Summer is on and you would love to spend time outdoors. Whether you've purchased new patio furniture that you want to last, or have older furniture that needs a little maintenance, here are a few tips for caring them.
Wrought iron is fantastic for outdoor furniture because it's strong, durable and lasts a long time if nicely cared. The biggest drawback is that it is rust proof. The best way to keep your wrought iron furniture looking new is to bring it indoors in the winter, or purchase a good quality cover.
When you first bring it out for the season, use a gentle cleanser to get it ready. Unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise, combine ¼ cup mild dishwashing liquid with 1 gallon warm water. Then use a sponge or soft brush to scrub the furniture thoroughly. Rinse it with the hose and dry it completely (if it's a nice sunny day, let the sun do the drying for you.) For added protection, apply a coat of good quality automotive paste wax after it dries. If you're already seeing signs of rust on your older furniture, sand the areas lightly with fine-grade sandpaper, wipe it clean and apply touch-up paint. Check with the paint department in your local hardware store for advice on what works best.
Teak is a tropical hardwood and one of the most popular woods used in outdoor furniture. Its naturally occurring oils protect it from moisture. It's one of the most durable woods around and is very low-maintenance. Teak starts out as a golden brown color and over time gradually changes to a silver-gray. Although it may not look new anymore, it remains durable.
If you want to retain the golden brown color of your teak furniture, you'll need to sand and oil it regularly. Teak oil can be found in most outdoor furniture stores. Follow instructions on the container for long-lasting beauty.
Wicker is generally made from rigid natural fibers that are woven together. Sunlight is incredibly harsh on wicker as it dries out and becomes brittle in areas with low humidity, so varnish is often applied in an attempt to protect the surface. It's not the most durable material to use outdoors, so it needs to be covered if you intend to leave it outside for more than a few weeks.
Regular cleaning is often necessary for wicker furniture and can be done using a mild detergent and water. Try not to saturate the furniture as mildew can build up. For lighter cleanings, a quick once-over with a vacuum brush will do the trick.
When shopping for cushions, look for fabric that's made to tolerate sun exposure without fading, and resist moisture and mildew. To care for patio chair cushions, spot clean using mild laundry soap and then allow to air dry. It's also a good idea to stand cushions on their sides for a while after it rains so they have a chance to drain any excess water that builds up.
Always bring cushions indoors at the end of the season.
With the proper care you'll be able to enjoy your patio furniture for years to come!