Turning your patio into an outdoor oasis is an investment, so you want to keep your patio furniture looking new for many years. It begins with choosing durable materials, but it continues with caring for every piece the right way. Caring for outdoor furniture varies by material, but with the right maintenance you can ensure your furniture will look brand new for more than one season.
Choose Durable and Easy-to-Clean Materials
The best way to keep your patio furniture looking new is to purchase pieces that are durable and easy-to-clean. Durability is key for high-precipitation areas and those with extreme temperature changes. Some materials like wicker won't respond well to these changes and will warp over time.
Easy-to-clean materials like aluminum or Sunbrella fabric will ensure your patio furniture looks brand new for more than one season. This is important for two reasons. First, you don't want to spend your time scrubbing patio furniture. You want to enjoy it! Second, the easier it is to clean, the better it will repel food and grime.
Customize Care for the Materials
Different furniture material requires different care. Teak furniture requires oil to prevent cracking, and it's important to not add any cleaner that will dry it out. With a soft-bristled brush and some time, you'll have your teak outdoor furniture looking brand new.
Wicker furniture will benefit from a mild oil-based soap. Wipe them down with a towel and let dry, repeating as needed. Never use ammonia or trisodium phosphate (TSP) on aluminum and iron outdoor furniture, because alkaline cleaners cause oxidation. Instead, use Soft Scrub to remove scuff marks, and a coat of car wax after cleaning for protection.
Glass table tops are easy to clean with diluted dish detergent, but make sure you’re using a soft cloth so you don’t scratch the glass.
Choose the Right Cushions for Outdoor Furniture
Cushions rated for outdoor use will feature a sturdier material, ensuring it will last for many seasons to come. One of the best materials for outdoor cushions is Sunbrella, which is designed for both longevity and appearance. This 100% solution dyed acrylic is mildew-, fade-, and stain-resistant, giving it a long lifespan even when exposed to the elements.
When choosing your outdoor furniture, you want to ensure both the fabric and the filling material are waterproof. Fabrics like textilene, olefin, and vinyl are all waterproof materials, though you’ll want to limit vinyl as it’s not very comfortable to sit on when the hot weather comes.
Compressed polyester and polyurethane foam are both common filler for cushions. Compressed polyester is a foam alternative, and doesn’t break down. (Though it can compress with extended use.) Polyurethane foam is treated with biocides to prevent mold and mildew, ideal for humid climates.
Your Vacuum Is a Secret Weapon
It's time to bring your vacuum outdoors. Not only will it help clean outdoor rugs, but it's also perfect for removing dust and spider webs from wicker furniture. Because of its design, wicker is notoriously difficult to keep 100% dust free.
Use the narrow hose attachment to remove the dust from hard to reach spots, and finish with mild oil-based soap. This will give your furniture a like-new finish just in time for your summer barbecues.
Caring for your outdoor furniture will keep it looking new for many years, and it’s not difficult to do. By focusing on the materials and cleaning method, you can make sure you’re using the right techniques for long-lasting patio furniture, whatever your summer brings.