Fusion (4)_0You want your patio to look fresh and inviting, but the patio furniture gets grimy just from sitting out in the wind and dust. People spill their drinks and drop their ice cream, but those outdoor furniture stains can be quickly cleaned for a brighter and more beautiful patio set.

Whether you have chosen wicker, metal or resin outdoor furniture, or furniture with cloth cushions and an umbrella, it can be kept clean and new looking for a long time with the right care and patio furniture protection measures. Here are a few cleaning and care tips for outdoor furniture.

Use What You Have – It’s Better for the Patio Furniture

Baking soda, bleach, borax, and Dawn Dishwashing soap are all inexpensive, and they are less abrasive than commercial brand cleaners as well.You want your patio to look fresh and inviting, but the patio furniture gets grimy just from sitting out in the wind and dust. People spill their drinks and drop their ice cream, but those outdoor furniture stains can be quickly cleaned for a brighter and more beautiful patio set.
Whether you have chosen wicker, metal or resin outdoor furniture, or furniture with cloth cushions and an umbrella, it can be kept clean and new looking for a long time with the right care and patio furniture protection measures.

Use What You Have – It’s Better for the Patio Furniture

Baking soda, bleach, borax, and Dawn Dishwashing soap are all inexpensive, and they are less abrasive than commercial brand cleaners as well.

vinylWicker
Wooden Wicker

  • Cleaning – Use a dry rag, microfiber duster, feather duster, or soft bristle paint brush to get the dust off regularly. You can also use your vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. When wicker furniture needs a more thorough cleaning, a warm damp rag works well.
  • Stains and mildew – To clean stains and mildew off wicker furniture, a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water can be sprayed on the surface and wiped off with a rage or soft brush. Stains can also be wiped off of wicker with a mild soap and water mixture. Murphy Oil Soap works well.
  • Preservation – You can use paint or shellac to preserve wicker outdoor furniture. Leave the wicker dry for 2 full days before using your wicker patio set. You can use a thin coat of furniture wax to protect it even more.

Resin Wicker

  • Cleaning – Resin wicker furniture is a little easier to keep looking clean outdoors than wooden wicker because larger amounts of water can be used. You may want to vacuum it off before using water. A bucket of warm water with Dawn Dishwashing Detergent and a sponge or soft brush can be used to removed dirt. Then hose it down and allow it to dry before replacing cushions.
  • Mold and Mildew – Removing mold and mildew from resin wicker patio furniture can be done easily with a vinegar and water mixture, or for light colored wicker water with a little bleach will kill the mold.
  • Preservation and Storage – As with any outdoor furniture in Iowa, it is a good idea to bring faux wicker outdoor furniture out of the elements, but because it is made of manmade materials, it will not be as prone to weather damage and sun fading.

loom-finishesFabric Cushions

  • Cleaning – First, vacuum the cushion. Then mix 1 tsp. Dawn Dishwashing Detergent, and 1 tsp. Borax with 1 quart of warm water. Saturate the surface of the cushions on both sides with the solution. Wait a while, use a soft bristle brush on stains. Rinse with water and let dry.
  • Spot Cleaning – Take a spray bottle of the above mixture and spray the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes, wipe with a cloth and repeat if needed. Rinse a little and allow to dry.
  • Fabric Protection – Spray with a fabric protector like Scotch Guard before you begin using them to protect them from spills and make it easier to clean them. Reapply fabric protector each time you clean the cushions.
  • Storage – While outdoor fabrics are made to dry quickly, you may want to keep them under a roof. Be sure to bring cushions in during the winter.

Umbrella Fabric

  • Cleaning – Brush off any loose dirt, and mix ¼ cup of Gain or Tide with lukewarm water. Add a TBS of baking soda or Borax. Apply with a sponge or soft brush in circular motion. Let soak in and then rinse with a hose or bucket of water to thoroughly remove soap residue. Allow to dry partially and then open to dry better.*For heavier cleaning of light colored fabric, a small amount of bleach can be added to the soap mixture.
  • Storage – Bring umbrellas in during the winter and make sure they are put down when you are not using them, so they do not get damaged in the wind.

teak3Teak

  • Cleaning –To clean your Teak patio furniture, mix 1 cup of bleach or vinegar with 1 gallon of water and scrub it with soft bristle brush.
  • Preservation – Teak is a wood that is very hard, and care depends on whether you want it to look bright and new, or like the weathered look for your outdoor furniture. You can keep it stained, varnished and weather treated, or you can let the natural preservation of the wood keep it from rotting and let it turn gray and weathered.
  • Storage – Teak furniture can be left outdoors if the weathered look is what you like, but if you want it to stay new looking bring it indoors during harsh weather.

Canvas Furniture / Sling Furniture

  • Cleaning – Brush the loose dirt off to clean canvas patio furniture. Then mix 1 tsp. Dawn Dishwashing Detergent, and 1 tsp. Borax with 1 quart of warm water. Saturate the surface of the cushions on both sides with the solution. Wait a while, use a soft bristle brush on stains. Rinse with water and let dry.
  • Storage – Store outdoor furniture with canvas sling seats indoors during the winter.

Metal Frames on Outdoor Furniture

  • Cleaning – Use a mixture of mix 1 tsp. Dawn Dishwashing Detergent, and 1 tsp. Borax with 1 quart of warm water. Spray it on the metal frame, let sit a moment and wipe it down with a wet rag or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Dry off.
  • Preservation – If metal is beginning to rust, wipe as much off as possible with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Use a Rustoleum Paint or a primer and paint to repaint the mental.
    *You can use automotive wax to help preserve the metal furniture after it is cleaned or repainted.

Make You Outdoor Furniture Last Longer

  • Don’t be afraid to add a fresh coat of paint, replace or recover the cushions, or freshen your outdoor furniture with a thorough wash.

 If it is time to buy new furniture or replace cushions, talk to the outdoor furniture experts at Dwell Home Furnishings in Coralville. Stop in and look around at our furniture and rug selection.