Outdoor Furniture Care and Cleaning Tips
Patio and deck furniture is regularly exposed to the elements: rain, sun, wind and even animals. Daily use also takes its toll. Ketchup drips onto a seat cushion when eating a juicy burger fresh off the grill, or a popsicle is left melting on a wooden table. Outdoor furniture care begins by identifying the furniture material type and choosing its best cleaning method. Here are some tips.
Cleaning outdoor furniture, especially resin and plastic items, is simple. Resin furniture is heavier than plastic as well as fade- and mildew-resistant. The Rimini low-back chair is a classic example of a great resin chair — durable, foldable and featuring four adjustable settings for optimum comfort.
Remove scuff marks easily from resin or plastic furniture using a mildly abrasive detergent, sponge and water. Always rinse soap completely from plastic furniture to avoid mildew. For a quick clean, simply run a damp cloth along the furniture, removing dust and crumbs from that evening’s barbecue.
Many wrought iron patio furniture pieces feature durable, powder-coated finishes, which makes caring for them easy. The Garden Oasis wrought iron folding patio table has a powder-coated finish that helps it resist wear from weather and daily use. It’s simple to clean: wipe it down with a damp cloth or clean with a mild dish detergent and water.
Wrought iron furniture with a powder-coated finish typically won’t be as susceptible to paint chipping. If your wrought iron chairs or tables do chip, first prepare the area for touch-up paint by smoothing with sandpaper. Retouch with color-matching, rust-proof paint. Consider a high-quality Rust-Oleum spray paint, which comes in many colors.
Outdoor furniture made of wood offers a contemporary, casual style to any deck, patio or backyard. Most wooden outdoor furniture has been treated to resist wear from weather, but occasional cleaning and maintenance can keep it looking great all summer. Rinse the wood with a garden hose and let it dry in the sun for a quick and easy clean.
Wash cedar Adirondack-style chairs with a mild detergent and water. Always rinse the soap thoroughly from the furniture. At least once a year, treat wooden outdoor furniture (that hasn’t been sealed with paint or stain) with a protective furniture oil.
Wipe seating cushions regularly with a damp cloth. When dealing with stubborn stains, such as animal urine or spilled red wine that’s soaked into the cushion, a more intensive cleaning is needed. Fill a plastic tub with water, mild laundry detergent and about a tablespoon of non-chlorine bleach — always check the cushion manufacturer’s tag for cleaning instructions before beginning. Submerge and scrub the cushion until the stain and/or odors have disappeared. Dry in the sun to avoid mildew growth.
Clean fabric umbrellas with a hose and spray nozzle attachment or with a power washer, set on a low setting. Open and set in the sun to dry thoroughly. Spot-treat stains such as bird droppings with your favorite laundry stain remover spray. Test for color-fastness first by spraying a small out-of-sight area before treating the stain.