Outdoor furniture can be just what you need to transform your outdoor area into the perfect entertainment spot for your garden parties and private retreats. And when the weather gets warmer, outdoor spaces and patios suddenly become the most popular areas in the house- and your outdoor furniture is part of the reason why.
Unlike your other living room furniture, outdoor furniture can’t just sit around looking good for years- it has to be maintained and taken good care of. Fortunately, high-quality outdoor furniture is designed to weather the elements, from torrential downpours to those pesky bird poo deposits, for years.
However, a little TLC is what helps to ensure that it lasts for a while. Maintaining your outdoor pieces does not have to be a challenge. To do it properly though, you need a good understanding of how to clean and take care of the different types of materials available. Failure to take care of your outdoor furniture will cause it to appear weathered and faded and even worse, it can begin to fall apart.
To ensure that this does not happen here is how to take care of different types of outdoor furniture:
Taking care of teak outdoor furniture
Teak is a type of tropical hardwood that produces oil naturally. It also has a tight grain that makes it impervious to water even when it is unfinished or not stained. It is because of these reasons that it is the number one material of choice for boat builders.
The oily and water-resistant nature of teak also means that it does a great job resisting termite invasions, which makes it one of the most durable choices of outdoor furniture out there. These qualities also make it low maintenance. To take care of teak, simply use a solution created specifically to clean teak and a soft bristle brush to get rid of any dirt or mold on the surface.
Make sure that you store any cushions to be used alongside the furniture separately in a quality waterproof deck box to prevent them from staining owing to the furniture’s naturally oily surface.
Taking care of wicker outdoor furniture
There are 2 main types of outdoor wicker furniture- natural rattan wicker and synthetic resin wicker, which is also called all-weather wicker. Resin wicker is water as well as UV-resistant, which makes it a lot easier to handle than the natural variety. To take care of wicker furniture, simply use a mild liquid soap and water to eliminate dirt and debris from the surface.
Taking care of aluminum outdoor furniture
Aluminum is one of the best materials for outdoor furniture because it is resistant to rust, is durable and is generally easy to take care of. Most aluminum furniture is powder-coated in an array of colors that keeps the furniture looking fresh as well as prevents it from oxidizing. The powered coating is also what prevents chipping, cracking, peeling and fading.
To take care of aluminum furniture, use mild liquid soap to get rid of any dirt. If your furniture has a shiny exterior, you may also want to cover it with a mild form of auto wax twice a year to preserve the furniture’s shine. Mineral oil also works well for furniture with textured surfaces.
Taking care of wrought iron
Like aluminum, wrought iron is also quite strong and resilient to the elements, but it has to be covered with a water-resistant coating for it to give you the service that you deserve. Maintaining wrought iron is not very different from how you would typically take care of aluminum.
Simply use mild liquid soap and a soft washcloth for the surfaces. Car wax can help you repel water as well as maintain the iron’s luster. Try not to rub the surface too roughly as removing the finish will make it prone to rust. If you notice any scratches or chips, try and touch these areas as soon as you can to prevent the problem from worsening.
Taking care of outdoor furniture with fabric on it
Fabrics are the perfect breeding grounds for mildew, especially if they are rained on. To prevent mold and mildew from forming on your outdoor furniture, ensure that you spray the surfaces of the fabric using fabric protecting spray.
To keep the furniture clean, use a brush to eliminate any loose dirt and remember to wipe any spills that occur immediately before they set. For regular or spring cleaning once or twice a month, you can also use a mix of mild soap and water. If the stain calls for it, use a soft bristle brush to get rid of stubborn stains and then air dry before storing.
Try to avoid machine washing your cushion covers as it could reduce the fabric’s impermeable surface. When buying covers, it is best to invest in those with a soft cloth backing that will preserve the furniture’s original finish. The covers should also be breathable, and better still, ventilated to stave off any unwanted elements like mildew and mold.
If you know that the weather is going to be bad, such as during big storms and snowfall, it is recommended that you cover your furniture especially if you plan on keeping them outdoors the entire time.
When outdoor furniture is first purchased, it is typically bought with care instructions included. After some time though, these instructions are likely to go missing. Regardless of how careful you try to be, things are bound to spill on your outdoor furniture.
Perhaps someone accidentally spilled dip on the cushions of your deck sofa or suntan lotion got wiped against your sun loungers. Mother Nature can also do quite a number on your furniture to dirty it up and even damage it.
If you fail to take preventative measures and clean your furniture regularly, your furniture will only last a little while. Rather than throw your arms up in surrender, the tips above will make certain that your outdoor furniture lasts for years to come.