Patio furniture requires more tending than indoor furniture as it bears elements. It is important to clean the furniture regularly so as to maintain its lifespan and functionality. However, there are some do’s and don’ts of cleaning patio furniture that are essential to be administered.
Outdoor furniture needs to be guarded against dirt, dust, and stains. You may require a different technique or process to clean certain material and types of furniture. Therefore, it’s imperative to choose the right cleaning tools and supplies to avoid damage. Use of natural cleaning products such as vinegar, baking soda, and lime juice is an effective way to get rid of the smell, stains, and other types of dirt, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
Don’t wait for the dirt to build up and for the bacteria to proliferate in your patio furniture. Here are some do’s and don’ts of cleaning patio furniture that you must bear in mind. Happy cleaning!
Do’s of cleaning patio furniture
Follow the cleaning instructions
Furniture generally comes with adequate wash/clean instructions. Following these instructions is essential to avoid damage to your patio furniture. Outdoor cushions, seat covers, and other fabric materials should be vacuumed thoroughly to get rid of the dust and dirt. You may wash the fabric if it is removable.
However, if you are not sure how to clean it, soapy lukewarm water should do the trick. But it is advisable to always read the cleaning instructions beforehand. It can save you time, you know the proper procedure and can prevent undue damage to the furniture.
The more often you clean the better. Dirt carries a lot of microbes that can cause discomfort and put your health at risk. Regular cleaning can also keep the foul smell away, which enables you to relax better while enjoying a coffee in the porch. Regular cleaning is also important to preserve the luster of aluminum furniture and get rid of scuff marks. It safeguards the look of the furniture and can avoid discoloration. Make it a part of your regular routine.
You must remove rust from metal furniture before starting the cleaning process. If the amount of rust is minimal, you can use sandpaper or steel wool to gently scrub it off. For more stubborn stains, you can start with coarse-grit sandpaper or a wire brush to remove rust and end the process with a finer grit to smooth the surface. If the damage done by rust is significant, try using an electric drill outfitted with a wire brush, or even a grinder, if available.
Use a suitable cleaning agent
It is not new that different materials require different cleaning agents. Whether it is wood, wicker, metal, or plastic, each material demands special cleaning. Furniture articles made of natural materials like wood and wicker require a nourishing, oil-based soap. Colored plastic and metal furniture can be easily cleaned with mild dishwashing soap. Automatic dishwashing detergent can work miracles on white plastic furniture.
Clean the cracks
Wiping may not be enough, especially with wicker furniture. Use a hose with a nozzle to wash crevices of the wicker furniture. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to flush out dirt and dust on fabric-clad furniture. The cracks are often overlooked, so be sure to keep them clean.
Rinse sponge/cloth repeatedly
Rinse the cloth or sponge frequently when cleaning to avoid scattering the dirt. Use a clean cloth to wipe the plastic furniture. Not frequently rinsing the cloth or sponge can contaminate surface of the furniture which can pose health risks. Rinse the cloth or sponge thoroughly after cleaning.
Don’ts of cleaning patio furniture
Don’t neglect cushions
Usually, people use removable cushion covers as they are easy to clean. However, if cushion covers are not removable, you can clean them by hand. You can start by lifting loose dust or debris with your vacuum’s brush attachment. Then, add a tablespoon of dish soap to a bucket of warm water and use a sponge to scrub. Leave it for about 15 minutes, rinse with a hose, and remove as much water as you can with the help of a towel. Then dry them properly in the sun.
Don’t use harsh cleaners
Harsh cleaning products can cause abrasion on the furniture surface. Natural cleaning products are effective in removing dirt and getting rid of the smell. Dishwashing detergent and oil-based products should also be used with caution. Avoid brushing sensitive surfaces to avoid further abrasion. You can also use steel wool to scrub off the rust and remove oxidation, but it is advisable to read cleaning instructions beforehand.
Cover when not in use
Cover the furniture carefully when not in use to prevent it from dust, dirt, and elements. Outdoor furniture covers minimize the risk of partial and permanent damage. If you notice streaks and smudges on the surface, spray a cleaner, wipe it with a clean, soft cloth.
Don’t pressure wash
A pressure washer could be an excellent idea for all sorts of cleaning. It can easily remove heavy dirt and debris. Use of a pressure washer is however not advisable for cleaning patio furniture. The water strength could damage the furniture and may cause deformation. It can destroy the surface, particularly that of wooden furniture.
Don’t forget to clean the tools
After having thoroughly cleaned your patio furniture, do not forget to clean the tools including vacuum, sponge, washcloth, etc. Often neglected, it is important to disinfect or clean them after use.
Keeping your patio furniture clean is not as hard as it may sound unless you completely forget about it after planting it in your backyard. A clean patio can bring a lot of benefits to you and your family in terms of good health and happy times.