Cleaning outdoor furniture will help preserve and increase its lifespan, and it makes your patio area look new and ready for a great barbecue season. Though many opt to purchase brand new outdoor furniture every season, knowing how to clean outdoor furniture is a great way to give older outdoor furniture, even pieces sitting outside through winter, an extended usefulness. Not enough money for brand new outdoor furniture? Consider these tips on how to clean outdoor furniture and purchase a used set.
How to clean outdoor furniture made of Wood (unpainted) – Unpainted wood furniture is a frugal way to outfit a patio or picnic area. Typically hand constructed of untreated landscaping beams, the rustic picnic tables and swings are most popular for informal barbecue areas. Over a season of use, unpainted wood furniture can get stained or simply dirty. To clean unpainted wood furniture, use a commercial deck wash and a pressure washer. Be sure to treat with water protecting stain or sealant. Repeat wash/treatment in the fall to prolong the life of your outdoor pieces.
How to clean outdoor furniture made of Vinyl (plastic) – Plastic / Vinyl pvc outdoor furniture has become quite popular due to its inexpensive and versatile nature. It is typically stain resistant but can get a little dirt and discoloration on it depending on the environment it is stored in. Cleaning outdoor furniture made of PVC is as simple as mixing a solution of 1c vinegar, 1T dish soap, and plenty of warm water to make a nice sudsy solution. PVC furniture with stubborn stains will come clean if you use a solution of 1T baking soda mixed with 2tsp bleach, applied to the stains with a toothbrush. Another popular way of cleaning outdoor furniture made of vinyl is using melamine foam products such as the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
How to clean outdoor furniture made of Aluminum – Aluminum furniture, most common in the 70’s and 80’s and usually in the form of the common lawn chair, doesn’t rust and tends to store easily. Cleaning is a breeze, as warm sudsy water with either dish or laundry detergent usually does the job. To keep aluminum outdoor furniture looking new, follow cleaning with the application of an aluminum preservative.
How to clean outdoor furniture made of Wrought Iron – Wrought iron furniture is heavy, but some of the vintage pieces are highly desirable. It’s a cheap material to make outdoor furniture from and when properly preserved, wrought iron furniture can outlast most other varieties. Cleaning outdoor furniture made of wrought iron is easiest if there is no rust and the design is not too intricate. Carefully check your wrought iron furniture for any loose parts or rust. Then, using a dry, medium bristle cleaning brush, go over the furniture completely to loosen hard debris. Clean with sudsy dish detergent and water and follow up by rinsing with a garden hose. Sand any rusty areas until all evidence of rust is gone. Afterward, preserve the iron with a protective spray like Krylon.
How to clean outdoor furniture made of Wicker – Rattan, cane, and wicker are best if well preserved from the beginning. Use a mild dish detergent in warm water with the aid of a medium bristled veggie or bottle brush to get in the nooks and crannies. It is very important to use as little water as possible to do the job, as the furniture will absorb liquid and lose its shape. Do not disturb the furniture while it is drying or your outdoor pieces will become distorted and have to be re-moulded later by a caning artist. After it has completely dried, treat wicker furniture with a product specifically manufactured for preserving it.
How to clean outdoor furniture made of Teak – You can clean outdoor furniture made of teak by carefully following the instructions that came with your furniture, but if you’ve lost those great tips, any good furniture polish should work nicely when properly applied. Special wood cleaners are preferred methods of cleaning teak outdoor furniture. You can also purchase a commercial stain remover or brightener, but be careful with these products as they can remove some of the finish from your furniture. Never use a brush or abrasive pad to clean teak. Rinse with poured water, not a hose or pressure washer. Immediately use wood preserver or wax after the furniture is completely dried.
How to clean outdoor furniture made of Glass – Parts of your outdoor furniture may be made of tempered glass. To clean glass with little mess, try a solution of one quarter cup vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Use a terry cloth wash rag to scrub the surface, rinse with the same, and dry with newspaper. The solution should work nicely on any bird droppings or mess and will leave the glass streak free.
How to clean outdoor furniture made of Natural Items – It is not recommended that you clean outdoor furniture made of natural substances like tree trunk due to the fact that heavy cleaning can damage it. Instead, use a vegetable brush and a spray type wood preservative.
How to clean outdoor furniture parts like Cushions, hammocks, and patio umbrellas – Mild detergent will get out most dirt and grime, but typically cushions should be soaked for at least twenty minutes. Hammocks should be only cleaned in cold water to prevent shrinking and may need to be dried flat. Patio umbrellas should be cleaned with mild detergent unless mildewed; mildew can be removed with lemon juice and sunlight, but be sure to test for colorfastness before its use.
There are many varieties of outdoor furniture. Cleaning techniques vary by construction and materials type. From traditional wicker to versatile vinyl pieces, outdoor furniture offers suitable products with every budget and decorative sense in mind. Cleaning outdoor furniture and properly treating and preserving it can be quite simple or somewhat complex, but the benefits can make your used furniture longer-lasting and an economical alternative to buying new.