As spring is speeding by with summer just on the horizon, you’re starting to prepare bashes, gettogethers, and dinner parties for all your friends and family. You want to make a great impression, making sure your decorations are perfectly arranged and your patio spotless.
However, don’t forget one of the most important parts of preparing your patio for social gatherings: furniture cleaning. Knowing how to clean patio furniture effectively not only creates a welcoming space for your guests, but also preserves the longevity of your furniture. Last month we mentioned brief tips on sprucing up your furniture. This month’s blog we’ll give you the full guide to cleaning wicker, cushions and fabric, umbrellas, metal, marble, tile, and wood.
Quality outdoor wicker is made of vinyl or a polyethylene resin like the wicker that Casual Living carries. Regular cleaning keeps your wicker looking new.
To clean your outdoor wicker, use a vacuum cleaner with the soft bristle attachment to remove dust and dirt from between the woven strands. Apply a damp sponge with mild liquid soap to eliminate heavier dirt on the wicker or frame.
Weather-proof outdoor cushions may resist rain and sun, but they still collect dirt and require upkeep. First, never machine wash and dry your cushions or upholstery. We recommend simply hosing off dust and dirt for basic cleaning. For a more thorough job, apply a few drops of liquid laundry soap and add to water in a bucket or spray bottle. Moisten the fabric and scrub lightly with a soft bristle brush. Hose off to rinse and let dry in direct sunlight. Cushions should be stood up on end to allow excess water to run off and out of the inner fibers.
When not in use, either closer your umbrella or store it inside to protect its longevity. When you need to clean it, hose off dust and dirt. For heavy duty cleaning, use the trick described for cushions by adding liquid laundry soap to a spray bottle. Make sure you spray the soapy mixture both onto the open fabric and frame, scrubbing lightly with a soft bristle brush on the more stubborn spots. Hose to rinse and leave open or closed to dry.
Although outdoor metal frames, finished or painted, are designed to remain durable in the face of the elements, oxidation can occur, which creates a dull appearance on the surface. Occasional cleaning prevents this issue.
For basic cleaning, just hose off debris. If you need to apply more elbow grease, add liquid car soap to a bucket of water and scrub the entire metal frame with a sponge. Hose off to rinse. If the furniture has sling fabric, you can use the same solution to simultaneously clean the fabric. Use the abovementioned procedure for cleaning any cushions separately.
As with metal, marble and tile look beautiful but can also fall prey to oxidation. Similar to metal, routine cleaning can prevent this unsightly process.
Begin with a simple hosing for light dust and dirt. However, if you need to more thorough cleaning, grab a neutral PH cleaner like Simple Green® and wipe off the surface with a soft cloth. Most importantly, never allow spills to stand on the surface of marble or tile for an extended period of time because it could permanently leave a stain.
Although the wood chosen for outdoor use has been specially treated to resist the elements, it still requires routine care to stay looking new, unless you prefer the naturally weathered appearance.
To maintain that “brand new” brilliance, use your simple hose method for basic dust and dirt. To attack heartier dirt, use a soft bristle brush. Do not use any type of soap whatsoever on wood, as it will dry the material and trap debris within the grain. If you need to perform a deep clean, you can find special wood cleaning products at your local hardware store.
When finished cleaning, let the wood dry in the sunlight.
Now you’re ready to polish any piece of patio furniture to a sparkling shine. Use our tips to prepare your furniture for your next soiree and rest easy knowing that your guests will enjoy your stunning patio pieces. For any questions about how to clean patio furniture, call or e-mail us today. To explore more furniture ideas, browse our online catalog.