Get Your Outdoor Furniture Ready to Store for the Winter
Your outdoor deck and patio furniture have served you well throughout many a summer cookout and pool party. However, sweater weather is approaching, along with falling leaves, blustery days and — depending on where you live — snow.
That means it’s time to think about patio furniture storage. But before you stow everything away, take the time to learn a little about how to clean and weatherproof outdoor furniture so it’s ready to go next spring!
Note: Prior to cleaning your deck chairs and loungers, you should always consult the manufacturer’s instructions to see what they recommend.
How to Clean and Store Outdoor Furniture Covers and Cushions
Remove any outdoor furniture covers and wash and dry them according to the care tags. If you have vinyl or plastic cushions, you may not need to remove the covers. You can just wipe them down using a microfiber cloth slightly dampened in a mixture of dishwashing liquid and water.
Regardless of the method you use to clean your outdoor furniture covers and cushions, you want to make sure they’re completely dry before putting them into storage. This will help prevent mildew and mold. It’s also a good idea to store them in a temperature-controlled part of your home. If you don’t have space available indoors, however, make sure they’re in air-tight storage containers or covered with a plastic tarp.
Cleaning Wooden or Teak Outdoor Furniture
Teak is known for being durable, so it’s an excellent choice when it comes to outdoor furniture. You can clean it using a soft-bristled brush and a mixture of gentle dishwashing liquid and water. Afterward, let the wood dry thoroughly in the sun. Once the wood is dry, you can opt to treat your furniture with a teak sealer. Many people skip this last step, though, as they prefer the color of the teak when it fades naturally.
Wooden furniture can also be cleaned with the same soapy water solution. After cleaning and allowing the furniture to dry all the way through, it’s a good idea to apply a protective sealant to the wood. This will help protect the furniture from cracking caused by moisture inside the wood freezing.
Both teak and other types of wood should be covered with outdoor tarps during the winter.
How to Clean Plastic Patio Furniture
Caring for plastic outdoor furniture is a breeze. Simply mix some dishwashing liquid with water and wipe it down. You can even use your garden hose if the patio furniture isn’t very soiled. Let the furniture dry in the sun or wipe it dry with an old towel. When it comes to patio furniture storage, it’s a good idea to store plastic inside an area that does not reach freezing temperatures during the winter.
Cleaning Aluminum or Metal Furniture
Like its plastic and wooden counterparts, aluminum and metal furniture can be wiped down with a mixture of dish soap and water. There are a few extra steps you’ll want to take to prevent rust, though. To help keep aluminum shiny, apply a coat of car wax after the furniture has been cleaned and dried.
If your metal outdoor furniture is made of wrought iron, you’ll want to remove any existing rust with a wire brush or steel wool. Then, treat it with outdoor spray paint which can help act as a sealant.
Whether aluminum or wrought iron, you’ll want to cover your metal patio furniture with a sturdy tarp to help shield it from the winter elements.
How to Clean Wicker Outdoor Furniture
Wicker definitely needs to be brought indoors during the winter, as it’s prone to mildewing and molding. And the drier the storage area, the better for this furniture.
If you already see spots of mold or mildew, mix three parts water with one part distilled white vinegar to make a cleaner. Dampen a microfiber cloth with a solution and wipe the furniture down. Otherwise, you can clean wicker with a mixture of dish soap and water and hose it down afterwards. Let it dry completely in the sun before tucking it away for winter.
Need more tips for keeping that outdoor furniture looking good? Learn how to clean it and your patio area once winter blows out of town again:
- How to Clean Outdoor Furniture After a Long Winter
- Get Your Outdoor Living Space Ready for Cookout Season
And if you need help keeping your indoor furniture and the rest of your home clean, our professional housekeepers are here to lend a hand! Contact your local Merry Maids today!