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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.

Outdoor Rugs and Outdoor Furniture - Dwell Home Furnishings & Interior Design - Coralville, IADesign your deck or patio from the ground up with quality outdoor rugs. It’s fun to add a splash of color to your outdoor spaces, and find the perfect outdoor furniture and accessories to pull the look together.

Whether you’re looking for a fun or elegant look, or want to cover up an unattractive concrete patio or old bricks, an all-weather rug may be a cost effective answer.

You can choose from a wide array of colors, patterns and designs to compliment the exterior of your home.

Read more

Comfortable, Low Maintenance Patio Furniture for any Backyard

Wicker Outdoor Furniture - Dwell Home Furnishings - CoralvilleWe’re getting spring fever in Iowa and it’s time to think about outdoor entertaining with patio furniture and outdoor furniture for around the fire pit that is comfortable, versatile and durable.

We spend all winter dreaming about the morning we can enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch, or grill on the deck and spend the evening out by the fire, but having a nice chair and a side table to set your drink on, makes the experience even better.

Your outdoor spaces can be an extension of your home if you choose attractive, comfortable patio furniture that has the feature you need for entertaining. With fire pits, fire tables, brick ovens, and outdoor kitchens, your backyard can be as homey as the living room.

Buy Once, or Buy Every Couple Years

You have a choice as to whether you buy high quality patio furniture, or like to change it up every few years and purchase a cheaper set. You should know that in most cases you get what you pay for.

A high end, timeless, heavy duty patio table and outdoor chairs will cost more. It will stand up to the weather better, but will still need a certain amount of maintenance, and perhaps will fare better if it is brought in for the winter.

Some Things to Think About When Buying Patio Furniture

How much effort are you willing to put into maintaining your outdoor furniture?

The answer to this will help you decide what kind of patio table and chairs or outdoor lounge chairs you might want. Wood will need to be stained and sealed every year, and with all of the freezing and thawing in Iowa, would be best off kept indoors over the winter.

There are several types of metals, woods and plastics that can be used, and some are better than others. Some are heavier duty, others rust more easily, and still others will give you the look that you want. We believe that you can have it all if you are willing to take some precautions to keep it looking great.

Metal Outdoor Furniture – With a multitude of styles and colors available, metal is a versatile and beautiful choice. It can be durable, depending on what type of metal the patio furniture is made of, but it does hold heat when placed in the hot sun.

Aluminum – Does not rust, especially if it has a powder coat finish, but high-end sets are a bit more expensive.

Wrought Iron – If you’re looking for a formal or classic outdoor furniture set, a wrought iron patio set might be a perfect answer. It is strong and durable, as well as very heavy, so it will not blow over easily. If wrought iron furniture is the best choice for your outdoor spaces, there will be some maintenance involved to prevent rust and corrosion. Wrought iron is much more comfortable if the design includes cushions.

Steel – If you’re looking for super durable outdoor furniture, and you plan to leave it in the same spot, steel can be a great choice. It is very heavy, and if left unpainted, steel will rust. There may be some maintenance involved in ensuring steel furniture does not rust. Steel patio furniture should be stored inside to prevent fading or pitting.

Wooden Patio Furniture – While wood is sturdy and does not hold heat like metals and plastics, it is best to keep indoors or under a roof when not in use, as it will likely rot or the stain will fade. High quality woods will be more expensive, but will last for years and can be easily repaired if they do get damaged. Changing up cushion colors, paint or stains allows you to change the look of your patio or outdoor seating area, without spending a lot of extra money.

Teak – High quality outdoor wood furniture may be made of teak. It is durable and this wood has natural enzymes that that protect the wood from decay. Teak patio furniture can be left out in any type of weather without care if you don’t mind the weathered grey that it turns. If you want to keep the new, pristine look, you will need to make sure it is stained and sealed regularly.

Cedar –Outdoor furniture made of cedar also has an enzyme that keeps it from decaying, so it will not rot in harsh or wet weather conditions. You can enjoy the natural weathered look of the cedar as it ages, or keep it stained or painted for a more pristine look.

Wicker – Wooden woven, or made of synthetic materials is lightweight and durable. You can buy weather resistant wicker furniture, but the harsh Wicker Patio Furniture at Dwell Home Furnishings & Interior Designwinter weather, so plan to store wicker inside, and it is best to keep them on a covered porch or under shelter. If you love the look of wicker, but want it to be placed outdoors and fully exposed to the elements, you may consider a synthetic or poly wicker.

Do you have a good place to store your outdoor furniture for the winter?

Many materials will crack, mold and weather when left out for the winter, so think about where you will store your outdoor furniture, or if you have a way to repurpose it in a 3-seasons room or basement during the winter months.

Will it be sitting in the shade, or creating shade?

If your new patio furniture will be sitting in the sun, or if the purpose of it is to create shade, choose pieces that are made is materials that will not fade in the sun or become brittle from the heat. Patio umbrellas and cushions should be fade resistant, sun damage resistant and fast to dry. You don’t want to have to wait 3 hours after the rain stops to enjoy the clear air. Sunbrella fabrics, cushions and umbrellas offer bright colors and brilliant patterns that are notorious for holding to the weather and drying quickly.

A Variety of Outdoor Furniture Options

At Dwell Home Furnishings & Interior Design, we provide a plethora of medium grade patio and outdoor furniture options on display, and have the ability to order different sets or higher end outdoor furniture if you don’t see just what you’re looking for in our showroom. Our furniture and decorating experts would l0ve to be of service, so stop into our Coralville Showroom if you’re sprucing up your outdoor spaces this year. We have patio furniture by Lexington – Tommy Bahama, Gloster, Lee Industries, Lloyd Flanders and Sunset West.