How to Care for Your Outdoor Furniture This Summer

With summer weather imminent, it’s time to take off the outdoor furniture covers, light the pit, and watch the stars emerge at night. Having clean furniture to enjoy the outdoors is key – whether you do it alone or with friends and family. Keeping your furniture like new depends on a few factors (such as use and climate) and varies by material. Here are some of the best expert tips for cleaning wicker, wood, plastic, wrought iron, aluminum, and exterior pillows:

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plastic

Plastic is the easiest type of furniture to clean because it usually has a shiny surface that is naturally stain resistant. “When cleaning plastic, we recommend all-purpose cleaners made from natural oils and enzymes. It makes for a residue-free finish, ”says Austin Miller, co-founder of Spruse, a Seattle-based cleaning company. “When cleaning plastic furniture Do not use scouring pads. as it leaves weak grooves and scratch marks on the cleaned surface. We always recommend using microfiber cloths and then hosing them off to achieve even drying. “

Wrought iron

Wrought iron is a popular choice for patio furniture because of its durability. “We recommend using white cleaning vinegar and a scratch-resistant pad,” says Miller. “Gently scrub all of the areas, then wipe the areas with a towel and water to remove any excess dirt. Make sure you don’t use anything sour. or anything that can scratch as wrought iron can be damaged this way. “

aluminum

Aluminum is another common option for benches, accent chairs, tables, and more. “Always remove the cushions before you get to the frame of your aluminum furniture to get a completely exposed canvas before washing,” advise Anne and Will Massie, founders of the traditional outdoor furniture brand McKinnon & Harris. “When cleaning the frame, we recommend using a cleaner for washing surfaces like cars and boats like Meguiar’s Gel Wash. The Premium Wash contains rich ingredients that protect the finish and give it the newly embossed shine without stripping off the wax protectant that was originally applied to the aluminum. “The couple also recommend using a soft cloth such as a microfiber cloth, smooth rag, or gentle sponge to lather the cleaner before simply rinsing it off.

Outdoor sofa cushions

Do your sofa cushions have removable covers? This means you can just toss them in the washing machine when they get dirty. In the meantime, Ikea (whose outdoor sofa cushions don’t have removable covers) recommends washing your hands. The brand recommends cleaning pillows without removable covers with a sponge or cloth dipped in soapy water. Simply wipe the surface covers with soap and water, then wipe dry with a clean cloth. If your outdoor sofa is already infected with algae or mold, it should be enough to wash it with water and vinegar and then wash off the vinegar.

Wicker

Wicker furniture can be woven from natural materials such as rattan, bamboo, or sugar cane, as well as from synthetic versions of these materials. “Natural materials like rattan, bamboo or sugar cane are naturally porous, which means that they absorb moisture if they are left behind in the rain or damp,” advises Nicole Hunt, Product Development Manager at Article. Since these natural materials have minimal UV resistance, they will fade or dry out in sunny and hot conditions. It is a good habit Keep them in a covered outdoor area or store them inside when not in use. “To keep your wickerwork looking great outdoors for years to come, use a soft nylon brush to remove dirt and debris,” says Hunt. “A good rule of thumb is that if it’s gentle enough to brush your teeth, it’s safe for the furniture. For a quick clean, wipe your furniture with a minimally damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt that may have accumulated. “

Wood

Materials like teak, acacia and eucalyptus are good choices for garden furniture because they are sturdy materials and very resistant. While acacias are naturally weather resistant, they can nonetheless be moisture and moisture sensitive, while teak is naturally weather and fungus resistant. “Caring for outdoor wooden furniture is pretty easy,” says Hunt. “Wipe off dirt with a damp, non-abrasive cloth. For more stubborn spills and spills, soak a cloth in neutral pH soap and warm water, wring out any excess, and wipe the area clean. Then either let it dry naturally in the sun or blot the area with a clean, dry cloth. “

Shop outdoor furniture care essentials

AIDEA microfiber cleaning cloths

Harris cleaning vinegar

Meguiar's M5416 Gel Wash

Meguiar’s M5416 Gel Wash

MEGUIAR’S
walmart.com

$ 21.45

Multipurpose cleaning brush set

Multipurpose cleaning brush set

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