When you’re closing on a new home, one of the most exciting parts is daydreaming about your future outdoor oasis.
And once you choose your outdoor dining table and your lounge chairs make their way to your back patio, the bbq-ing, feasting, celebrating, playing, alfresco-ing can begin!
But in order to keep the good times rolling, you need to ensure your furniture stands the test of time! Here are tips for caring for your outdoor furniture throughout the year to maintain the backyard paradise of your dreams:
Summer Upkeep: Enjoying the Outdoors
During the summer months, your outdoor furniture will be in frequent use, so keeping it clean and comfortable is key:
- Regular Wiping: Dust off your furniture regularly to prevent dirt buildup. A quick wipe-down with a damp cloth can help maintain its appearance.
- Sun Protection: Excessive sun exposure can fade and damage materials. If possible, keep your outdoor furniture in a shaded area, or use an umbrella to protect it from the sun.
- Upholstery Care: Clean outdoor cushions and fabric covers at a minimum of twice per season, especially if they’re exposed to sunscreen or food stains. Spot clean any spills immediately to prevent stains from setting.
- Wood Maintenance: If you have wooden furniture, consider applying a protective sealant or outdoor wood oil to prevent drying and cracking. Reapply as needed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Fall Preparation: Getting Ready for Cooler Days
As the temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to prepare your outdoor furniture for the cooler season:
- Cleaning: Give your furniture one last cleaning before winter sets in. Remove any dirt or grime and ensure the frames are dry before covering or storing.
- Frame Protection: Apply a coat of wax or protective spray to metal frames to prevent rust and corrosion during the colder months.
- Storage: Whenever possible, store cushions, fabric covers, and smaller furniture items in your basement or garage to protect them from harsh weather. Cover larger furniture pieces that will remain outdoors with weather-resistant covers.
Winter Care: Maintaining Through Snow and Rain
Even in winter, your outdoor furniture needs some attention to ensure it remains in good condition:
- Regular Checks: Periodically check on your covered or stored furniture to ensure it’s still in good shape. Remove any accumulated snow or debris.
- Avoid Heavy Loads: Avoid placing heavy objects on top of covered furniture, as this can cause damage to the covers or frames.
- Surface Protection: Elevate furniture slightly to prevent direct contact with wet ground, which can lead to rust or deterioration.
Spring Cleaning: Preparing for Outdoor Enjoyment
As the weather warms up and you begin to spend more time outside, it’s essential to give your outdoor furniture a thorough spring cleaning:
- Dust and Debris Removal: Start by using a soft brush or a handheld vacuum to remove dirt, leaves, and debris from the furniture surfaces.
- Washing: Depending on the material, use a mild soap and water solution to clean the furniture. Wipe down every nook and cranny, including cushions, frames, and slats. We love microfiber cloths for all cleaning, especially outdoors: they work hard, get the job done and are reusable!
- Cushion Care: If your furniture has cushions, check the care instructions for washing. Most outdoor cushions can be unzipped and cleaned with a mixture of mild detergent and water (gentle cycle in the washing machine). Allow them to air dry completely before placing them back on the furniture.
- Frame Inspection: Examine the frames for rust, corrosion, or loose bolts. If you notice any issues, address them promptly to prevent further damage.
Properly cleaning and maintaining your outdoor furniture throughout the year is a simple yet effective way to prolong its lifespan and keep it looking its best. By following these steps and tailoring your care routine to the specific materials and conditions in your outdoor space, you can ensure that your investment is a gift that keeps on giving…Winter, spring, summer or fall, a little care goes a long way!