While outdoor furniture is designed and constructed to survive outside in the elements, it still needs to be cleaned and protected to ensure long life. Patio and pool furniture along with outdoor décor make your outside activities fun and enjoyable. To keep it all looking great and functioning well year after year, Signature Maids have compiled these tips and tricks for you and your outdoor furniture, fabrics, and décor.
How Outdoor Décor is Damaged
The elements can wreak havoc on your outdoor furniture and accessories. The sun’s powerful UV rays fade and breakdown fabrics and furnishings even to the point of melting some plastics. Rain and summer’s humidity can cause mold and rust while damaging wood finishes. Even the foam inside pillows and cushions can be damaged by heat and moisture.
Choosing the Best in Outdoor Furniture
Whenever you are in the market for new outdoor furniture, you’ll want to consider where it will be located and whether it will be partially or continually exposed to the outdoor elements. It makes a big difference when furnishings are always exposed, like poolside, or have some protection, like a screened lanai. Either way, cleaning and protecting furniture leads to longevity. Wooden furnishings look great and can last a long time but require ongoing maintenance in the way of cleaning and protection with premium stain and sealant. If you want wood, choose a hardy wood like teak or redwood which will require less maintenance and last longer. Wrought iron is another good choice, though cleaning and maintenance in the way of sanding and paint is needed to keep it looking its best for all the seasons to come. An even better option is powder-coated aluminum. The coating is weather, scratch, and rust resistant. Resin and plastic furnishing are popular because of the lower costs and plethora of styles and while it is low maintenance, it is the most prone to fading, cracking, and staining. Finally, when selecting pillows, cushions, and other fabric options choose quick-drying foam interiors with polyester or acrylic fabric which is most resistant to the elements.
Cleaning and Protecting Outdoor Furniture
Regardless of how much you spend or whether you choose low or high maintenance, keeping your outdoor furniture clean and protected is the key to long life. Outdoor furniture is not only exposed continually to the elements of nature but also to your family, friends, and pets, all of which can mean spills, dirt, and grime. Keeping your furniture clean means extended life, no matter the material – wood, metal, resin, plastic, or fabric.
Start the process by cleaning spills and messes immediately after they occur. Before you spray on your favorite cleaner, be sure to check manufacturer directions, as some materials clean easily with simple soap and water solutions. If the soiled material can be removed and washed, toss it in the washer for fast and easy cleaning. After washing, air dry fabrics and foam completely to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
For you outdoor furniture, soap and water is a great choice for metal like wrought iron and aluminum. The same is true for resin and plastic but in both cases, you’ll want to choose all-purpose cleaners and avoid abrasive cleaners when soap and water won’t get the job done. For wicker and wood, don’t rush to clean with your pressure washer – which can cause more harm than good. On wicker, oil soap or soap and water will get the job done without damage. On wood, choose the appropriate cleaner for your particular wood furnishings.
With outdoor pillows and cushions, consider adding a waterproofing spray if the fabric wasn’t already treated by the manufacturer. You can also opt for furniture covers which offer an additional layer of protection, but create more work taking them on and off.
And always remember, Signature Maids is ready to come to your aid in keeping your home and furniture clean, inside and out.