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From Adirondacks to resin, to wrought iron, and wicker, the types of patio furniture on the market today runs the spectrum. They all can’t be cleaned in the same manner. Some require special treatments to ensure longevity and beauty. Use these tips and strategies for all your lawn furniture so you know you’ll spring clean patio furniture correctly.
White Plastic or Resin
1-gallon warm water
Three tablespoons automatic dishwashing detergent (contains a bleaching agent that will whiten the plastic)
Use a sponge or soft brush. Leave the solution on for 15 minutes, then rinse and dry. For hard to remove areas us a heavy duty Mr. Clean sponge. Rinse and allow to air dry.
*Don’t use this on colored furniture.
Colored Plastic or Resin
Clean colored plastic furniture with an all-purpose cleaner and water. Rinse well and allow to air dry in the shade because sunlight and will quicken the fading process.
Once dried, to bring color and shine back to faded plastic patio furniture simply spray WD-40 directly on the surface and wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Amazing and surprising results.
- Mix about a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent with a bucket of warm water.
- Scrub surface with a scrub brush.
- Rinse furniture and allow to dry.
- Use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any rusted spots down to the bare metal.
- Wipe off any metal residue with a clean cloth dampened with mineral spirits.
- Spray bare spots with a primer made for metal, such as those made by Rust-Oleum. Follow all directions on the can (wear an approved respirator).
- Allow surface to dry for recommended time.
- Allow paint to dry thoroughly before using furniture.
- Option #1: Remove light oxidation by rubbing the surface with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
- Option #2: Clean the surface with dishwashing detergent and water using a plastic scrubbing sponge or very fine steel wool.
NOTE: Try first on a hidden area to see if it scratches the aluminum.
Rinse off the cleaning solutions with a garden hose, and allow to dry.
To Prevent Oxidation:
- Apply a coat of paste car wax to the surface.
- Allow the wax to dry for a few minutes.
Remove residue and polish surface with a clean cloth.
Wood Furniture (Redwood, Cedar, Pine)
Scrub with the mixture of 1/4 cup ammonia and two tablespoons white vinegar in one-quart water. Rinse with garden hose and allow to dry in full sun.
Related: Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom
Apply the mixture of 1/4 cup laundry detergent and one-quart bleach to one-gallon water. Allow to remain on for 10-20 minutes. Scrub with soft bristled brush and rinse with garden hose.
½ cup of castile soap
1 cup of vinegar
2 gallons of warm water
Use the scrub brush to brush out the dirt. Rinse the sponge often so that dirt is not re-distributed back onto the furniture. Hose the pieces down until all suds are gone to avoid any lingering residue on the furniture. Air dry in full sun.
One tablespoon of castile soap
1 gallon of warm water
Use a dry scrub brush to dust off any loose debris. Next, dip the clean scrub brush into the bucket and gently scrub away the dirt and debris, being careful to rub gently. If you’re too aggressive with wicker you change it’s shape. Hose the surface off when done to remove all bubbles and residue.
Cushions With Removable Covers
Remove the covers and place in the wash with regular laundry detergent on a regular cycle. When the slipcovers come out of the wash, put them back onto the cushions to reshape and stretch the covers out. Do NOT place them in the dryer. This is an important step to ensure that the cushion covers to maintain their shape.
Pillows and Cushions
Most outdoor pillows and cushions are machine washable. If they don’t fit in your washer, have them cleaned at a laundry mat where they have super-sized machines. Launder on a gentle cycle and tumble dry on low. Toss a couple of tennis balls in the dryer to help beat out the excess moisture and promote quick drying.
Brush off as much mildew as possible using a scrub brush and then spray the umbrella with a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water on the affected area. Leave it for 30 minutes to soak. Take a clean scrub brush and remove the remaining mildew from the umbrella by gently scrubbing. Hose it down when done to remove the solution and mold. Re-spray the area with the vinegar and water solution to protect against mildew build up and repeat this monthly.
This is a safe solution that can be sprayed on all outdoor furniture to keep mildew away.
If no mildew is present, clean the umbrella at the beginning of the season by brushing off any loose debris, spraying the interior and exterior well with the solution, soaking it for 15 minutes and then hosing it down. Leave it open to dry for at least one sunny day.
Consider spraying the cushions with Scotch Guard, before using them. Doing so will help protect them from the elements and make them easier to clean in the future.
One of the best ways to keep your patio furniture from getting dirty is to place a tarp over it when it is not in use. This is especially important if you live in a region that sees a lot of rain and snow. Store your furniture indoors during the winter months to get the longest life out them.
Finally, before cleaning any outdoor furniture, it’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s label for washing instructions. If your furniture didn’t come with a cleaning label, then always test a small piece of the furniture for colorfastness before applying cleaning solution to the entire piece.
Using these tips and strategies to spring clean patio furniture will keep your outdoor and lawn furniture beautiful for years to come!