Thursday, August 15, 2013 9:00 AM EST
Give your patio furniture a proper scrub-a-dub with these quick and easy cleaning tips. From cobwebs and mould to caked-on dust, here’s how to melt away the dirt and keep your outdoor furniture looking patio-pretty all season long.
Tip #1: The Pressure Washer
If you already own a pressure washer (it may not be worth the steep price tag otherwise), use it to clean your plastic outdoor furniture. It will leave them sparkling within a matter of minutes. Use water – no soap necessary! However, avoid using a pressure washer on most other materials. The strong water pressure will reduce the life of your furniture by wearing down the exterior.
Tip #2: The Right Solution
Whether your furniture is plastic, aluminum, wrought iron or wood, be sure to use the proper cleaning solution for the material. When in doubt, a safe cleaning solution is always water mixed with a mild dishwashing detergent. Clean furniture using a soft cloth dipped in this solution. As a rule of thumb, before cleaning the entire surface, test the solution on a small patch to ensure it’s compatible with the material.
Tip #3: Brush It Off
To clean off mould or dust stuck inside wicker or wrought iron nooks, dip a small soft bristle brush into a water and dishwashing detergent and scrub away. For those really small, dusty crannies, use a toothbrush!
Tip #4: Cleaning Cushions
Treat cushion stains like shirt stains: clean them off using a spot-stain remover. Once stains are removed, clean the entire cushion by dabbing it with mild soap and water using a sponge. Then spray your outdoor cushions with a fabric protector to shield them from environmental elements like UV rays and rain.
Tip #5: Storage Spot
In the off-season, store chairs inside the garage opposed to stacking them in the backyard. Bugs and dirt will gravitate towards the space in between the chairs, making them harder to clean. Also, remember to take the cushions inside if you know it’s going to rain.
Tip #6: Water Drainage
If your cushions do happen to get caught in the rain, get the water out faster by tipping the cushions onto their side. This will help the water drain more quickly, instead of letting it sink into the fabric.
Check out our Outdoor Section for more expert tips!