Get your outdoor patio furniture in shape for the season of entertaining.
Cleaning outdoor furniture
To clean most outdoor furniture, start by removing dust and then wash with mild detergent and water – hand dishwashing liquid is ideal. A pressure washer on a low setting is handy, but beware of using these on soft wood outdoor furniture or you’ll end up with a rough, splintery surface.
After washing, allow the furniture to dry thoroughly and tighten any loose bolts or fasteners. Any rusty or broken hardware should be replaced with rustproof fasteners. Lubricate garden furniture hinges and wheels with a silicone-based lubricant (avoid using oil as it tends to get gungy and attracts dirt). Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for your specific product.
Rejuvenating outdoor wood furniture
Rejuvenate weathered timber furniture with a coat of oil. Choose quality oil (such as tung oil) and apply using a rag or sponge brush. Two thin coats is better than one liberal one, though you may find that one is enough if you oiled your outdoor furniture last summer (allow the furniture to dry between coats).
Cleaning metal outdoor furniture
Wrought iron, aluminium and steel outdoor furniture can be also cleaned with water and mild detergent. If your furniture is rusty or prone to rust, get yourself some rust remover and inhibitor from the local hardware and automotive shop. Aluminium outdoor furniture is prone to pitting, so will need more regular cleaning (every few weeks). You can help protect it by waxing and buffing with a light application of auto wax every few months.
Cleaning soft outdoor furnishings
Cushion covers, hammocks and other fabric components of outdoor furniture can be machine washed on a gentle cycle and hung out to dry. Add a dash of bleach to the washing solution to restore whites or remove mildew. Acrylic cushions can be spot-cleaned using mild detergent and water.