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Clean and Maintain Your Outdoor Furniture

Regular cleaning and maintenance keep outdoor furniture looking its best. As outdoor furniture and outdoor accessories are available in a variety of materials, each may require a different method for its care.

General Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and try to keep the instructions where you can easily access them for reference.
  • Most outdoor furniture can be cleaned with mild soap and water.
  • An application of car wax can be used to protect frames.

Wicker Furniture

Most wicker furniture can be cleaned using a hose or pressure washer. Remove the cushions before you spray off dirt and spills.

  • For very dirty wicker, use a sponge, mild soap and cold water to wash. Let it dry completely before applying a paste wax to the frame to help keep it shiny and water-resistant.
  • It is easier to care for weather resistant wicker, so look around before you buy. Store cushions indoors and use a cover for the frames when it is not being used.

Wood Furniture

Wood furniture usually requires exterior grade varnish to protect it from the elements.

  • Outdoor wood furniture that has been coated with an exterior-grade varnish can be cleaned using soapy water. Follow it by completely rinsing it out with clean water.
  • Except for teak and cedar all other wood furniture should be stored indoors during winter.

Resin or Plastic Furniture

Plastic furniture is the easiest to maintain.

  • Spray off dirt with clean water and allow to air dry.
  • Scuff marks can be removed with a gentle abrasive.
  • Remove mildew with a mixture of one cup bleach, two cups detergent and one gallon of water.

Aluminum, Wrought Iron and Steel Furniture

Metal furniture is easy to maintain, but care should be taken that it does not begin to rust.

  • Clean with water and mild soap.
  • Many modern metal frames are rust-resistant or rust-free. If your metal furniture is not, paste wax or naval jelly can be used to protect from corroding or rusting.
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