We all love patio season, dinner, or drinks in the sun, relaxing by the pool, reading in your favorite chair while working on your tan.
Then, in a flash, you're looking outside at clouds, rain, and falling leaves, this is mother nature's not so subtle cue to pack it up for next year.
Outdoor furniture is durable and can weather the sun and rain but you want to make sure you keep it clean and stored properly for those cold months to prolong your enjoyment of your patio pieces year after year.
How to store your Outdoor Furniture
We know, we know... we sound like your mother BUT the best way to keep your outdoor patio furniture looking great is prevention. Although these pieces are meant for outdoor use you don't want it sitting out in a 4-day downpour in the middle of August. A furniture cover is a great quick and easy fix to help your patio set last longer. Not only does it protect from rain, intense sun, leaves, dirt and grime, bugs, and those flying birds who have great aim.
There are a few things to keep in mind with covers.
1.) DO NOT use your cover on damp or wet furniture. If you cover your item when it's damp its a recipe for mold and mildew and defeats the purpose of trying to protect your furniture.
2.) DO use it when you will be away from home. We all know weather is unpredictable and if you will be away from your home its best to put your cover on just in case that sunny forecast turns to showers
3.) DO NOT store anything on top of your covered items. If you place anything heavy on top of your set and it rains this can cause moisture marks and stains that the cover cannot prevent. So keep those planters or lawn games or whatever it may be elsewhere.
Now we know all materials are not the same. Wood is different than metal and wicker and they all need to be treated differently to keep them looking as fresh as possible. Here are our best tips for keeping your patio furniture looking top-notch.
RESIN WICKER RATTAN:
Resin wicker rattan is one of the most common patio materials and can be vacuumed with a brush attachment and spot-cleaned with a sponge or toothbrush, dish soap (pH neutral), and water. But if your resin wicker gets really dirty, or it's full of dust after the offseason, you can give it a deep cleaning by hosing it down. If necessary, rinse it with a hose, then SOFTLY scrub it with a soft brush and soapy water, then rinse again with the hose. Let with wicker dry completely before using the furniture, need we remind you about that pesky mildew.
WOODEN PATIO FURNITURE:
The general cleaning instructions for wood furniture are pretty simple: wipe away dirt using a damp, non-abrasive cloth. For stubborn spots, simply dip a cloth into a mix of gentle, pH-neutral soap and warm water. Wring out the excess liquid and wipe the spot. Then, dry the area with a separate cloth or, if it’s a nice day, let the sun work its magic.
If you are lucky enough to have a pool or hot tub make sure your clean down your wood furniture more often as the chemicals from chlorine can impact the wood. Rule of thumb, wash it down once a week to be on the safe side.
METAL PATIO FURNITURE:
What do you think about when you hear metal and storage? Rust! No one wants rusty patio furniture and that why our metal pieces are made with powder-coated and galvanized metal materials to help keep that rust far away. Cleaning steel and aluminum requires a delicate hand. When it comes time to clean your metal pieces a rag and some warm, soapy water does the trick. Just a light wipe will do. Be sure to rinse the metal thoroughly and pat it dry so you are free of any stains and discoloration.
From kids to pets to klutzy guests, your patio cushions go through a lot. Luckily they are made for this!
Regular Care: Give your patio cushions a dust down regularly, you don't want the dirt, twigs, bugs, or whatever else building up. If it's been an especially windy or rainy week and you need to do a bit more than just a dust down, then pull in the reinforcements and grab that vacuum cleaner and add the brush attachment for even more in-depth cleaning!
Spot Cleaning: If some guests got overexcited, or that wasp wouldn't get out of their face and you have somehow found a blob of wine on your patio set trust the old classic advice of our elders. Dab do NOT rub with a damp clean cloth. If it's a real doozy mix some water with pH-neutral soap and spray it on the stain. And if it's a complete write-off and the culprit is offering to buy you a new cushion, click here to see our replacement cushions.
Finally, a quick word about PATIO UMBRELLAS;
The general rule of thumb when your umbrella is not in use is pretty simple, keep your patio umbrella closed, and store it in a cool, dry place.
If you're looking for some in-depth Umbrella storage knowledge click here and read our dedicated Patio Umbrella care blog.