How to Preserve Outdoor Furniture

25 August, 2016

Finding the perfect outdoor furniture to fit your style, needs, and space can be very difficult. When you finally do find a piece or set that work for your yard, you’ll want to keep it in the best condition possible. While minimal wear and damage are to be expected given that this furniture is left outdoors, there are some steps you can take to preserve it so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Regular Care & Cleaning

While in use, it’s important to find ways to keep your outdoor furniture clean and useable. One way you can do this is to spray off tables and chairs with a garden hose once a week, or more as needed. Scrub off surfaces that look particularly dirty and dingy, using soap also when necessary.

Cleaning Upholstery

Pillows and upholstered surfaces add to the cozy and comfortable feel of outdoor furniture, and thus should be given special care since more is required to keep them clean, including regular laundering when possible. It is also wise to consider keeping pillows stored away until you plan to use them.

Store Properly for Winter

The only thing more damaging to outdoor furniture than the sun is winter weather. When the end of the season draws near, you should find a safe place to store all of your outdoor items, including large furniture pieces. Storage within a shed or garage should be sufficient, but in the event that you do not have the extra space, there are a few ways you can prep your furniture to keep it as safe as possible while out in the elements. Consider purchasing an outdoor furniture cover that can protect your chairs, tables, or other furniture from the elements.

Preparing Outdoor Furniture for Winter

Every outdoor material is different and should be cared for accordingly:

  • Plastic—Items made from plastic can benefit from a simple wash with detergent, something you will likely want to repeat prior to its first use in the spring.
  • Wood—A combination of bleach, detergent, and soap will rid wood furniture of any dirt, mold, and mildew. Consider applying a water repellent coating, especially if you intend to leave wood furniture out during the winter months.
  • Metal—Water and detergent are strong enough to clean metal, and a good sanding should remove any rust. Car wax adds a protective layer to this furniture that you’ll find beneficial, especially if it will be left to withstand the elements of winter.
  • Wicker—Wicker is one material that doesn’t do well in winter weather. In fact, it should be stored high to ensure no water reaches it during the winter season. A mixture of water and bleach kills any mold and mildew, ensuring your wicker furniture will be ready for use when the weather warms.
  • Cedar or Teak—As with wicker, bleach and water are sufficient to clean any cedar or teak furniture in your yard. Apply a tung oil after cleaning, and this material should hold up well when left outdoors all winter.

Find out what material your furniture is made out of. If there are multiple differing materials, try incorporating the tips given for each material.

Make Your Furniture Last

Incorporating these tips will help preserve your outdoor furniture. While outdoor furniture is designed to withstand the elements, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect taking care of your furniture. Don’t let your furniture become an eyesore when you want to relax outside in the warm weather. Take the time to care for your outdoor furniture.