For many of us, this week may be the last time we willingly sit outdoors this year. Temperatures are dropping fast. And while that means we get to cozy up next to our fireplace inside, it also means it’s time to pack away our outdoor furniture that has helped make our summer so enjoyable.
If you want to enjoy your furniture for another year, it’s important that you clean and protect your pieces properly. Without doing this, your furniture could end up mouldy and damaged, potentially costing you a lot of money to fix or replace.
Generally, there are four main kinds of outdoor furniture. Wicker, cast aluminum, sling furniture and finally wooden outdoor furniture. Read our great tips below on how to care for your furniture type!
Wicker furniture comes in two kinds — natural and resin. Although this type of furniture holds up really well outdoors, it still needs occasional cleaning and proper storage during the colder months (especially here in Ottawa!).
Both types of wicker furniture can be cleaned with a small vacuum or dusted with a microfibre brush. If there’s a thick layer of dust and you don’t have a vacuum cleaner on hand, use a handheld paintbrush instead or consider hosing it down.
For heavily stained wicker furniture, mild detergent and a washcloth should do the trick. And if your wicker furniture has mould, don’t worry! Just wipe it down with one part white vinegar and three parts water and then wipe it down with water again to take away the potent vinegary smell.
Make sure your furniture dries completely before replacing the cushioning or covers.
Cast Aluminum Furniture
The great thing about cast aluminum furniture is that it never rusts unlike other furniture made out of metal. It does, however, still need regular cleaning. Like wicker furniture, cast aluminum only needs cleaning with mild soap and water. For a more effective cleaning, try adding a mild acid like diluted vinegar or lime. If you feel your cast aluminum furniture is looking a bit dull, give it a polish with steel wool and soap. Be sure to thoroughly clean it afterwards to get rid of the pesky steel wool particles that can remain and damage the surface of your beautiful furniture. To further protect your furniture, coat it with an anti-corroding spray.
Sling furniture is popular because of its clean, fun look. Available in different colours, the right sling furniture set is a great way to fulfil your home design dreams. When cleaning sling furniture, a feather duster or a microfibre cloth is all you need. Like the previous furniture types, a mild detergent is enough for tougher stains. However, you need to pay special attention to the detergent you use in this case as the wrong kind could fade the colours of your furniture.
Once clean, wipe down with a wet cloth and make sure it dries completely before storing it.
Wooden Outdoor Furniture
Wooden furniture can’t be beaten for its classy look, however, it does need some maintenance, especially at the turn of the seasons to keep it looking good. Thankfully, all that is required is some good oil paint and wood furniture varnish. Be sure to follow the directions of a professional before painting your wooden furniture or come talk to us.
The best way to preserve your outdoor furniture is by storing it in your shed or garage until the snow and rainy weather has passed. However, if storing your set indoors isn’t possible, you’ll need a heavy, waterproof furniture cover that can hold its own against the elements for the colder months.
Be sure to check on your furniture from time to time so you can catch any mould that may start to form. And of course, reach out to the Fireplace Center for help and advice from our knowledgable professionals on how best to take care of your valuable outdoor furniture!