Purchasing furniture for your bedroom, lounge or kitchen is tricky enough, but choosing furniture for your outdoor area is a whole other ball game. When it comes to outdoor furniture, investing in high quality products is more important than ever. These pieces not only endure the same wear and tear as indoor furniture, but are also subject to unpredictable external elements and factors such as wind, rain, dirt and dust.
With this in mind, it’s advisable to take good care of your outdoor furniture pieces to extend their value and maintain their appearance and longevity. Here’s a list of handy tips and suggestions to help you do just that.
Wicker outdoor furniture should be regularly vacuumed with a dust brush attachment to remove general debris. Use a mild soap solution to clean wicker and allow your furniture to dry standing upright. Prevent overexposure to sun and rain, as this tends to discolour and weaken wicker fibres.
The great thing about wooden outdoor furniture is that it generally requires little maintenance. For deep cleaning, mix together oxygen bleach with water and scrub the furniture with a soft bristle brush. To restore the original colour of the wood and smooth down any harsh ridges, use medium-grit sandpaper. The best way to protect wooden furniture from sunlight, dirt and moisture is by applying a water-repellent sealant, reapplying every 1-3 years.
Metal outdoor furniture can be cleaned with a mild soap solution. To remove rust stains from metal furniture, use fine sandpaper. Touch up any scratches with paint and be sure to add a protective coating of clear varnish.
Plastic outdoor furniture is quick and easy to clean, compared to other types of outdoor furniture. Use a clean cloth and a mild dishwashing detergent to get rid of any mould or stains, and rinse and dry.
Fabric outdoor furniture is made of a special material called performance fabric, which is specifically designed to repel stains, moisture and mildew. Despite this initial protection, it’s still important to regularly care for and maintain your fabric furniture. Using a fabric protector spray can enhance performance fabric’s natural water repellence. Pillows or cushions that feature removable furniture covers can easily be washed by hand or washing machine – just be sure to check the care instructions on the label.
- Store or position your outdoor furniture strategically during the different seasons to ensure optimal protection from the most damaging weather. For example, wicker furniture suffers the most from exposure to intense sunlight, while fabric furniture should be protected from extremely wet weather.
- Consider having furniture covers made. These handy items are particularly ideal for any outdoor furniture pieces that feature upholstery or fabric elements.
- Installing a protective structure in your outdoor area, such as a veranda, pergola or sunroof, will not only protect your furniture and décor but also enhance the aesthetic and comfort levels of the space.
Whether your outdoor furniture is made of wicker, wood, metal, plastic or fabric, these pieces can last for many years to come if you learn to protect them properly. If in doubt, always ask your outdoor furniture supplier or manufacturer for care instructions and advice on what products to use for the best outcome.