Guest Blogger #928, Entry #2292, April 13, 2013,
Winter is finally coming to an end and you may be dreaming of backyard BBQ’s and summer activities. You are so ready for summer but is your outdoor furniture ready too? To answer that question you will need to consider the materials your furniture is made of. Different materials have different cleaning preparations needed to get them ready for use in the summer season. Follow these tips for what you need to do for each kind.
Image via: Rachel Mast Design
How to Take Care of Wood Outdoor Furniture
Link to You Tube video –> How to Care for Outdoor Wood Furniture
Aluminum furniture can come painted or unpainted. The paint seals out moisture. First wash your piece with soapy water then rinse it and dry it completely. If your furniture is painted aluminum look it over for any chipped or worn spots in the paint. These spots are allowing water to get in which will weaken the metal and cause breakage when you sit in it. If you find worn spots, touch up the paint thus resealing it. If your furniture has been stored it may have scuff marks. Use a soft non-abrasive cleaner to rub them out. Using anything harsher can ruin your item. To shine up the furniture wipe down with a touch of baby oil. Do this every few weeks throughout the summer.
Image via: Jeri Koegel
Wicker is a beautiful type of outdoor furniture that doesn’t cost a lot. But it can become dry and brittle especially after storage. Use a very mild oil based liquid cleaner and water with a soft bristled brush. First vacuum any loose dirt gently from the furniture then apply the cleaning oil in small amounts gently using the brush in small patches. Once that is completed over the entire piece, use light water pressure from a hose to rinse it off. Once a month repeat the process to keep wicker supple.
If your wooden furniture is an average type of non-expensive wood then washing it with soapy water, then rinsing is enough. That is if it already has an exterior grade varnish applied. This varnish protects the material through summer months. If not apply the varnish to the wood. Once dry, wash it with the soapy water and rinse. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid the soap leeching into the wood. Another type of wood called Teak is a more expensive honey colored wood. Untreated teak wood turns gray. Apply a protectant made for teak wood after washing with mild soapy water. This will keep the honey coloring intact though the years. Teak wood can last for generations.
Ornate wrought iron is a classic beautiful style of outdoor furniture. The bad news is it rusts easily. Usually the iron has been treated before you buy it to prevent rust, But even so over time small patches can rust. If your furniture has rusty patches sand it off gently with light sandpaper. Use mild soapy water and a damp cloth to clean the entire piece. Repeat the process with a damp cloth with only water to rinse. Repaint the areas you have sanded with a rust resistant matching paint.
Image via: Drew Callaghan
Plastic the most common form of casual outdoor furniture is the easiest to care for. Simply wash it with soapy water and hose it down. Take care of any worn or rubbed bare areas with paint made specifically for plastic
Most fabric based outdoor furniture has removable covers and pieces. These include couches, chairs and hammocks. Just remove the fabric and throw in the washing machine. Dry on a low temperature or hang to air dry. Wash the frames of the furniture according to if it is word, plastic or iron etc. Rinse and dry the frames. Once all is dried reassemble the fabric components on the frames. If you have a fabric umbrella that goes to your outdoor table, it is cleaned differently, For these large pieces of fabric wash it down with a damp cloth and soapy water. Use oil on the umbrella’s joints for ease in opening and closing it.
Now you are ready to relax in your yard or on your deck in clean comfortable outdoor furniture. Don’t forget the lemonade!
About the author: This is a guest post by freelance writer, DIY and home improvement enthusiast Charlie O. for Worldmarket.com, a great supplier of outdoor furniture. Check out their stock if you are also preparing for the summer.