‘Cheapest’ cleaning hacks to remove algae from garden furniture

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Algae is hard to avoid in autumn – particularly in damp, dark corners of the garden. While the spores are not particularly dangerous, they can leave harsh stains and even weaken the structure of your furniture. According to gardening experts, prevention is “the best form of defence” against these “unsightly organisms”, but there are a few ways to remove them if it’s too late.

Unlike plants and weeds, algae don’t have roots, leaves or stems and tend to attach to surfaces instead.

Gusts of wind help the airborne spores latch onto items such as garden furniture, where they thrive in moist, shaded conditions.

An expert at Be Furniture Sales explained that algae “can quickly take over the entire area” and ruin the appearance of your garden items.

They said: “When neglected, algae growth on wooden surfaces can lead to decay. On wrought iron furniture, it can cause rust which weakens your chairs and tables.”

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How to remove algae from garden furniture

When cleaning garden furniture, it is best to avoid using harsh chemicals that could ruin the material, even if it does work on the algae itself.

Start by removing all cushions and covers and wash them separately.

For hand-wash-only coverings, soak them in a large bucket or bathtub filled with warm water and laundry detergent.

For machine-washable fabrics, Be Furniture Sales recommended using a cup of white vinegar with laundry detergent to target mould spores.

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Warm soapy water

After brushing down any loose debris from your outdoor furniture, use a liquid cleaning solution to target slimy algae.

Be Furniture Sales said: “The cheapest way to get rid of algae on your garden furniture is by using water and a mild detergent. Put a few drops of dish soap into a bucket of warm water. Swirl your fingers around till the water lathers.”

Dip a stiff-bristled brush into the water and scrub the algae spots from your furniture.

Rinse the soapy residue off using a garden hose and dry with a clean towel to soak up any remaining moisture.


If you notice mould spores growing alongside algae, use vinegar to reap the benefits of its antifungal properties.

Combine an equal amount of white vinegar and warm water in a bucket and swirl with a clean brush.

Scrub the furniture vigorously to remove deep-rooted algae and dirt.

Be Furniture Sales said: “Remember to rinse the brush off excess algae as you continue scrubbing. Once you are done, rinse the furniture with enough water and check out for spots that could need more work. Redo such areas until you eliminate all algae traces, then rinse thoroughly.”

Baking soda

Combining vinegar, water and baking soda is ideal for targeting the toughest algae stains and mould growth.

In a large container, add two parts white vinegar to one part water and stir in three heaped teaspoons of baking soda.

Using the same scrubbing method, apply the algae stains on your furniture and leave it to sit for 10 minutes.

Add more of the solution and scrub once more to eliminate lingering residue. Leave to dry in the sun.

Be Furniture Sales said: “You can support the chairs and tables with bricks to prevent the legs from soaking in water for an extended period, which can cause more damage.”

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