How to Care for Outdoor Furniture

By Sklar Furnishings

How To Guides & Product Care

July 16, 2015

Adding stylish outdoor furniture into your backyard can truly expand the living space of your home and your enjoyment of the outdoors, especially during the summer months or better yet, if you live in a place that experiences warm temperatures year-round.

Selecting pieces with generous cushions and great structure will add to your outdoor comfort and relaxation. Many of today’s outdoor furniture options bear an uncanny similarity to pieces you would typically find indoors, but they are built from more durable materials in order to withstand weather conditions. Despite its sturdy construction, this type of furniture requires proper care to maintain its durability.

We’ve composed a list of tips and tricks on how to care for different types of outdoor furniture:

Wicker Furniture: Made from woven reeds and plant fibers, wicker furniture is sensitive to the sun so it needs to be covered and protected from the elements, if it going to be outside for more than two weeks. As for cleaning, the most gentle method of tending to wicker is to dust regularly using a microfiber duster, dry paintbrush or soft cloth. If it needs to be cleaned more thoroughly, use mild soap and warm water.

Metal Framed Furniture: These pieces are made from aluminum, steel and wrought iron, which are very strong, and most are now rust resistant. To clean them, use mild soap and water. If a rust stain does occur, gently sand down the area, wipe it clean, then follow up with couple of thin layers of paint.

Wooden Furniture: During the winter months, wood furniture needs to be stored indoors. The exceptions are cedar and teak, which can withstand the harsher winter conditions. Clean wood furniture using soapy water, but make sure to give it a good rinse afterwards to remove any soap residues. Do not use a power washer on this type of furniture as this can damage the wood.

Fabric Furniture: Acrylic is the most commonly used fabric for outdoor furniture because it is easy to clean and quite resistant to mildew. To further increase its resistance to mildew and dirt, sponge clean stains using mild soap and water. Rinse carefully to avoid soap residue remaining on the fabric. To prevent mildew, make sure acrylic cushions are finished drying prior to storing them.

Canvas cushion covers can be put in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. Hang canvas to dry outdoors and to avoid shrinkage, stretch the fabric over the frame of the furniture. If you cannot remove the canvas from the furniture, use a scrub brush, soap and water to remove stains. Feel free to scrub the fabric until the stains are removed. Rinse off all the soap with a hose afterwards.

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