Today’s outdoor furniture is much more than just cheap folding chairs and mismatched odds and ends. You take a lot of time and effort to choose outdoor furniture for your living style, and if you take good care of it, your furniture can last for many years and look just as fabulous as the first time you took a seat.
Choose Quality Furniture
The better furniture you select, the easier it will be to care for and keep looking its best. Higher quality furniture will be better constructed and more durable, more resistant to wear and damage over time. Good quality furniture may also come with warranties, so if there is any problem with the furniture you can return it for repairs or replacements.
It is important to treat your outdoor furniture just as carefully as you would treat any indoor furniture. Train pets to stay off the furniture, and don’t put dirty feet or rough shoes on the furniture or cushions. Use coasters and placemats on tables and clean up spills immediately, treating stains to prevent them from setting. Rotate and flip furniture cushions regularly if possible, and try to keep outdoor furniture shaded from the harshest summer sun so it will not fade or warp.
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture
Even with the best care, your outdoor furniture will need occasional cleaning to remove dust, dirt, pollen, and other debris. Whenever your furniture looks dingy you can clean it carefully, and you may want to give it a thorough cleaning before a party or holiday.
Before getting started, carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning and care. Regardless of whether your furniture is wrought iron, wicker, teak, aluminum, plastic, or fabric, it can be easily cleaned with gentle care.
- Rinse the furniture carefully with a hose or buckets to remove loose debris.
- Use a medium pressure setting – not too harsh – to remove stuck-on or stubborn dirt.
- Scrub the furniture with a mild soap solution and a soft-bristled brush, getting into all cracks, corners, and crevices.
- Rinse the furniture thoroughly to remove all traces of soap.
- Dry the furniture with a soft cloth to remove water spots, or allow it to air dry before using it again.
Special Seasonal Care
Your outdoor furniture will need special care several times a year to keep it looking and performing its best. Joints and hinges should be oiled every spring and fall to keep them operating smoothly, and screws and bolts should be carefully tightened to keep the furniture sturdy and stable. All furniture should be carefully covered or stored if it won’t be used for long periods, such as over the winter or when you may be away from home for several days or weeks. Wood furniture may need restaining or resealing every few years, depending on how it has been treated, and fabric covers and cushions may be machine washable.
Consider caring for your outdoor furniture as part of regular yardwork like weeding the garden or pruning trees, and you’ll be able to keep your chairs, loungers, tables, ottomans, and other furniture looking great and functioning perfectly for many years of enjoyment.