How to Care For Outdoor Patio Furniture

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When you own a home, you need to take care of everything in it and around it, including any patio furniture you keep in your front yard and back yard. With just a few simple items and techniques, you can keep your outdoor patio furniture looking as good as new.
In the following article, Part 1 explains how to care for cushions and fabric-covered furniture, Part 2 goes into to detail about caring for wicker furniture, Part 3 discusses how to care for wooden furniture, and Part 4 describes how best to take care of metal furniture.

Part 1 of 4: Caring for cushions and fabric-covered patio furniture

Materials Needed
  • 2 cups of detergent (if needed for mildew)
  • 1 cup bleach (if needed for mildew)
  • Mild soap
  • Sponge
  • Water
Caring for fabric-covered furniture requires little more than some water, mild soap, and a sponge. Also, to keep cushions and fabric in the best shape possible, make sure to store the furniture inside during the winter. Depending on the fabric type, you should use the following cleaning applications:
  • Acrylic cushions: For acrylic cushions, remove them from their wooden frames prior to washing them. Performing spot-cleaning with a sponge, mild soap, and water represents the best way to clean them. Follow up by rinsing them with clean water.
If necessary, mix 1 cup of bleach, 2 cups of detergent, and 1 gallon of water to treat acrylic cushions for mildew. Apply the mixture to the cushion, and allow it to soak for 30 minutes. Next, scrub the cushions with a sponge, rinse with clean water, and allow them to air dry.
  • Cloth furniture: When cleaning cloth fabrics, machine wash them using the gentle cycle. If needed, use bleach for whites. When finished washing, hang the cloth outside to dry. If you fear shrinkage, make sure to stretch the cloth over the frame of the furniture before letting it completely dry.

Part 2 of 4: Caring for wicker furniture

Materials Needed
  • Mild soap
  • Paste wax
  • Pressure washer
  • Sponge
  • Water
Unlike fabric furniture, wicker furniture tends to be more robust and less prone to wear and tear. As with cushions and fabric-covered furniture, store the cushions from the wicker furniture inside during the winter. You should also cover the frames to keep them from accumulating dirt.
The following section talks about how to clean your wicker patio furniture.
Step 1: Remove the cushions. Start by removing the cushions.
This might require you to untie the restraints first.
Step 2: Spray the cushions clean. Use a pressure washer set to the lowest setting, and spray any dirt or debris off of the cushions.
Step 3: Clean the wicker. Next, spray off the wicker with the pressure washer.
For more stuck-on dirt, use a sponge, mild soap, and cold water to clean.
Step 4: Apply the paste wax. Allow the wicker frame to dry before applying a paste wax.
The paste wax helps keep the wicker water-resistant and shiny.

Part 3 of 4: Caring for wooden furniture

Materials Needed
  • Soapy water
  • Sponge or soft-bristled brush
  • Water hose
Wooden furniture is easy to clean, and its hard surface is especially resistant to stains. The wood varnish on many pieces of patio furniture also give it an extra level of protection from the elements. As with other furniture types, make sure to store wooden furniture indoors during the colder months.
The section below gives the steps on how to clean wooden furniture.
Step 1: Scrub the furniture. Start by scrubbing the wooden surface using soapy water and a sponge or soft-bristled brush.
This step helps remove any dirt buildup and other debris.
Step 2: Rinse off with water. Once you have removed any dirt or debris, rinse the furniture with clean water to remove the soap.
Allow it to air dry completely before use.

Part 4 of 4: Caring for metal furniture

Materials Needed
  • Mild soap
  • Paste wax
  • Sponge
  • Water
Metal furniture includes anything made of aluminum, wrought iron, or other metallic materials. Some metal furniture contains cushions that you can clean using the cushions and fabric-covered furniture section above. Unlike other furniture types, metal furniture can usually stay out in the cold, though you should still bring any cushions indoors.
Below are the steps necessary for cleaning and caring for metal patio furniture.
Step 1: Remove the cushions. Star by removing any cushions from the metal framework.
Clean the cushions as directed in Part 1 above.
Step 2: Wash the metal surface. Using a sponge, mild soap, and water, clean the surface of the metal furniture.
Step 3: Allow it to dry. Allow the metal surface to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Step 4: Apply paste wax. Once dry, apply paste wax to weather-proof the metal material and keep it from rusting.
Step 5: Replace the cushions. After everything has dried, replace the cushions on the metal patio furniture.
Caring for your outdoor patio furniture can keep it looking great all year round. Keep in mind to bring in more vulnerable items of furniture, including cushions, during the cold, winter months to protect them from the elements. Cleaning your patio furniture keeps them free of dirt, debris, and rust, extending the length of time you can use your outdoor patio furniture.