If you want your outdoor furniture to stay looking good and remain functional, then you have to take care of it. Cleaning your patio furniture is the main way to do that. Many people do not understand how to properly clean their patio furniture. Here are some tips that can help you out.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Patio Furniture
Just because your outdoor furniture is outdoors, it does not mean that it can take care of itself. You need to keep it free of debris, mildew, or stains. Not only does this keep the furniture looking good, it also helps to keep it useable.
The outdoor elements can do a lot of damage to your furniture. Moisture is a big problem, since water can introduce all types of problems to the materials that make up your furniture. Keeping it clean will counter any of the long effects of moisture, heat, or other forms of elemental damage.
Different Methods for Different Materials
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to treat all of their outdoor furniture the same. How you clean and maintain any furniture, inside or out, has to do with the materials the furniture is made of.
There is no real single solution that can accommodate everything. You first need to take stock of what you have. If you have a set, then everything is probably made from the same materials. If you have mixed outdoor furniture, you need to make sure you’re using the right product or method for each.
No matter what the material is, you can start the cleaning process the same way.
- Brush off debris with a soft brush
- Rinse with the hose (do not power spray)
You can also get away with some mild soap and warm water. This usually works for most furniture. For specific materials, you should really use techniques specifically for that material.
Taking care of wood, teak, and wicker
- DO annually sand hard woods
- DO regularly wipe down the wood to prevent dust buildup
- DO NOT use harsh or abrasive tools or solutions
Taking care of metal, iron, and aluminum
- DO remove scuff marks with a soft brush
Taking care of plastic and resin
- DO experiment with combinations of vinegar, baking soda, and mild soap
- DO NOT use bleach based cleaners on white plastic
Of course, these general tips. For more detailed information, use products specifically designed for your furniture. When it comes to things like covers, sleeves, and cushions, you should wash them according to their instructions.
When Using Commercial Products
There are many commercial products specifically for cleaning your outdoor furniture. However, there are a few things you should do before using any of these products.
- DO follow all directions for the product
- DO NOT use the product on materials it is not made for
- DO spot check with the product on a small area first
- DO NOT combine the products with others unless instructions say it’s okay
Remember that even “all purpose” cleaners are not for all purposes. Also remember that some stains require very specific solutions that may or may not match how you traditionally clean your patio furniture.
If you really want help cleaning your patio furniture, you should make sure that you start with quality furniture to begin with. From there, you can follow the manufacturer’s recommendations towards keeping the furniture in good condition.
Read more about how to care for your outdoor furniture.