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How to Clean Outdoor Furniture

Chandramita Bora May 12, 2019
Outdoor furniture needs a little more care and maintenance, as they get exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Read ahead some useful tips on outdoor furniture care and maintenance.
Cleaning and maintenance of different types of outdoor furniture can vary to an extent. Many people prefer aluminum or plastic furniture, while others still cherish the luxury and comfort of wooden furniture.
No matter what type of material you choose, it is important to keep your outdoor or garden furniture clean, and protect it from the harsh environmental conditions. So, here are some useful tips for you.

Tips on Cleaning Garden Furniture

Cleaning outdoor or garden furniture is a bit difficult, as compared to indoor furniture, simply due to the fact that garden furniture has to withstand the harsh outside environment. Therefore, it is more susceptible to dirt, dust, and stains.

Plastic Furniture

The plastic patio furniture is made of resin plastic, which makes it more durable. But some porous finishing can make it a bit vulnerable to stains. For cleaning such furniture, you can use a mild detergent solution. Use a sponge to apply the solution and wipe the furniture. Now, rinse off the detergent with clean water.
Patio umbrellas and hammocks can also be washed with dishwashing detergent and warm water. After washing them, place them in sunlight and allow them to dry out completely.
For removing mildews from the umbrellas and the furniture, you can mix a small amount of bleach in the detergent solution. However, it is advisable to not use bleach for cleaning hammocks, as it can weaken the fibers.

Aluminum Furniture

Aluminum furniture generally comes in two forms - painted and non-painted. The non-painted aluminum furniture may lose its luster over the years due to oxidization. However, this type of furniture is resistant to rust. To restore the former shine of the furniture, you can use a metal polishing paste.
The abrasive materials present in such a paste will help remove corrosion caused by oxidization. Remember to avoid alkaline cleaners like ammonia for items made of aluminum. However, vinegar can be used for cleaning them.
The painted aluminum furniture can be easily cleaned with a mild soap or detergent solution. Before cleaning, always remove the cushions. It is important to wipe the cushions regularly and keep them dry. Otherwise, mildews can develop, which can be quite difficult to remove.
For cleaning cushions, soak them in a solution of detergent and water. Then rinse them in clean water, and let them dry in sunlight. A solution of detergent and bleach works well for mildews. However, bleach can damage the color and fabric of the cushions.

Iron Furniture

The main disadvantage of iron furniture is that it can rust easily. But nowadays, you can find rust-resistant iron furniture as well. If your iron furniture is not rust-resistant, then inspect it regularly. If you find rust, then sand it immediately, and apply a rust-resistant paint.
Use a mild detergent and gently scrub the furniture. Then rinse it using a garden hose. An automotive paste wax can also be applied to provide a protective covering against moisture, that can help avoid rusting.

Wood Furniture

It is better to keep wood furniture inside during the winter days, unless they are made of teak or cedar wood. Teak wood is very expensive, but it can withstand wetness and harsh environmental conditions. Use a mild detergent to clean the surface occasionally, but do not use abrasive cleaners on teak wood.
It is better to keep wood furniture clean from dust and grime on a regular basis. Before applying any wood cleaner, make sure that it is suitable for that particular type of wood. First, use the cleaner in a small inconspicuous area, before using it to clean your furniture. Occasionally, treat your wood furniture with oil to maintain its majestic look.
Finally, do not forget to refer to the manufacturer's guide on cleaning and maintenance, before applying anything on your furniture, be it wood furniture, iron furniture, or plastic or aluminum furniture.