Outdoor furniture exists to enhance the ambiance of our patios and our yards while providing us with comfort and protection. They give us places to sit and eat, lay and shade while we enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. They selflessly live outside where the rain falls, the sun beats, the wind pushes and the grime grows. They are built tough to withstand the harshness of Mother Nature, so they can take it, however they still require frequent cleaning to ensure lasting esthetics and longevity. [photo via flickr]
- Cleaning Wicker Furniture: Prized for its beauty and comfort, wicker is one of the most popular options in the area of outdoor furniture. It can be cleaned easily with a gentle mixture of wood oil soap and warm water; using a non-abrasive brush or sponge, soap your wicker, hose it clean and towel dry.
- Cleaning Cushions: Machine safe cushions can be easy cleaned in the wash, cushions not safe for machine wash can be cleaned by scrubbing with a mixture of ¼ laundry detergent, 1 gallon of warm water and 20 drops of tea tree oil. The tea tree oil will gently break down the mold and mildew spores while the warm water and detergent cleans it free of grime. Hose it clean and allow it to sun dry.
- Cleaning Aluminum: Although tempting, it is important to avoid using ammonia solutions such as Windex to clean your aluminum furniture as it can cause oxidation. Dirty aluminum should be cleaned with mild liquid detergent, rinsed, dried and protected with an automotive wax.
- Resin Furniture: Resin is probably the easiest outdoor furniture options to care for; it doesn’t rust or warp so no special care is required. The sun can fade the color over time though so it would keep up appearance in shaded areas. Hosing off and drying is all that is needed.
- Wooden Furniture: Outdoor wooden furniture is weatherized; however weatherizing does not exempt it from warping, rotting, cracking and molding. Wooden furniture can be cleaned with a mild solution of wood oil soap and warm water and dried completely. Once a year, you should seal your wooden furniture with synthetic resin water repellant.
- Cleaning Hammocks: Hammocks can be cleaned mild soap and water, scrub it, rinse clean and hang dry. Avoid using bleach.
- Cleaning Umbrellas: Umbrellas can be scrubbed free of dirt and grime with mild soap and water. Allow to dry completely before closing as damp umbrellas can encourage the growth of mold and mildew.
Every day cleaning such as spot cleaning, dry rag dusting and flipping cushions will keep your outdoor furniture looking its best. Also, it is recommended to cover furniture with plastic covering for extra protection.