Sadly, summer is drawing to an end. It’s time to start thinking about storing your outdoor patio furniture for the cold months ahead. Before you pack up your furniture, and bid farewell to summer, it’s important to clean your outdoor furniture and cushions properly. The following tips will help you enjoy your furniture for years to come.
It’s important to clean your wicker furniture at least one time each year. Wicker cannot be washed with excessive amounts of liquid as it can only withstand a limited amount of moisture before becoming loose and attracting mildew growth.
Vacuum your wicker furniture to remove any traces of dirt and debris that are stuck in between the wicker material. Then, mix one-fourth cup of liquid dish soap with two cups of warm water, wiping the wicker with a soft cloth and rinsing away suds with a hose. If you notice additional mold or mildew, add white vinegar to the solution, using a toothbrush to scrub it away.
Metal is known to be susceptible to oxidation, so remove as much grime as possible by scrubbing your furniture with a polishing paste of a balanced solution of water and white vinegar. To remove scuff marks, wipe with a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaning product, such as Soft Scrub. For maximum protection, coat your furniture with automotive wax in between cleanings.
The key to lasting outdoor furniture is to start with quality pieces made with wood that is appropriate for outdoor use. To clean the wood, use a mild oil-based soap (such as Murphy Oil Soap) and warm water. If your furniture is softwood, only scrub in the direction of the wood grain. If you have hardwood, you may want to consider sanding it annually and applying a protective stain finish for putting into storage.
Combine one-quart warm water with one- teaspoon borax and one-teaspoon dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle. Saturate the cushion and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, spray the soap off, and leave upright to dry. Next, spritz your cushions with a fabric protector to keep it safer longer. Use an outdoor cushion storage bag before packing them up for the season. Always cover your outdoor furniture with breathable furniture covers before loading them into your unit. Even if manufacturers claim it can withstand the elements, cleaning and storing your furniture and cushions will extend its life and make maintenance easier after the outdoor season begins again.