Outdoor Furniture Does Require Some Protection

  •   Isn’t outdoor furniture designed to withstand the elements? Why should I worry about learning how to clean outdoor furniture? Good questions! Yes, outdoor furniture is designed and constructed differently than indoor furniture so it can last season after season in outdoor furniture Wholesale conditions. But, just like any other outdoor items, that “outdoor” construction can only withstand so much. From patio furniture to outdoor decorations, you want your outdoor space to be beautiful and functional. Protect and clean outdoor furniture to keep it looking good as new summer after summer.

      Weather Can Damage Outdoor Furniture Materials in Different Ways

      UV rays can fade fabric and furniture frames and heat can melt and fade plastics and break down fabrics. Rain and moisture can cause wrought iron and other metals to rust, fabric pillows and cushions to develop mold and break down the finish on wood. Cushion and pillow foam can break down from prolonged heat and get moldy from moisture. If you’re shopping for outdoor furniture, put some thought into where the furniture will be located and how vulnerable it will be to the elements.

      When you know how to clean outdoor furniture and protect it, your patio furniture should last for many years. Wooden outdoor furniture is beautiful and more natural-looking, but it can require ongoing maintenance. Less expensive wood like pine or oak can hold up nicely if it is protected with a good stain and sealant, but it may eventually warp, crack and decompose more quickly than some other woods. Although more expensive than pine or oak, teak, mahogany and redwood may be a better choice. These types of wood are naturally hardy and can withstand the elements with a minimal amount of maintenance.

      Metal like wrought iron is durable, but it does require some protection and maintenance. You can touch up most metal with a bit of sanding and a fresh coat of paint, but once rust forms, you must stay on top of your maintenance to keep the metal from corroding. A better choice for metal outdoor furniture is aluminum. Powder-coated aluminum looks great and is very weather resistant. The coating is virtually scratch-proof and keeps the furniture safe from rust and UV damage.

      Plastic and resin furniture is inexpensive and comes in a wide variety of styles, making it one of the most popular choices for deck and lawn furniture. Plastic furniture is low maintenance but is still susceptible to fading and cracking from UV rays and prone to discoloration and permanent stains.

      Cleaning Tips for Outdoor Furniture

      Expensive or inexpensive, high-maintenance or low-maintenance, regardless of their materials, you’ll want to protect and clean outdoor furniture to make it last longer. From spills to dirt and grime, outdoor furniture can get pretty dirty from season to season. Knowing how to clean patio furniture before, during, and after summer goes a long way toward extending the life of wood, metal, and fabric materials.

      Even modern outdoor fabrics like polyester will stain, and the commonly used quick-dry foam could break down if you don’t clean up spills and messes when they happen. Natural and synthetic fabrics react differently to cleaners, so unless the manufacturer suggests something different, clean your outdoor fabrics with good old soap and water. The key for any fabric will be to clean up those spills as quickly as possible. If you have covers that can be removed, just take them off and throw them in the washer. Be sure to clean the foam inside quickly and let it air dry to prevent mold and mildew.

      For metal outdoor furniture like wrought iron, soap and water will work fine. Be careful not to scrub too hard and create chips in the finish to avoid rust. Plastic or resin outdoor furniture is easy to keep clean if you wipe up spills right away and give it a good cleaning once in a while. Avoid abrasive cleaners that could scratch the surface and opt for an all-purpose cleaner instead. You can spray down plastic furniture with a hose when it’s really dirty and then wipe it down with your cleaner and a sponge or cloth.

      While it’s tempting to grab your pressure washer to clean wicker, teak or other wood outdoor furniture quickly, the strong spray could scar or damage your beautiful furniture. Instead, use mild oil soap or soap and water and a soft brush or sponge to remove dirt and grime gently. You may find a toothbrush helps to get into the nooks and crannies of wicker easier. For hardwoods like teak or redwood, there are plenty of commercial cleaning products designed to clean and protect but avoid teak oil because it can encourage mildew.

      No matter what type of outdoor furniture you have, be sure to protect and clean outdoor furniture and let it dry thoroughly before you put it in storage at the end of the season. Even when it’s stored away from the elements, it’s a good idea to give your outdoor furniture a quick cleaning at the beginning of summer, too.

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