Sunday, May 3, 2015

How to Clean Patio Furniture

I love spring; the longer days, the abundant opportunities to bbq, the sunshine, and the trees! Oh the trees!
This is the time to pull out all of the patio furniture that has been stored away for the colder winter months. Unfortunately, sometimes it comes out of storage looking not quite as pretty as when it went in. Since buying new patio furniture every year simply isn’t practical…(anyone else notice how expensive patio furniture is these days?), cleaning it up is a much cheaper endeavor. In the spirit of working smarter and not harder, here’s a few ways to get your patio furniture back up to par quickly so you can spend less time cleaning and more time barbequing!

(Photo Credit: Joe Barbosa)

Metal Patio Furniture:

This one is easy. Take it out and spray it off with the hose. Ta-da! Ok, seriously, there really isn’t much more to it than that. Make sure to dry it off as rust can be just as unsightly of a problem as dirt. There are several different ways to remove rust and I can’t really say that any one of them is better than the others, it’s whatever you have handy. Here’s a few methods:

·      Lemons and salt – mix together a paste of lemon juice and salt and apply it to the area. Leave it for a couple of hours and come back and wipe it off. If you don’t have lemons handy, you can use lemon juice or even white vinegar.
·      Coca-Cola and aluminum foil – Pour some Coke (I’m not sure if Diet Coke will work) into a container wide enough for you to get your hand into. Crumble up a piece of aluminum foil and dip it into the Coke. Scrub. This may take a little work, but the Coke should tear through that rust pretty quickly.
·      If the above ideas don’t work, head to your local hardware store and pick up some Naval Jelly. Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes should also carry it. This stuff is heavy duty. Follow the manufacturers instructions and you’ll be good to go!

Plastic Patio Furniture:

Ok, this one you really can take outside and spray down with a hose. Dry it off with a towel or let it air dry. If you have stubborn stains that soap and water won’t eliminate, rub some lemon juice and set it out in the sun. This will bleach the stain out so you may not want to try it on anything other that white furniture.

Wicker Patio Furniture:

Use a brush or a vacuum cleaner to remove the bits of dust and dirt that can get stuck within the wicker. Use soap and water for and a soft brush to scrub the whole thing down. Rinse it off and set it out to dry in the sunshine. If you come across mold, use bleach to get rid of it.

Outdoor Cushions:

Vacuum them off and use warm soapy water to clean them up. You can set them out in the sun to air dry. Some cushions will have washing instructions so check them out too. If you have mold on them, use some bleach or white vinegar. I saw something on another site that highly stressed not to pressure was the cushions. For some reason this cracked me up. I’m fairly certain that would demolish the cushions so don’t. Just don’t…but if you do, post pictures in the comments because I actually find this quite hysterical!

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