Here in Southern California we spend most of our time outdoors. With great weather nearly all year round, it’s important to have your patio furniture in tip top shape so you can enjoy it for years to come. The sea salt breeze and constant sun in California can rapidly deteriorate your outdoor furniture. Maintaining patio furniture doesn’t require a lot of time, effort, or money. So take note of these tricks to keep your patio furniture in great shape.
Clean Your Patio Furniture Regularly
Even if your patio furniture looks like it doesn’t need it, you should make a point of cleaning your patio furniture regularly. Try to clean it at least one a month, and if you have more time, twice a month. Hot, soapy water works great for aluminum, vinyl and plastic. If you have wooden furniture, just use water. Never use soap. Spray it down once to wash off as much debris as possible, then wipe it all down with a clean sponge and rinse one more time. As for canvas, regular upholstery cleaner works wonderfully.
Do not pressure wash your patio furniture every time you need to clean it. You’ll end doing more damage than good and stripping your furniture of color and sealant. However, two or three times a year is great to blast through cobwebs and other debris that has accumulated over a few months. For most patio furniture you’ll want to use a low setting. Wrought iron and more sturdy outdoor furniture can take a stronger blast.
Remove Rust ASAP
If rust has already developed on some of your metal patio furniture, you should remove it as quickly as possible. By removing it promptly, you will dramatically reduce the risk of it spreading and causing even more damage. A wire brush works best. Just scrub the area until clean. Don’t leave any rust behind or it will spread. But be careful not to scrub too hard and remove paint or finish.
In order to prevent rust in the first place, coat your metal furniture in paste wax. Ideally you should apply paste wax as soon as you get your new patio furniture. You should also reapply it immediately after washing your furniture as well. You can find paste wax at local hardware stores and home improvement stores.
Remove Mildew ASAP
Like rust, mildew spreads fast! Nobody likes seeing or smelling mildew. So be sure to stop the problem in its tracks. To clean mildew from outdoor furniture, measure out three-fourths of a cup of bleach and combine it with one gallon of water. Before applying the solution to your furniture, test a small area first. Most of these materials should withstand the solution, but it never hurts to check.
Use Patio Furniture Covers
Although it may seem like a lot of work at first, you should get into the habit of covering up your patio furniture when it’s not in use. It will protect it from everyday weathering and prolong your furniture’s life.