Although routine cleanings are key to ensuring your outdoor furniture lasts, it is especially important to ensure it is cleaned before placing it in storage prior to the colder winter months. This will help prevent damage such as rust and mould. In this post, we have outlined techniques to clean a variety of furniture types.
If your outdoor furniture is wooden – including teak and wicker – there are some techniques to use:
- Utilise a mild oil-base soap and mix with water, or mix ¼ cup ammonia, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, and ¼ warm water for a home-made solution
- For hard woods, annually sand and apply fresh protective finish, such as an oil or stain
- Throughout the spring and summer months, wooden furniture should be regularly wiped down to eliminate dirt, debris and excess water
The following tips concern wrought iron, cast iron and aluminium furniture. As oxidation is the most common problem, use some of the following tips when cleaning:
- Prepare the area by using a polishing paste or a solution of white vinegar and water
- Avoid harsh chemicals
- Use a mild washing up liquid in warm water, and scrub with a soft sponge or cloth, and continue by rinsing with cold water and dry
- If rust has developed, sand the area lightly using fine-grit sandpaper and apply touch-up paint
- Following cleaning, apply a coat of quality liquid or paste specialised wax with a lint-free cloth for extra protection
Dirty plastic garden furniture loses its appeal, particularly if it was once gleaming and white. To help restore the colour and shine, follow this process:
- Mix 50ml of vinegar with 1L of warm water, and wipe down the furniture, followed by hosing off the cleaner
- If there are more stubborn stains, dust bicarbonate of soda onto a sponge and wipe away the stains
- Once the set is dry, apply WD-40 and polish to restore shine
- Then polish with a protective wax to form a protective layer
OUTDOOR PILLOWS AND CUSHIONS
- Most cushion covers are machine washable. Be sure to launder on a gentle cycle and tumble dry on low
TOP TIP: Add tennis balls to the dyer to beat out excess moisture and promote quick drying
If there is mildew on the umbrella, be sure to act fast to prevent further growth. Brush off as much as possible utilising a scrub brush, and spray with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water on affected areas. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. Continue by hosing down the area to remove the solution and mildew. Ensure the umbrella is thoroughly dry before placing it in storage, to prevent further build up.
INVEST IN FURNITURE COVERS
To reduce the time it takes to clean furniture following the summer season, it is a good idea to invest in covers for each item of furniture. This will not only improve the longevity of the furniture, but also reduce the frequency of cleaning throughout the months the furniture is in use.