Scrub (on Amazon).
  • Washing soda: you will discover that some stains will require you to mix washing soda and make a solution to remove the stain. Black stains caused by minerals in rainwater will require baking soda and washing soda. You can get washing soda from Amazon, like Outshine washing soda (on Amazon). Note that this is different from baking soda, but both will work, so you can try what you have on hand if you already have baking soda!
  • Outdoor hose: once you remove the stain, you will be required to clean the outdoor furniture with plenty of water. An outdoor hose is the best way to do this. Avoid using a pressure washer, as this will cause damage to your outdoor furniture.

How to Remove Stains from Outdoor Furniture

Regardless of the type of outdoor furniture you have, it’ll require maintenance. Unlike interior furniture, outdoor furniture will be subjected to various elements. There are numerous aspects to consider, ranging from weather conditions to animals and the environment.

These considerations shouldn’t stop you from getting outdoor furniture if you want it. The secret, of course, is to know how to keep your furniture looking good. We’ll look at the different sorts of outdoor furniture and how to remove stains from them.

Plastic outdoor furniture

Plastic outdoor furniture may turn out to be the easiest to maintain. It is rarely permanently damaged by stains. Most stains can be taken care of with simple cleaning. Using a dishwasher detergent containing mild bleach with some warm water will take care of stains like bird poop.

You may also notice some black stains on your plastic outdoor furniture. Minerals from rainwater typically cause these stains. To lighten the stain without causing any damage, clean the plastic outdoor furniture using water.

Then put one cup of baking powder and half a cup of washing soda in a gallon of water. Scrub the furniture with a brush and this solution. Clean with a hose and leave it to dry.

Metallic outdoor furniture

Metallic outdoor furniture will be the most durable and the easiest to maintain. The biggest headache with this type of furniture is rust stains. The first step is to use a metal polishing paste.

You can get one on Amazon like the Chemical Guys SPI_402_16 (on Amazon). The metal polishing paste will remove all imperfections. You can also use water and vinegar.

The best way to fight rust is to completely sand off the affected area. You can then wipe off the metal residue using mineral spirits. It’s best to use rust-resistant paint, but before doing that, make sure you have a rust-resistant primer like Rust-Oleum 8781502 (on Amazon). For further protection, you can apply two coats of automotive wax.

Fabric-Based Outdoor Furniture

Fabric-based outdoor furniture options (chairs with canvas/fabric backs and seats, or fabric cushions) are the most adaptable because it comes in many different styles. You can easily alter the appearance as often as you want. Unfortunately, it is also the one that is most stained.

When you want to remove bird droppings from outdoor furniture made with fabric, the first step is to scrape off any excess wet or dry poop. Using a dull knife or spoon is the easiest way to do this. Use a hard-bristled brush if it looks dusty. Do not rub or scrub the poop.

Add some laundry detergent to lukewarm water. With a soft-bristled brush, gently rub the mixture into the stain. When you finally see that the stain is gone, rinse with a hose and leave it to dry. If the stain is still there, you might need to use commercial stain removers.

Grease stains can also cause great damage to your outdoor fabric furniture. Oil will do the same. Use a grease and oil remover like Shout Advanced Foaming stain remover (on Amazon). Apply it gently on the stain and leave it for a few minutes. With some warm water and a soft cloth, rub the degreaser off.

Wooden Outdoor Furniture

Wooden outdoor furniture will beautifully compliment your backyard or patio. However, it’s also prone to getting stained. 

You’ll need to act fast to take care of grease stains on wooden outdoor furniture. They will discolor your wooden furniture if left for too long. If the grease is still wet, wipe it off with a soft cloth. Apply some white vinegar, wash with warm soapy water, rinse and let it dry.

You might be surprised to hear that even liquids like water and coffee can stain your wooden outdoor furniture. If the stains are light-colored or white, the liquid has not gone deep. For that, you can use furniture polish or some wet toothpaste.

If the stain is dark, it means the water has penetrated deeply. You will need to mix some toothpaste and baking soda in equal measure. Clean and apply some solvent like painter thinner or mineral spirits.

Glass Outdoor Furniture

Though this is the most fragile type of furniture, you should not be afraid to incorporate it into your outdoors. You will be surprised that it is very easy to clean stains off of, just like plastic.

When cleaning your outdoor glass furniture, make sure you use a non-abrasive material. Remove debris without scratching the glass with a non-abrasive substance. Do the initial cleaning with various home cleaning solutions to eliminate filth that can stain if left on the glass. Then, with a delicate cloth, spray white vinegar or use a glass cleaner.

Tree sap is one of the stains that can be a nightmare to remove. The best remover for tree sap is one that easily dissolves the sap.

The most effective to use is alcohol. Clean the area to remove dirt, and then use a new razor blade to scrape off as much sap as possible. Apply some alcohol on a clean cloth and hold on to the sap for almost one hour. Keep on doing this until the sap stain is gone.

General Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Outdoor Furniture

Remove dirt from sofa with upholstery cleaner

To avoid replacing your outdoor furniture frequently, you will need to clean and maintain it regularly. Let’s look at some cleaning and maintenance tips for your furniture.

  • As soon as you notice a stain, clean it as soon as possible. If you wait much longer, the stain will become exceedingly persistent and may be permanent. If it is indicated that your outdoor furniture was coated with stain-resistant furniture when you bought it, don’t put your faith in it.
  • You can remove a majority of stains with detergents. However, you must not leave any detergent residue behind. The residue will stain your outdoor furniture.
  • When cleaning with water, ensure that the outdoor furniture is completely dry. If the furniture is not adequately dried, it will become moist, which will lead to rotting and mildew.
  • Avoid using a pressure washer to clean your furniture. Instead, use a water hose. The pressure from the water pressure will cause great damage.
  • When cleaning your furniture, avoid using abrasive materials. The materials will cause deep scratches liable to stains in the future.


After reading our articles, you should avoid having stained outdoor furniture. You’ve seen that you can easily remove most stains if they’re caught early enough. We’ve also demonstrated how to remove more difficult stains. If you follow our guidelines for cleaning and maintaining outdoor furniture, your furniture will always seem brand new.

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