6 Ways to Maintain Your Outdoor FurnitureJoanna Solis
A well cared for outdoor furniture set can be passed down for generations and with some occasional refinishing and consistent TLC, will still look like it was bought yesterday. Here are some simple and easy ways to maintain your outdoor furniture and ensure a long-lasting investment.
1. Cover Your Outdoor Furniture
Covering your outdoor furniture during harsh weather seasons goes a long way. While intense heat and rainy days are on opposite ends of the temperature spectrum, both climates are damaging to outdoor furniture over time. Although outdoor furniture is built to withstand harsh conditions, taking this extra precaution will increase the life of the furniture.
2. Rinse Off Your Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture straps are consistently exposed to dirt, dust, suntan oils, tree sap, pool chemicals and insecticidal sprays. Just hosing it off once a week goes a long way toward keeping it looking nice.
3. Clean Your Vinyl Straps
While major manufacturers use 100% virgin vinyl that has ultra-violet and mildew inhibitors processed into the material, this does not mean they don’t need care. Patio Guys recommends that furniture owners use vinyl protectant on chair straps once every 3-4 months to keep straps long lasting. Avoid using janitorial cleaners, scouring agents, solvents/gasoline or undiluted bleach on vinyl straps.
4. Clean Your Frames
The 400-degree Fahrenheit oven-cured powder coat paint finishes used on outdoor furniture enhances the ability of the metal frame to withstand the elements. A weekly rinse is usually enough and an occasional cleaning with mild soap and water is even better. Just like you would with your car, Patio Guys recommends cleaning your metal frames with Turtle Wax every 6 months. Powder coat is very similar to car paint so turtle wax that is normally used for cars is effective in cleaning outdoor furniture frames.
5. Clean Your Umbrellas
Use a silicone lubricant or WD/40 to loosen umbrella joints in cranks and tilt mechanisms. Use an aluminum brightener or rub with a fine steel wool dipped in kerosene to remove corrosion and restore a satin look to unpainted aluminum poles. Umbrella fabrics can often be cleaned. Wash the fabric with a solution of one cup of household bleach and one cup of mild liquid detergent, in three gallons of water. Scrub with a small soft bristle brush and then rinse off. Spot clean a small area before cleaning the entire umbrella.
6. Clean Your Table Tops
On glass tops, “Limeaway” or some old-fashioned elbow grease will remove most hard water spots and mineral stains. Refresh acrylic tops with a coat of automotive wax. Avoid harsh cleaners because of their effect on acrylic.
We hope these simple tricks help you keep your outdoor furniture clean and enjoyable for your family. Outdoor furniture is an investment and needs to be cared for regularly in order to assure a long use of the furniture. While many factors can be fixed with simple cleaning steps like what is mentioned here, some problems need a little more TLC. IF outdoor furniture wear and tear seems to be beyond what cleaning can fix, the next step is to refinish furniture to bring the chair back to fresh factory conditions. Comment and let us know of other cleaning tricks that work for you.