It’s summer and that means you’ll probably be spending more time outdoors. Here’s exactly how to clean your outside furniture for summer. The following guidelines can help make your old outdoor furniture look like new.
Outdoor furniture made from plastic, wicker, teak, pine, cedar or redwood each require a different type of care. These care tips may also help you in deciding which kind of new outdoor furniture will be best suited for your ageless lifestyle.
It may be the least expensive but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best choice. Plastic outdoor furniture can degrade over the years. It becomes weak and may not be safe after several years. If your outdoor furniture is relatively new, you can clean it with warm, soapy water. Furniture which is looking ratty can be spruced up by painting it with a spray paint specially designed to adhere to plastic.
It can be cleaned with warm, soapy water using a mild soap. Be sure you spray the wicker furniture to get all of the soap off of it. Much wicker furniture is painted, so you may want to reapply paint to help it look new. Some wicker furniture is natural and may only need to have a fresh coat of sealer on it. Check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend and follow their directions.
It’s a hardwood and requires very little care. While the color may change slightly over time, you really shouldn’t have to do much to keep teak furniture looking great. Use a mild soap to wash off any dirt and then let it dry naturally.
Picnic table and benches, can be cleaned up using soap and water. Allow the furniture to dry naturally. Natural pine can be stained or left as is. If the furniture has been previously painted you may want to repaint it. You can apply polyurethane to the surfaces to help protect the table and benches from the weather.
It’s another furniture material which shouldn’t require a lot of extra attention. Western cedar may lighten over time outdoors so you may want to stain it before applying polyurethane or another recommended sealant. Eastern cedar, on the other hand, will get darker over time. You may want to seal it but leave it natural otherwise.
It’s also a hardwood. It also may change in color after years of being outdoors. However, it shouldn’t require much attention each year. You can clean it with an appropriate cleanser. In most cases you may not even need a sealer.
Outdoor furniture can make your life more enjoyable and can easily be restored in readiness for the summer. Read any instructions from the furniture manufacturer and follow their instructions. They will have the best advice for caring for your outdoor furniture to keep it looking great for years to come.
Wood Patio Furniture General Cleaning Tips
Patio furniture often remains outdoors all year long. Each year it has to be cleaned before use.
Teak and other wood patio furniture is popular because of the beauty of the wood. However, because it’s a natural product it does require extra care. Here are some of the items you’ll need to clean your patio furniture:
* Soft bristle brush
* Laundry detergent with bleach
* Wood sealer (optional)
* Wood protector (optional)
* Wood restorer (optional)
* Clear coating (optional)
When you first get your teak furniture, decide whether you want the furniture to remain the color it is when you get it or if you want the furniture to change with exposure to the sun. Some people are adamant about keeping their furniture the original honey color; others like the silver gray patina it gets from being in the sun. Which choice you make regarding your teak patio furniture could greatly affect how you clean it.
Manufacturers generally provide care instructions with every product. This is also true for those building teak or other wooden patio furniture. They may recommend specific cleaners, but you can do just as well by mixing a solution of 2 parts laundry detergent with bleach in 1 part water. Apply this to the wood with a soft bristle brush to help remove any surface dirt.
Thoroughly rinse the teak pieces by spraying them with water to remove leftover suds or any dirt the brush has removed. If you’re satisfied with allowing the teak to develop the gray patina, this is all you’ll need to do to care for your furniture. Otherwise, you’ll want to use the following methods.
You can remove the patina from teak furniture by using a two-step process and returning it to its original finish. This process normally requires you to apply a caustic cleaner and acid which will remove the patina. Be sure to read the instructions with the cleaner to ensure you remain safe. You may also have to lightly sand the piece to fully restore it.
Seal your teak furniture with a sealer specifically developed for it. This sealant will preserve the natural honey color as well as prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Some sealers can even protect it from developing stains when used around food.
Do not use varnish or non-recommended sealers on teak wood furniture. This could damage the wood and require much more sanding in the future. You also don’t want to allow water to pool on the furniture as it will cause damage.
Knowing these patio furniture cleaning tips will help you keep your teak patio furniture looking great. Remember to follow manufacturer’s guidelines for caring for your furniture or when using chemicals to clean it.