Your outdoor furniture is designed to withstand considerable impact from the elements, but winds and rains can still leave your furniture in need of a good cleaning. Moreover, if you have kids, you already know the mess that chocolaty fingers and melting popsicles can leave on your patio set. Whatever type of furniture you own, you’ll need to learn the optimum way to clean it. The following tips can help you keep your outdoor furniture clean and in its best possible condition.
To clean your wood patio furniture made of cedar, redwood, or pine, you’ll need a soft scrub brush and a cleaner designed to be used on wood. First, you’ll need to scrub the wood to loosen any dirt and debris. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the cleaner and finish by hosing off any residue. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when performing cleaning tasks. If you prefer, you can also mix up your own cleaner with one quart of water, ¼ cup of ammonia, and two tablespoons of white vinegar.
For teak furniture, which is popular, you can use a teak cleaner and follow the instructions on the bottle. If you don’t have teak cleaner, “[a]pply mixture of 1/4 cup laundry detergent and one quart bleach to one gallon water. Allow to remain on for 10-20 minutes. Scrub with soft bristled brush and rinse with garden hose.” (Source: “How to Clean Outdoor Patio and Deck Furniture”, Today’s Homeowner) Again, use a soft brush to loosen dirt before applying the cleaner and rinse with a garden hose to clean until your desire needs.
Metal or Wrought Iron Furniture
To clean your metal or wrought iron furniture, simply add some dish soap to a bucket of warm water. Dampen a soft scrubbing brush and begin cleaning your furniture. If you notice any rust spots while cleaning, rub them away with some sand paper. After rinsing your soap from the furniture, you’ll need to apply some primer and touch-up paint to any bare spots you removed rust from. The touch-up paint will prevent rust from returning so you can keep your furniture in optimum condition.
To clean plastic furniture, you can use a touch of baking soda and a damp sponge to perform cleaning tasks. The baking powder makes a great abrasive. This method also works well for resin-molded furniture. Once each piece has been scrubbed free of dirt and debris, you can rinse them thoroughly with a garden hose. Although plastic furniture may not be designed to last as long as other types of patio furniture, it is a breeze to clean.
Removable Fabric Covers
In most cases, you can clean cushion covers by removing them and washing them in your washing machine. However, don’t use the clothes dryer to dry them. Replace them on the cushions to dry in place to reduce the possibility of shrinkage.