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It’s Time to Clean Off Your Patio Furniture

Patio Furniture Must Be Freshened In the Spring

You are probably getting outdoors to get your yard in shape for the coming season.  This year it seems that Spring is being a little shy and only coming out for a day at a time.  Then it goes back to a string of chilly days.  But sooner or later, it will be time to have a cup of morning coffee on the patio.  So let’s talk about how to prepare your furniture so it can be used for another year.  The good news about patio furniture is that although it can be pricey, it does last for years when properly maintained.

Probably the least expensive option for outdoor furniture is resin.  This can be cleaned with warm soapy water and then rinsed off.  Use your garden hose for rinsing.

Upholstered Furniture Takes More Consistent Care

Fabric cushions should be cleaned every couple of weeks if they are left outdoors.  First vacuum the cushions to remove loose debris.  Then, most outdoor fabrics, whether polyester, vinyl, or cotton can be gently wiped down with lukewarm soapy water.   For stains or heavy soil, you might want to use all fabric non-chlorine bleach, but always do a test on the fabric in an out of the way area.  Hose off the cushions then leave them standing on their sides with the zipper down to dry.  Waterproof fabrics should have waterproofing reapplied at the beginning of each season.

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Vinyl Strapped Patio Furniture

A common type of patio furniture is vinyl strapped.  Again, a mild solution of dishwashing liquid along with a scrub brush will probably do the job.  You can extend the life of vinyl chairs by keeping suntan oils and sweat away from the surface by using a towel  on the chairs when sunbathing. Worn vinyl straps can be replaced if you are handy, but this type of furniture is so inexpensive that it is probably easier to just discard it and replace it.

Cleaning Mildew Off Cushions

Use a mixture of one gallon of water, one cup of chlorine bleach and a dash of a dishwashing detergent that has no ammonia in it.  Scrub the cushions to remove the mildew then rinse thoroughly with a garden hose.  Allow the cushions to dry before using them again.

Table Tops

If your table top is acrylic or plastic, clean it thoroughly first, then apply a thin coat of auto wax to keep the surface shiny.  Glass tops can be cleaned with standard Windex.  Stone table tops can be cleaned with warm soapy water but scrubbing will be necessary to get into all the small nooks and crannies.

Now, sit back on your newly cleaned patio furniture, find a good book and some lemonade and enjoy!

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Editor’s Note:  We originally published this article in April 2016.  We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.