Let’s face it, winter is harsh. Whether drying out our skin or wearing on the exterior of our home, the inclement weather conditions of rain and snow leave us dreaming of summer sun rays. Knowing how to protect your outdoor furniture in winter will reap rewards once the sunshine reappears. Here are some easy ways to keep your outdoor in tip top shape throughout the harsh winter months.
Cleaning Wrought-Iron and Plastic Furniture
To clean wrought-iron and plastic furniture, simple dish detergent should be enough. Mix dish detergent with water in a large bucket. Then, wet a microfiber cloth with the soapy liquid to wash the furniture. Start with the larger pieces first and then the smaller pieces such as plastic chairs. Once cleaning is complete, rinse off the dirty water and soap from the furniture with a garden hose and let air dry.
Wicker and Synthetic Wicker Furniture
Before you start washing your wicker furniture, check to see if it is natural or synthetic. Natural wicker will chip and break over time so take extra care when washing. Only wash authentic wicker twice a year to keep the material from splintering and the glue joints from weakening.
How to Clean Authentic Wicker Furniture:
Create a mixture of a few drops of mild soap in a gallon of water.
Using only enough of the solution to dampen a soft cloth, gently scrub the furniture.
Rinse thoroughly with a light, misty spray from your hose.
Dry the wicker immediately with a soft towel.
How to Clean Synthetic or Resin Wicker Furniture:
Synthetic wicker (also called resin wicker) is much stronger than authentic wicker. With UV and weather resistant coatings, it will not splinter or fade over time. Simply wash this furniture down with a hose. If your furniture is very dirty, use a mixture of mild soap and cold water to scrub down your furniture. Dry it completely with a towel.
Most often, metal furniture is made of iron, steel, or aluminum. Since iron and steel rust, most metal furniture has a rust-resistant coating. But bird droppings can still destroy your furniture’s protective finish. Wash off any droppings as soon as you see them. You can use naval jelly or paste wax to protect it from corrosion and rust after washing with a mild soap solution.
If your furniture has rust or mold, use fine-grit sandpaper to remove it from the furniture. Wipe it clean with a soapy solution. If needed, apply touch-up paint in multiple thin coats. Give the paint time to dry between each layer.
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture Cushions
To clean the cushions on your outdoor furniture, mix dish detergent with water in a large bucket. Then, use a soft-bristled scrub brush, like the Unger Professional 9” Water Flow Wash Brush to scrub the cushions. Keep dipping the brush in the bucket to apply the soapy mixture to the bristles for cleaning the cushions. Then, rinse off the cushions with a garden hose. To dry, stand each cushion up on one edge and out of the direct sunlight to dry.
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