If you’re fortunate enough to have a home with a patio, you’ve got the perfect outdoor space to decorate. You can transform your patio into the perfect warm-weather gathering space, complement your patio design to your landscaping, and easily rearrange your outdoor furniture when you want a different look. Of course, patios also pose their own unique maintenance challenges. After all, this space is exposed to the elements, and if you don’t take care of that furniture, you risk ruining the aesthetic appeal of your patio.
Fortunately, your patio furniture can enjoy a long life in great condition if you perform some basic maintenance. Here are some tips for different types of outdoor furniture maintenance, courtesy of Williams Ski and Patio.
If you’re a fan of lightweight, woven wicker furniture, there’s good news: it doesn’t require a whole lot of maintenance. You should store or cover wicker furniture when it’s not in use for long periods of time, and be sure to vacuum and wipe off dust with a damp cloth before storing. If your wicker furniture has cushions, wash them periodically to keep them from looking dingy.
This durable patio furniture does best with an occasional cleaning with mild soap and water. If you notice any calcium buildup around an aluminum chair or table, remove it with a very mild dilution of white distilled vinegar. Avoid using any abrasive cleaning agents or a power washer.
Whatever you do, don’t leave cushions outside in the winter. If your seating has a metal frame, you can leave that outdoors (as long as it’s covered!) during the winter months, but cushions should be stored in a dry, indoor space. If someone spills their drink on your cushioned seating, wipe the spill up immediately and use mild soap, water, and a non-abrasive brush to clean. After you’ve washed your cushion, you can prop it up on its side to speed up the drying process.
One of the best things about teak furniture is that it’s weather-resistant, so it can still look great years after you purchase it. That doesn’t mean you can neglect all maintenance, though. If your furniture looks like it’s getting dirty, rinse it with a garden hose (no power washers). If you want your teak furniture to maintain a slightly darker color, apply Penofin oil once a year. Don’t use any non-Penofin oils or a spray polish—this can actually promote mildew growth. If you’d prefer your teak furniture to have a natural grey look, you can forego the Penofin oil and let it sit in the sun under normal conditions.
Wrought iron is incredibly durable and long-lasting, but you should still wipe it down occasionally with a combination of water and mild detergent. Rinse it with a hose afterwards, and avoid using an abrasive cleaner or power washer (you may be sensing a theme here.) If you notice any rust spots, you can remove them by scrubbing with a wire brush or coarse sandpaper.
Remember, keep all patio furniture out of the elements during the winter and any months with heavy rain if you want to keep it looking its best. For more information about different types of patio furniture, check out this infographic from Williams Ski and Patio.