Patio furniture is one of the hardest pieces of furniture to keep clean because it is always exposed to the elements – wind, rain and everything else that the harsh Australian climate can throw at it.
So how can you make sure your patio furniture stays in ‘ready to use’ condition?
Many think that with a good downpour of rain comes a good clean, but this is not the case. Heavy rain brings with it dirt and debris which only add to the problem, and soap and water never fall from the sky together, so your patio furniture unfortunately cannot get clean by merely sitting there.
Furthermore, long intervals between cleaning patio furniture can make it even more difficult to remove dirt and grime, so to make the job easier and quicker, aim to give your patio furniture a good wash down weekly or at most fortnightly.
At the same time you can check for signs of rust on chairs and inspect cushioning for holes or tears that may need fixing. Repairing damage as soon as it happens will help to extend the lifespan of your outdoor furniture and prevent damage from becoming worse in the long run. It will also save you the embarrassment of your patio furniture falling apart mid-way through entertaining!
Below we have included a few tips on how to keep your patio furniture clean according to the type of material it is made from:
Aluminum Patio Furniture
Aluminum furniture can be raw or painted (often referred to as powder coated). To clean:
- Use warm water and a small amount of mild detergent.
- Scrub the entire surface with soapy water.
- Rinse with clear water to remove soap residue.
Once cleaned raw aluminium furniture can have a metal polish applied which will leave a nice shine and maintain the cleanliness of the furniture for longer.
Plastic Outdoor Furniture
Plastic outdoor furniture is very popular because its easy to clean, affordable and durable. Cleaning is similar to aluminium furniture and can be done with mild soap and water (minus the metal polish). For sturdier plastic furniture you could also consider using a karcher of other high pressure powered hose to remove loose dirt and debris.
Plastic furniture can be left in the sun to dry and to maintain it in good shape for years to come, consider moving it indoors, or out of the elements during Winter months.
Wood is a softer, and some may say more attractive, material to use for outdoor furniture. The natural look of solid wood furniture is often seen on pool decks and if properly maintained can last a lifetime.
Wood can be washed with warm soapy water and ideally needs to be dried before going into direct sunlight. It’s also advisable to treat wood first with a stain or protector oil to prevent it from drying out and splitting in hot weather, and absorbing too much water in wetter periods. Ideally wooden furniture should be stored inside during winter.
Overall most people are capable of cleaning and repairing patio furniture themselves. Unless the furniture is plastic, which is generally unfixable (like a broken leg on a plastic chair), then wooden and aluminium pieces that have slight defects should be able to be fixed.
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