Soon winter will bid adieu and the season of sitting outdoors will arrive. Breakfast will be served in the garden and evenings will be spent on the patio. Get-togethers will happen by the pool.
But, before you set your outdoor space for entertainment, educate yourself on how to care for your outdoor furniture and upholstery.
Here are some easy hacks for maintaining your outdoor furniture and upholstery:
- Clean the furniture regularly
It goes without saying. If you keep your outdoor furniture clean, it will stay in good shape for years.
Schedule a cleaning session every week for dusting the frames of your furniture with a clean damp cloth. Use the blower of your vacuum cleaner to remove the dust from the hard-to-reach areas. Vacuum the upholstery to remove the dust lodged inside the fabrics.
For wood and wicker furniture: To remove grime from your wood or wicker outdoor furniture, use a mild oil-based soap and warm water. You can either make a DIY cleaning solution by mixing a one-fourth cup of ammonia, two tablespoons of white vinegar and one quart of warm water or buy a wood cleaner from the market.
For aluminum furniture: For aluminum furniture, use a metal polishing paste to prevent oxidation. You can make a solution yourself by mixing white vinegar and water in equal amounts. Do not use chemicals like TSP (trisodium phosphate) or ammonia as they cause oxidation.
Wash your furniture with a non-abrasive cleaning product and you’ll be good to go.
For wrought-iron furniture: Get your furniture powder-coated or sandblasted to protect it. Apply a coat or two of automotive wax to protect the furniture after cleaning.
For plastic and hard resin: Make a cleanser by adding half-cup baking soda or three tablespoons of dishwasher detergent to one-gallon warm water to remove stain and grime from your plastic furniture.
For colored furniture, use one-fourth cup of vinegar with one quart of warm water.
- Use fabric protection spray
Most outdoor fabrics possess high lightfastness and light-resistant properties, making them suitable for every kind of weather.
Although expensive outdoor upholstery fabric by the yard won’t require much attention, spraying a fabric protection spray over it will add an extra layer of protection. Cover your outdoor cushions, drapes, and sofa upholstery with a protective spray to protect them from dirt and dust. It will also reduce fading.
You can use a fabric protection spray on your indoor cushions and drapes and use them outside.
- Store the textiles when they are not in use
Lots of pillows, cushions, and throw blankets add an appeal to any outdoor space. They make a space look inviting and cozy.
When not using these textiles, store them properly. Place a storage box on your patio and keep your throw pillows, blankets, and rugs inside it when you are not using them.
- Protect the umbrellas
Umbrellas are low-maintenance, but again, do not ignore them completely. Occasional washing and oiling of the frame joints will keep them new forever.
Use mild soap, a soft-bristled brush, and cold water to wash the covers. Lubricate the joints of your wire-framed umbrella with a spray lubricant. If you have a wooden-frame umbrella, use paste wax to protect it and keep its sheen intact.
If you are not using the umbrella, fold it and store it in a safe place.
The bottom line
Though high on performance and low on maintenance, outdoor furniture and upholstery require some amount of care. Turning a blind eye to their maintenance will reduce their shelf life and tarnish the look of your outdoor setting.
Use these hacks for maintaining your outdoor furniture and upholstery, and enjoy the outdoor season with full zest.