How to Take Care of Your Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture can be a great addition to your garden. It provides a space where you can enjoy the warmer weather, long summer evenings and cook outs with friends and family. But, thanks to its constant exposure to the elements, it won’t take long before your outdoor furniture is no longer looking its best. Luckily, there are a few simple tips and tricks that you can use to restore it back to its former glory. Here is everything you need to know about how to take care of your outdoor furniture.
Basic Maintenance of Outdoor Furniture
No matter what material your outdoor furniture is made from, there are a few universal tips that will keep it looking clean and cared-for. Prevention is better than cure, and it’s well worth investing in weatherproof covers that you can put on your furniture when not in use. This will not only stop it from getting so dirty, but will also drastically increase your furniture’s lifespan.
Four or five times a year you should also wipe down your furniture with a slightly damp cloth, making sure to let it dry completely before using it or covering it up. If further cleaning is needed in between, the kinds of materials and methods you use will depend on what your outdoor furniture is made from.
- Wood Outdoor Furniture
For a more general deep clean, just add a bit of dish soap into some water and wipe it over the surface. If any tough stains develop on your wood outdoor furniture, simply lightly sand the stain in the direction of the grain and then rinse the surface with water.
It’s also a good idea to apply a sealant to wood furniture every few years. Left untreated, wood is likely to fade over time, but a sealant will keep the color fresh and give it some extra protection from the elements.
- Metal Outdoor Furniture
There are two main problems that you might encounter with metal outdoor furniture - rust and oxidation. Rust can be lightly sanded away using a fine-grain sandpaper. Then, simply apply some rust-proof paint to the discolored spot. For oxidation you can use a simple solution of equal parts water and white vinegar and rub it onto the surface with a cloth.
Abrasive cleaning products or scrubbers should be avoided with metal outdoor furniture, as these can damage the metal and speed up the rusting process.
- Plastic Outdoor Furniture
For a general clean, add a splash of white vinegar to a bucket of warm water and lightly rub it onto your furniture with a cloth.If you have any stubborn stains, dampen a rag with pure white distilled vinegar or add some baking soda onto a wet sponge. These homemade solutions will get rid of the stain without causing any damage.
You should always avoid using cleaners that contain chlorine or bleach as these can discolor and erode your plastic outdoor furniture.
- Wicker Outdoor Furniture
To clean wicker furniture, simply add a squirt of dish soap to warm water and wipe with a rag or sponge. If there is any dirt caught in between the nooks and crannies, you can use the same solution on a toothbrush to help you reach tricky areas. Once you’re done, simply rinse away the soap with a garden hose. If you are noticing the first signs of mildew on your wicker outdoor furniture, add some white wine vinegar to your soapy water and repeat the process above.