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How to care for your outdoor furniture
As indoor and outdoor living continue to merge, we’re spending even more time on our balcony or deck relaxing, dining and entertaining friends.
To keep your outdoor furniture looking guest-worthy, or just Insta-worthy, it’s important to give it some regular care.
To get the longest life out of your carefully selected pieces, follow some general rules including:
Before choosing the furniture for your outdoor area, check out our guide on How to choose the perfect outdoor furniture | Amart Furniture.
Why you should clean outdoor furniture
Cleaning your timber, wicker, aluminium, or plastic outdoor furniture will extend its lifespan and ramp up its appeal. No-one wants to sit on a dirty chair, or eat off a table, littered with leaf matter.
The good news is you don’t have to make a big production of it. With the right tools and techniques, protecting your investment in outdoor furniture is easy.
No matter what type of furniture you have, always start with a soft cloth or brush to remove debris. From thereon in, follow our expert tips.
How to clean outdoor wooden furniture
To the rescue: mild, soapy water and a sponge.
If your outdoor wooden furniture has a high-density PU coating, like the REPLICA ADIRONDACK side table, using a mild soap, not an abrasive cleaner, is extra important. The bonus of this polyurethane layer is that it protects furniture against harsh UV. Gentle cleaning will help it remain intact.
A PU coating also helps protect against accidental spills, but these should always be mopped up quickly, no matter what type of timber you have, or they will eventually stain your wooden furniture.
Once you’ve finished cleaning, make sure pieces are placed somewhere they can dry.
If your timber furniture is uncoated, and you’d like to smarten it up, use a fit-for-purpose timber wax to polish it.
How to clean aluminium / steel furniture
While you do need to wash aluminium or steel furniture often to ensure it retains its shine, looking for a rust-resistant aluminium or easy-care galvanised steel product means more time for fun, and less time on upkeep.
Use a gentle soap and warm water and, to keep aluminium or steel looking its best, polish it with a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner.
For the ultimate in easy care, have a look at the contemporary TANGALOOMA package that features an on-trend combination of rust-resistant aluminium frame and Weathergrain, made from recycled plastics.
If you do have rust on your furniture, an easy way to remove it is with some carbonated cola. Just pour it on the rusted surface, then rub it clean with a soft cloth. White vinegar is also effective because of its acidic properties. Rinse the metal with the white vinegar, leave it for about 10 minutes, then wipe if off with a cloth.
How to clean wicker furniture
Wicker is certainly having a moment. And no wonder. It makes every balcony or deck look like it stepped out of a magazine.
Cleaning it’s a simple matter of putting a bristle brush attachment on your vacuum – and using a toothbrush to reach tighter space; or spraying it with a hose if it is synthetic wicker. Water warps natural wicker.
Always leave your wicker somewhere sunny to dry.
The European-styled LACY 3 piece outdoor setting features the best of both worlds – hardy, synthetic wicker seats with a sturdy, steel frame – to max relaxation time.
How to clean plastic furniture
If only everything in life was as low-maintenance as plastic furniture.
Treat it to a wash with baking soda and warm water, if it’s white, or vinegar and warm water if it’s coloured plastic. You only need about one cup of either in a bucketful of water.
If you discover a stain that doesn’t come off with a wash, apply the vinegar or baking soda directly, on a rag. Don’t be tempted to use bleach on your white plastic as it will erode the material.
How to clean Weathergrain
Essentially Weathergrain is plastic, even though it looks just like wood. It’s made from recycled materials, so you get the look of timber, with very low maintenance, and you get to help save the world.
To clean it, follow the same instructions as for plastic.
How often should I clean my outdoor furniture?
If you want to spend more of your time outdoors doing the things you love, and less time cleaning, be smart about what you buy to reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning.
Some more secrets stylists use to create a dream backyard that won’t eat up your leisure time: buying easy care plastic or, even better, UV-stabilised polypropylene like the material used for the Lyla and Skyla chairs; or choosing pieces that mix up materials where it counts, for example, the Mornington setting that uses a rust-resistant aluminium frame and wood look top.
Don’t forget to make sure your purchase comes with a OUTDOOR COVER. No more scrubbing animal droppings, rotted leaves, or mildew off the place you intend to sit, or eat. After all, downtime should be just that.