Maintenance basics for outdoor furniture


Getting outdoor furniture for your patio is fun until you realize that they need a lot of maintenance. Without proper care, outdoor furniture can quickly get dirty, dusty, and lose its aesthetic appeal.

Besides ruining the entire visual you’re trying to paint, dusty furniture can also stain your clothes, which is terrible if you’re wearing white pants.

Here are some tips that can help you sidestep all this and keep your furniture in top condition.

Invest in some covers

House pool and yard
Used with permission of Blackband Design

Covers aren’t just for the winter months. In the summer, dust and heat can be just as damaging as moisture and cold in the winter. The dust gets into the corners that are impossible to clean, and the heat can slowly break down the material integrity. If you invest in some waterproof covers, you can use them all year round.

Clean your furniture often

Some people clean their patio furniture every month but that may feel like overkill to you. Instead, aim for cleaning your furniture four to five times per year. A great frequency is once at the beginning of each season, and twice during the summer.

Cleaning the furniture isn’t as difficult as it might first sound because a damp rag will do the trick. Just make sure you get the corners and edges of large pieces like couches because dust likes to gather there.

It’s also a great idea to let the furniture dry before covering them up or lounging them under a shade. This prevents moisture from building up and causing silent damage.

Use cleansers for wood furniture

Backyard with lawn and trees
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

Wooden furniture like teak garden benches can be a bit of a challenge especially with their fine finishing and varying texture. It’s common to feel like you can ruin the material if care isn’t taken. But don’t worry because it’s not as difficult as you might think.

Start by dusting with a dry rag. If it’s especially dirty, use a damp cloth but esure that there’s no moisture left on the wood surface. Next, use an oil-based soap, or any variety of wood cleaners.

If you’re cleaning a large wooden furniture piece, break it into smaller sections and apply the product gradually. Ensure you get all the corners and tiny crevices as well. For areas that develop mold, ensure the part dries completely before taking the spot. You might also want to apply similar cleaning methods to your wooden deck. Since wood is porous and can absorb moisture, it can lead to rotting if overlooked. This is something to consider unless you have composite decking materials instead of wooden ones.

Keep metal furniture dry

Table surrounded with chairs, sunflowers in a vase and big doors leading to yard
Used with permission Breeze Giannasio

If you’ve ever owned a piece of metal furniture, you’ll know that rust is the single biggest risk. Oxidation can quickly reduce the aesthetics and even weaken the metal itself. Soon, your beautiful metal chairs look brown and uninviting.

Luckily, you can prevent this by keeping the chairs dry. If you haven’t already, get some waterproof covers that extend all the way to the feet of the chairs or tables to reduce exposure.

If you do get some rust, don’t fret just yet because there are simple solutions. One is to brush the patchy orange spot with some vinegar and water. You can also get some metal cleaning material from your local hardware store.

Finally, if your metal furniture is painted, consider applying another coat to provide even more protection.

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