Last updated on March 23rd, 2022
Spring is that time of the year when everything seems to point outdoors – a great time to relish your patio living space. But it’s also the season when pollen showers are at their peak. And unless you had a spacious basement or shed to enclose your patio furniture, you are probably wondering how to stop the pollen invasion. So, in this article, we will be discussing how to keep pollen off patio furniture.
There are three major ways you can protect patio furniture from pollen. First, you can cover the furniture with a patio cover or tarp. Second, you install a misting system or screen. Thirdly, consider moving the furniture to your garage or basement.
Pollen is the biggest foe of spring, and just like death, it is unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t control it. While it will take quite a bit of work, learning how to keep pollen at bay will help your furniture stay clean and protect you from watery eyes, itchy throat, constant cough, and other allergic symptoms. And more importantly, your furniture will be preserved while you get to enjoy your outdoor living space as well as all the birdsongs and flowers.
Why clean pollen off patio furniture
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t allow pollen to infiltrate your outdoor furniture.
First, it makes the piece dirty and unsanitary. When allowed to thrive, pollen will often develop into mold, leaving an irritating yellowish stain. Sometimes, this can cause permanent discoloration on your furniture or upholstery, which is the last thing you want.
Secondly, pollen can be a problem for people with allergies.
It is either large and highly visible (like the ones from pine) or extremely tiny and more wind-borne. The latter probably won’t make you sick if you’re dealing with allergies. But you will most likely experience some symptoms if you’re exposed to the smaller particles for long.
The idea of cleaning pollen off your outdoor furniture might seem pointless since they will just continue to come back. However, failure to get rid of it can create further problems, as described above.
How to clean pollen off your patio furniture
The steps below show how to clean pollen off your furniture.
Find a clean spot
Location is a vital aspect of cleaning. If your workspace is dirty, you will likely end up spraying pollen and dirt back onto the furniture. Thus, you want to choose a clean area to work in; it should also be somewhere in the sun to ensure quick drying once you’re done washing.
Spray with water
Start by rinsing down the patio furniture with a water hose. This helps to remove light amounts of pollen and loose dirt and debris. It also makes scrubbing a lot easier.
If you have the furniture on a deck, then rinse down the deck as well. However, we recommend using a pressure washer for a deck instead of a hose since you will be dealing with a larger surface
Sometimes, just cleaning the piece with water will be enough to get rid of pollen if you’re dealing with light amounts of it. However, for larger amounts of pollen, proceed to the next step.
Scrub with soap and water
The next step is to scrub the piece with soapy water. This is prepared by mixing your dish detergent (or green dish soap) with warm water. You can put the mixture in a spray bottle to make it easier to apply.
Spray it heavily on every part (surface) of the furniture. Then give it a good scrub using a scrub brush. While scrubbing, treat delicate areas with care to avoid causing further damage.
If you don’t have a spray bottle or scrub brush, you can create the cleaning solution in a bucket. Then apply with a soft brush and sponge to remove grime. Wash the furniture from top to bottom.
Rinse again and dry
Once you’re done washing, rinse the furniture thoroughly to remove every trace of soap. Then leave it in the sun to dry completely before you use it again. If you start using the furniture before it’s fully dry, chances are that the moisture will attract more pollen and dirt. That is why it’s best to do the cleaning on a sunny day.
Get a cover
After drying the furniture, consider using a cover if you plan to leave them outside. This will help in protecting the piece from pollen and reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do every now and then. It will also increase the lifespan of your furniture and ensure you get the most from your investment.
Have a cleaning schedule
Keeping a regular washing schedule is the best way to keep off pollen from your patio furniture. We recommend two weeks to keep things at bay. Don’t wait till the end of the season before you do something. Delaying will only make your job more difficult, as more pollen will make cleaning harder.
How to clean pollen off plastic outdoor furniture
You can remove pollen from plastic outdoor furniture using a mixture of dishwashing liquid and warm water. For easier application, you can pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Then spray all over the plastic piece, brush gently or use a soft sponge. Follow the tips already described above to give the furniture a good wipe and dry thoroughly before use. Instead of sun drying, we recommend air drying plastic furniture to prevent any color fading.
How to clean pollen off iron furniture
Getting rid of pollen on iron furniture is fairly simple. You will need to create a pollen-busting solution – a mixture of warm water and dish detergent (ideally, liquid detergent in a few drops). Use a spray bottle to make things easier.
