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2021, August

How to clean your outdoor furniture

How to Clean Your Outdoor Furniture the Right Way

Regular cleaning is an important part of keeping your patio area looking fresh and inviting.  Whether it be a dreary winter or a wet spring, these things can take a toll on your patio furniture.  Basic maintenance will help not only keep your furniture looking good but lasting much longer as well.  Follow these basic tips to spruce up your patio for summer barbeques or cuddling around the firepit in the winter.

Getting Started

If you leave your furniture out for the fall and winter, it can accumulate a lot of dry debris.  The dirt and foliage from surrounding plants can gather on your furniture. This can be easily cleaned with a soft bristle brush or a dry cloth or even a broom.  Once the dry pieces are removed, you can use a hose or a wet rag to wipe down the frames of your furniture.  (Do not use a power washer as it is too powerful and may damage your furniture or rip your slings.)

Plastic

Plastic and resin furniture is inexpensive and comes in a wide variety of styles, making it the most popular choice for deck and lawn furniture. It also happens to be the easiest to maintain. Skip the abrasives (which can scuff the surface) and simply spray with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe down with a sponge or damp cloth to keep plastic furniture looking good.

Metal

Metal furniture can come in a variety of types: wrought iron, cast aluminum and aluminum are the most common types in lawn furniture.  These types of sturdy metal frames can be easily cleaned by using a sponge or brush to clean.  We recommend using mild dish soap or a product called “Simple Green” which can be sprayed on the frames.

If you find that your furniture has started to rust, you should try to use steel wool to remove the rust.  If not removed, it can damage your frames over time.  The best way to combat rust is to have the furniture powder coated, which can bring your furniture to a nearly brand new finish which will last for many years.  This repair can be costly, but it will benefit you and your furniture in the long term.

Slings

Slings are made from PVC-coated material and can take a lot of wear and tear, making it perfect for outdoor patio furniture.  The best way to clean sling material is to use a soft bristle brush dipped in a bucket of water with a little mild detergent or bleach.  Use the brush to gently scrub away the stains and dirt on your slings.  Do not use a power washer as the pressure typically will cause the slings to tear or split.  You can also use a product called Simple Green to clean the slings or frames.  Just spray it down, scrub the tough areas, and rinse away with a hose. 

Dealing With Mold

Mold is very hard to avoid especially during the long wet spring.  Showers will bring rain and humidity that can often result in mildew in damp cushions or furniture.  The best way to battle mildew is to wait for the furniture to try, then try to remove as much of the surface mold as possible with a soft-bristle brush and mild detergent diluted in a gallon of warm water.  You can use white cleaning vinegar to clean any trouble spots.  Most fabrics used in patio furniture are bleach safe, so you can also use diluted bleach in a bucket of warm water as well as it is very effective in removing mold and mildew.

How To Clean Your Outdoor Patio Cushions:

 

Cushions make a fun and comfortable addition to your patio furniture.  While these cushions look so nice when fresh and new, over time being outdoors can lead to a lot of wear and tear.  Outdoor cushions fabrics are designed to withstand the elements by being UV-treated and stain resistant.  The best way to keep these cushions looking as good as new is learning the best way to clean them and keep them nice. 

It is best if you clean your cushions at least at the end of the season (if you plan on storing them through the off seasons) and the beginning of the season so that your cushions can be ready for a full summer of use!  Here are some easy steps to keeping your cushions clean through the whole year.

Step 1: Vacuum up loose debris.

Using an upholstery attachment or a handheld vacuum, vacuum over the surface of the cushion to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. Pay special attention to seams and crevices that could hide dirt and be careful around buttons or other decorative elements. You can also use a soft bristle brush to gentle brush away debris and grime.

Step 2: Scrub with cleaning solution.

You can use several solutions to clean your cushions.  If the material is bleach safe, dilute bleach in water according to the instructions on the bottle.  You can also use a mild detergent in a bucket of water. Use a soft bristled brush dipped in the cleaning solution to scrub the entire surface, going back over rough areas as needed.

Step 3: Rinse cushions using garden hose.

Use a garden hose on low to medium pressure to rinse off the cushions. Be sure to thoroughly rinse away all of the cleaning solution. Do not use a pressure washer as this might damage the fabric.

Step 4: Let dry completely.

Squeeze out any excess water with your hands if possible, then blot the fabric with a clean towel to soak up as much moisture as possible. Prop the cushions up vertically and allow them to air-dry completely. Set them in a sunny spot to speed up the drying time.

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