Your Guide to Outdoor Furniture Cleaning

This guide will help you to properly clean and care for your outdoor patio furniture, which does require regular cleaning and maintenance in order to preserve its original appearance.


Stainless Steel Patio Furniture

Stainless steel only requires semi-annual simple care or only when it is needed to maintain its original look. While using stainless steel cleaner and polish, one must wear protective gloves and eye protection and simply follow the supplier’s recommended instructions. It is best to use a Scotch Bright Wool Pad to remove any surface soil, micro rust spots and/or marks.

Metal Frames with Powder Coat Finishes

Do not use any abrasive cleaners on this type of metal. These types of frames should be cleaned with mild soap and water and rinsed thoroughly. This should be done twice a year or as the need occurs. Any scratches or nicks should be taken care of by sanding them lightly and touching them up with matching paint. Failing to repair the nicks and scratches will damage the paint which is not covered in the manufacturer’s warranty. Finally the finish has to be protected by applying furniture wax semi-annually. Wax reflects the sun’s rays and seals against the acid in the rain while rejuvenating the finish.

Metal Frames with Clear Coat Finish and Hand Antiqued

These should be cleaned with any automotive wash and wax combination soap and water solution semi-annually or as needed. This type of wash and wax soap rejuvenates the clear coat that protects hand antiquing. Any scratches or nicks should be taken care of by sanding them lightly and touching them up with matching paint. Matching the antiquing may require the skill of an experienced painter. Failing to repair the nicks and scratches will damage the paint which is not covered in the manufacturer’s warranty.

Outdoor Wicker Woven Resin

In outdoor wicker, resin stands up well to the outdoors only when it contains the amounts of UV light inhibitor additive to reflect the UV rays of the sun and the memory compound additives that allow the expansion and contraction of the material that occurs when the weather changes from hot to cold. Usually American and European woven resin contain a high amount of these additives that is higher than usual in order to sustain the elements, which makes their product be more resistance to harsher weather. Wicker woven resin should be cleaned with mild soap and water and thoroughly rinsed. Wax should then be applied and rubbed with a towel semi-annually or as required. Bleach or Clorox should never be used to clean resin. It is also important to keep any type of solvent away from the furniture.

PVC-Coated Polyesters Mesh Fabrics

Mesh dries quickly and is very resistant to the weather and stains. These fabrics are available in open, tight and jacquard mixed with acrylic. These fabrics are recommended for umbrellas and slings. To clean them you should combine a solution of ½ cup of chlorine bleach and a capful of liquid detergent per gallon of water and wash with a soft plastic brush. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry in the sun. Cushions should all be washed externally. The filler must not be taken in order to machine was the cushions as they may be hard to refill them.

Wood/ Teak

Teak is naturally weather resistant however it still requires semi-annual or as needed maintenance and care. Teak needs to be washed with water while scrubbing with a bristle brush in the wood grain direction but it does not require any natural oil or sealer treatment. This process is necessary to clear up any dust or debris from the grain. In order to keep the original wood color, one must protect the teak furniture with a teak oil or sealer as needed. Variation in natural material is expected and small cracks called crazing are normal in all types of woods after being exposed to the different elements.

Ceramic

Ceramic needs to be wiped with a clean cloth or sponge and lukewarm water mixed with dish soap to get rid of all surface dirt and marks. After this process, one must rinse thoroughly with cool water. Spillage of wine, coffee, oils, ketchup or vinegar should always be wiped immediately from the ceramic surfaces especially. Abrasive cleaners and bleach or any other cleaning product that could weaken or discolor the ceramic glaze should never be applied.

Umbrellas

All umbrellas with the exception of a few specific brands must be folded when they are not in use to avoid any wind damages. Umbrellas are built to be capable of withstanding 5-10 MPH winds. Wax the powder coated poles, resin finials and umbrella stands and lubricate all the moving parts to prolong the life of appearance of the umbrella. The umbrellas covers have to be washed on a semi-annual base with a long arm soft brush using water and Woolite. One cup of Clorox bleach added to the mix will get rid of mold and mildew on 100% solution dyed acrylic fabrics (Sunbrella).

Glass

As mentioned earlier it is important to fold the umbrellas after use is order to avoid any glass breakage. Glass outdoor tables are strong against vertical impact but weak on horizontal pressure, that is why in strong winds it is important to remove the umbrella completely from the table to avoid any breakage. Furthermore, if the umbrella is place in an umbrella hole in the center of the glass table a proper weight umbrella stand must be used to avoid any breakage. There is no warranty coverage against glass breakage of wind damages to the umbrellas. The glass must be cleaned regularly with glass cleaners such as Windex or dish soap and water with a soft sponge. Wax will clear the foggy film from the glass tops.

 

Stone and Concrete Tops

Stone and concrete tops are all sealed with one coat of sealer by the manufacturer and are ready to be used. However, for the areas that are exposed, it is necessary to add a few coats of sealer to extend the colorfast. The tops can be cleaned with a soft and clean colorfast cloth with a mix of lukewarm water and dish soap. Spills must be wiped clean immediately. Furthermore, the use of stone enhancer or sealer is recommended for travertine, granite and marble as sealer. Refill any missing grout or stone prior to the application of any final sealer coat.

Fire Pits, Heaters and Fire Tables

Manufacturer’s safety and maintenance instructions must be followed at all times. Testing all the gas connections with soapy water to detect any possible gas leaks is very important when connecting any of the fire elements to the gas tank or natural gas.  In order to maintain the esthetic of your product you must refer to the guidance based on the surface material of your fire product whether it is powder coated, stainless teals, stone or concrete tops.

Acrylic & Polyester Fabrics

Acrylic and polyester fabrics are stain and mildew resistant and are available in a variety of weights and fade warranties. To clean these fabrics, food stains must be wiped away with a damp cloth and cushion surfaces with a soft plastic brush and a solution of ½ cup of chlorine bleach and a capful of mild liquid detergent such as Woolite per gallon of water. Rinse the cushion thoroughly with water while letting the cushion stand vertically with the zipper opened and facing downwards to that it can drain quicker. It can be left in the sun to air dry. It is important not to take out the filler to wash the cover in the washing machine as it may be hard to refill the cushion properly. But all cushions must be washed externally.

Woven Loom

Woven loom is made from continuous strands of cellulose fibers that are reinforced with aluminum wire. It is then painted with marine grade paint finish that is durable and of high quality. To care for woven loom clean both the loom and the metal parts of the furniture with a mix of water and mild soap as needed or on a semi-annual basis. If an area becomes worn out or for any nicks and scratches on the metal parts, after the surface is dry, sand the rough areas with a fine grain sand paper and spray two or three coats of matching color paint.

More Care & Cleaning

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