If you have great furniture in your garden or terrace, you know there are fewer things that are nicer than a BBQ or a gathering with family and friends during the spring/summer months. But how can we maintain our outdoor furniture throughout all seasons of the year? To avoid your outdoor furniture getting discolored, developing rust, corroded or become pitted, it’s important to opt for furniture that is made from durable material. High-end furniture brands usually focus on producing high-quality furniture so you can rest assured that you are getting the most value out of your money! However, to ensure your outdoor furniture lasting for a long time it’s important to constantly maintain it. Keeping it clean and good looking might be a hard job for some, but with these five tips, you’ll keep your furniture happy and shiny all year round!
1. How to Clean Wicker Furniture
With mild soap and water, wicker furniture should be cleaned periodically. It’s important to avoid direct contact with chlorine and saltwater to your wicker furniture. If your wicker furniture is however near salt water, it’s recommended to rinse weekly with water from a hose and to keep away from open flames and artificial heat. Wicker is a material that can withstand most weather conditions, but when exposed to long periods of direct sunlight its surface can dry and fade away.
2. How to Clean Wood Furniture
Luckily, most wood that is used for outdoor furniture is built to withstand and resist decay. However, not giving it proper maintenance for a period of time it could begin to lose its original color! To remove rust stains or bird droppings, or to restore your wood furniture back to its original color, sand lightly along the grain using fine-grit sandpaper and rinse! It’s important to remember that you should never use chlorine bleach as it can damage wood fibers. Instead, if you feel the area is too large to sand always opt for hot water with oxalic acid (also called wood bleach or wood brightener). To protect from ultraviolet rays, dirt, and moisture, or to preserve restored color, seal the wood. The recommended process is to first clean the surface of the wood, sand off any existing finishes and touch up with paint if needed. In general, you’ll need to do so every 1 to 3 years but it’s always important to consult your manufacturer’s instructions to learn how often to reapply first.
3. How to Clean Outdoor Cushions
Outdoor fabrics that are produced today are extremely durable, but dirt and grime can make even the most durable look dull! Begin by dusting off the surface dirt and using a sponge or soft bristle brush to apply a ¼ cup of mild detergent diluted in 1 gallon of water. Thoroughly rinse and remove all the soap and allow the fabric to air dry. Your outdoor cushions should be as bright and cheery as the day you bought them!
4. How to Clean Metal Furniture
Generally, most metal garden furniture is finished with a protective coating that makes it water resistant, but that finish eventually wears away! Every spring inspect your metal furnishings. If the metal is bubbling or you can see any rust damage, use sandpaper to remove the damaged area and then apply new paint or varnish to restore back to its original state!
5. How to Clean Plastic Furniture
If regular cleaning with dish washing soap and water still leaves your plastic furniture in a grubby state, try a solution of 10 parts water and 1 part chlorine bleach to help remove tough stains or mildew. Please check the care guide lists to ensure the bleach is an approved cleaning agent. For long term maintenance, sunscreen residue can discolor some plastics, soon after exposure wipe the furniture down with a wet cloth and a mild soap solution.
Remember that the most important tip to keep outdoor furniture in good condition is regular washing. How often you wash depends on the furniture’s material, the amount of dirt it has collected over time and the amount of time it’s been exposed to the sun. Washing furniture by hand using good soap, warm water, and applying pressure have been proven to provide the best results! With the right care and attention, your outdoor furniture is ready to brace rain, hail or shine! What tips do you use in your regular cleaning routine that we didn’t mention above? Leave a comment below to let us know!