Here are the steps:
- Mix the water and detergent in a spray bottle (You don’t need to follow any exact ratios; just add enough detergent to make the water soapy).
- Spray the mixture onto the iron piece, and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Wipe off gently using a soft cloth (we highly recommend microfiber to avoid leaving any scratches).
- Repeat this many times until the whole furniture is thoroughly clean. Look out for crevices, corners, and undersides.
- Once done, you can hose down with fresh water.
How to clean pollen off wicker furniture
To clean pollen off your wicker furniture, start by vacuuming up any loose pollen. Then, clean it as you would clean other types of furniture – iron, plastic, or wood – as described in previous sections.
You will need to create a bubbly solution using warm water and dish detergent. Then scrub down the wicker.
To rinse, use a water hose, not a power washer, to avoid damaging the material. Once you’re done rinsing, shake any excess water out and dry with an absorbent towel.
How to keep pollen off wood furniture
Follow the tips below to keep pollen off your wood furniture.
Opt for low-pollen flowers
Different types of flowers have different levels of pollen production. You want to go for low-pollen flowers when planning the landscape around your patio. This way, you won’t have to deal with large amounts of pollen every spring season.
Setup a mister
A mister is used to spray light water mist in outdoor spaces during hot climates such as summer. This helps to keep the area cool and cozy.
A side benefit of these misting systems is that they also help to catch falling pollen, thereby helping to control it.
Clean the furniture
When you notice light pollen buildup on your wood piece, spray it down with a garden hose. This should remove most pollen. If there are still “leftovers,” you can scrub down with a washcloth.
Install a screen
Consider installing a screen to enclose the furniture if your patio isn’t screened in already. This helps to minimize the amount of pollen coming to your patio and subsequently settling on your furniture. It will also shield the patio from flying insects and pests. The major con with this method is that it can be very expensive and difficult to set up, especially when you have a large patio.
Lastly, you can just bring the furniture inside the house and save yourself all the drama. This is the best move, especially if you’re not using the furniture.
How to keep pollen off outdoor cushions
The best way to keep pollen off your outdoor cushions is to cover them with outdoor cushion covers or slipcovers. In addition, the tips described above for wood furniture are also applicable here. These include avoiding high pollen flowers like sunflower and daisies, installing a misting system, installing a screen, bringing the cushions indoors (when not in use), and giving them a good wipe from time to time.
Talking about cleaning, you can start by beating the cushions or pillows together to remove pollen naturally. Then spray both sides with detergent and warm water, and brush with a bristle brush. Rinse with fresh water, and leave in the sun to dry completely before using again. For tough pollen stains, use vinegar solution (two parts water plus one part vinegar).
Can you vacuum up pollen?
Yes, you can vacuum up pollen. To do this, get a vacuum hose and hold it over the pollen-infested area. Doing this alone will remove a lot of pollen initially.
As a follow-up, you can tape the area with a piece of duct tape to get rid of any remaining pollen. Next, remove the tape with the pollen; apply another piece of duct tape to remove more pollen. Repeat this step until the surface is free of pollen.
You can use this method if you don’t want to wash the furniture or surface with soap and water, as described in previous sections.
FAQs About How to Keep Pollen off Patio Furniture
What is the yellow dust on my patio furniture?
This is probably pollen – a powdery yellow substance that settles on many surfaces, especially during spring. Pollen can come from different sources – trees, grasses, and weeds – but the more prominent ones are the pine trees. A good example is the slash pine, which blooms mostly in mid-march, and is native to some areas. Other tree sources of yellow pollen are cedar, ash, elm, and birch.
Can you get pollen off your porch?
Yes, you can get pollen off your porch. The method described above for patio furniture will also work here. To make your job easier, we recommend vacuuming the area before rinsing it down with a hose or pressure washer.
We will draw the curtains here. Hopefully, you now know how to keep pollen off patio furniture.
While pollen can get pretty annoying and messy, it’s not so difficult to remove, as you can see from the steps described above.
The frequency of cleaning is totally up to you. If you spend a lot of time on your patio or porch, then you will have to clean it often. But if not, you might decide to wait till the end of the year’s pollen shower, but that will only make your job more difficult.
We suggest covering your nose, mouth, and eyes while cleaning, especially if you have allergies. Let us know if you have any more questions about how to get rid of pollen in your furniture. Until then, happy cleaning!