If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors relaxing on your patio love seat or dining with family around your outdoor dining set, you may consider it an experience that you’ve come to enjoy. It gets so good that, even if you’re away, you begin to look forward to those exciting moments with your loved ones and friends.
At the center of these beautiful experiences are the outdoor patio furniture pieces that make it all comfortable and worth the while. It could be shattering to find out that a favorite piece is no longer in shape when you need it the most. That’s why in this guide, we’ll help you discover ways to take care of your patio furniture to extend the service life and continue to spend quality time outdoors with your loved ones.
Caring for Outdoor Furniture; What You Should Know
It’s one thing to do the due diligence of buying your patio furniture from a trusted manufacturer who offers quality services for your money. However, rightly caring for your pieces of furniture is the only way to guarantee that they would serve you for a long time, even if they have a solid build.
Your manufacturer’s guide is a great place to look, to be sure of how to care for your outdoor furniture. If you need more details or can’t seem to find your guide, then the tips in this guide will be a handy companion to help you extend the life of your furniture.
A myriad of factors could contribute to the quick wear and tear of your furniture, even if they are designed to be durable. It could be due to intense exposure to erratic weather, droppings of food, and drink spills on different occasions. At other times, your outdoor patio furniture could easily get stained with bird droppings, bugs trying to find the best place to hide, and a host of other natural factors you have no control over. This means to get the best out of your furniture, you’ve got to look closely at your furniture properties to determine its maintenance and how you can save it from collapsing too early.
1. Take materials into consideration
What materials make up the design of your furniture? For instance, some outdoor patio pieces like our outdoor conversation sets are fully made of wicker, while others are a combination of plastic and steel. Pay attention to the materials used in your furniture design, to help you to figure out how to care for them.
Many outdoor furniture pieces are made from weather-resistant hardwood, that would not require frequent maintenance. Some later develop a fading patina that you may fall in love with, in place of its initial finish. If you don’t find it appealing, sanding and oiling the wood will get back its previous look. It’s not unusual to find debris stuck within the grain of the wood, use a soft-bristled brush to wash up the wood surface. Soapy water and a damp piece of cloth can also come in handy for cleaning dirt or dust from the furniture. Use only a small amount of water on the wood or dry off excess water with a piece of fabric.After this, you may leave the wood to dry off in the open. The great thing about most hardwood for outdoor furniture is that you’ll be able to extend its life span by cleaning it only a few times a year.
Wooden furniture may soon develop mold and mildew if your weather is constantly wet; this means that you’ll need to commit to some extra hours of care to get rid of them. Ideally, they are not exactly harmful to your furniture, but they can make it look funny or easily make persons or pets fall ill. If you notice the case is a persistent one, even after making a conscious effort to clean the wood, you might want to apply some extra measures. A solution of white vinegar, ammonia, baking soda, and water, when applied with a light brush or sponge, can help you get rid of the problem.
Some furniture pieces with metal frames or fully metal designs are superb when they retain their luster. However, if it begins to rust, you might not exactly feel proud to own them. Your first step is to determine what sort of metal it is. You shouldn’t use harsh solvents or brushes on your metal that may cause surface scratches on it. Instead, lightly rinse off any form of dirt or stain on the metal surface, then wipe it off with a soft piece of cloth, preferably microfibre. Additionally, the type of metal will determine the best cleaning type to employ.
For steel furniture, watch out for fingerprints and smudges areas using white vinegar solution and a damp piece of cloth to wipe them off. Also, pay attention to the grade of the steel. 316 marine-grade steel is built to resist rust; however, lesser grades will be prone to rust. To deal with this, applying a simple solution of baking powder and water over the surface will help to manage rust effectively.
Pieces designed from wrought iron will require some bit of detail in cleaning due to the intricate patterns worked into their design. Get off loose dirt in the furniture using a small brush attached to a vacuum, especially paying attention to tight crevices in the furniture design. For instance, you can also repaint your patio rocking chair after a while to help retain its shine.
Aluminum is another metal type used in making outdoor furniture. To extend the life of this furniture, ensure that you don’t move them about as they could easily dent, as compared to other metals. One great feature of this metal though, is that it would not rust easily, as it’s often coated for longevity. Ensure to use non-abrasive cleaners with water, or you can respray the furniture based on the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Furniture pieces made from plastic and resin are generally lightweight and are usually cheaper alternatives to other materials. This means that they will require extra care and maintenance to extend their usage live. It will need consistent cleaning, as exposure to sunlight easily degrades this material. You may notice flaking or chalking on your furniture with time. Wipe off dirt and spills with something tender, and don’t use any harsh material that will leave scratches on the surface to get off hard stains. Washing the furniture surface with a damp cloth and soapy water can help to make it last longer. Always ensure to rinse down soap remains and dry off excess water with a piece of cloth or leave it to air dry.
Wicker/ rattan furniture
Ideally, synthetic wicker is the best option for outdoor furniture and is generally long-lasting. To clean it, pay special attention to areas around the weave, as it’s easy for dirt to get stuck in there. You may have a modular outdoor sectional with wicker material which you can easily clean by taking each piece apart; Eensure to take away all cushions, so you can do a thorough cleaning job. Get out all dirt lodged in the weaves using a brush attached to a vacuum or a high-pressure washer for deeper cleaning. Warm soapy water and a hand brush are sufficient for general surface cleaning to rid the furniture of dirt. Ensure to spray a vinegar solution on the furniture to prevent or manage any case of mold. Allow to air dry or mop up excess water from the furniture surface.
2. Upholstery care
The frames of outdoor furniture are often cushioned with upholstery to offer plush comfort while sitting in them. This should not also be ignored in your maintenance routine, as they can easily gather dust, dirt, or stain from bird droppings and food spills. To maintain this, one thing you can do is to always take out the upholstery when you’re not using it.
The challenge here however is that frequent friction and moving around could easily wear out the seams of the upholstery. A better alternative would be to use furniture covering on them to reduce the frequency of contact with humans and the elements. Other designs may be wrapped up in individual coverings to hide the foam core. If the covers are removable, take out the foam for washing if they are machine washable. Otherwise, get a bucket of soapy water and brush, soak the cover in the bucket, and brush off hard stains. Don't forget to rinse it and let it dry off.
To remove hard stains on non-removable upholstery covers, wash with a brush or sponge, and soapy water. Then rinse off the soap and let it dry.
Various outdoor furniture requires different care and maintenance approaches, as the materials vary from each other. You can then determine how you want to go about its maintenance after identifying the material. Using furniture covers can save you loads of cleaning time and reduce the chances of natural degradation.