What Is the Best Way to Clean Patio Furniture?

When the sun comes out and the family is ready to hit the great outdoors, catch some rays and enjoy a little barbecue, you want to make sure that your patio furniture is ready.

Today’s patio furniture is made to last, but it still needs some tender loving care each season to make sure that it continues to perform year in and year out. This is particularly true if you’ve invested in quality patio furniture.

If you live in a location whether the winters turn ugly and the temperatures dip into the teens regularly, you want to make sure that your furniture is either stored indoors or is covered with a nice quality cover that’s made specifically for outdoor furniture. This is particularly true for wood furniture, since water can seep into the wood and expand when it freezes, creating cracks. What’s more, rain, snow, ice, dirt and dust can artificially weather your furniture, causing it to age before its time.

To keep your furniture in tip-top shape, here are some helpful tips regarding the best way to clean patio furniture.

Wood Furniture

It’s best to use a dry brush to remove any loose dust or debris from the furniture. Left on the wood, the debris can cause scratches and mar the finish. After the surface is brushed, use a bit of sandpaper to remove any chips or surface scratches. To clean wood furniture, use a bucket containing lukewarm water and some mild detergent such as dishwashing soap. Apply the solution with a sponge. You don’t need a lot of water on the surface and if you use too much solution, you may end up removing the finish, particularly if your patio furniture has been polished. You can also use a wood wash, but read the manufacturer’s instructions first. Once the patio furniture has been cleaned, dry it off with a clean, dry towel. Some wood surfaces will benefit from a little baby oil or vegetable oil. If you have teak patio furniture, purchase marine grade teak oil from a marine supply store. The stuff they sell in home improvement stores isn’t up to snuff and you’ll end up disappointed with the results.

Iron Furniture Salvation Army Pickup

Wrought iron patio furniture is a popular option because it is strong and beautiful. However, it can corrode. To keep your iron patio furniture looking like new, you’ll want to sand the surface wherever you see rust marks. Remove all the rust, then wipe the entire piece of furniture down with a clean cloth. Some manufacturers include a touch-up kit so you can cover any rust spots with matching paint. If not, you can always refinish it with a product made to prevent rust, such as Rustoleum. If no rust is present, you can simply wipe the piece clean with a mixture of mild detergent and water. This should remove any dirt. If your wrought iron furniture has intricate patterns, you may want to use a small brush to get into the cracks and crevasses. During the winter, keep iron patio furniture under a plastic cover to keep it out of the air and moisture. These are the enemies of wrought iron and when winter is over, you’ll be dealing with a very rusty piece of patio furniture.

Plastic and PVC Furniture

A lot of people think these materials are maintenance free, but they are not. Each season you’ll need to give them a once over with a solution of dishwashing liquid and water. Let the solution stay on the surface for a while, then use a small brush to remove any debris or dirt in the crevasses. Baking powder and warm water works well, too. Once the furniture is clean, rinse it off thoroughly with a hose and let it air dry.

Aluminum Patio Furniture

If you have aluminum patio furniture you’ll want to use a solution of dishwashing liquid and water as well. Using a clean cotton cloth that has been dipped into it, rub the entire surface to remove any built up soil and stains. Rinse thoroughly with a hose, then wipe the entire piece of furniture with a soft cloth. Once it has thoroughly dried, apply a little car wax to the surface and buff it to a shiny finished when it has dried. This will keep the aluminum furniture from becoming corroded.


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