With this year's summer not living up to the amazing summer we had last year there hasn't been much need for garden furniture however your garden furniture still needs care and attention no matter the weather and now is a better time than any to ensure your garden furniture is protected from the bad weather and natural elements. Whether your garden furniture needs a deep clean or your just looking to protect it for the future this blog will have some great tips on how to protect and restore your garden furniture, whether it’s a rusty wrought iron table or weathered teak chairs.
Good quality garden furniture is a great investment, it's made of the best quality materials and will last you double the amount of time of a cheap piece of garden furniture, however as with any furniture it needs to be maintained and kept clean to make sure you get the most out of it for years to come. We understand no one wants to spend their summer cleaning their furniture and whilst it might seem like a daunting task it's not as difficult as it may seem. There are a few ways you can do it and it'll only take an afternoon to transform it from lacklustre to lovely, but this post will break down some quick and easy ways to can clean your garden furniture in next to no time.
Most garden furniture is left outside all year round and with it, natural decay will occur, however, most hardwood types are weather-resistant up to a certain point such as tropical hardwoods like teak and eucalyptus because of their high oil content are naturally weather-resistant making them easy to clean and maintain. But when left out for a certain amount of time variations in colour and markings, such as cracks along the grain, will become more prominent on these hardwoods. Before applying any solution to the wood it's important to first remove any excess dirt, dust and cobwebs from the furniture with a bristle brush.
To clean your hardwood, fill a small bucket with mild soapy water and a soft brush to give it a good scrub to remove pollution and algae, for more stubborn area leave the soapy water on for few minutes before removing with the scrubbing brush. Then finish off by rinsing off the soap (with a hose or bucket, not a pressure washer as this will damage the wood!).
Additionally, if your garden furniture has tougher dirt on it such mould or mildew you can easily make a quick solution from home by mixing 1 cup of any household bleach, 1 cup of washing powder and 1/2 bucket of warm water. Soak your furniture with the bleach solution and let it soak for 5 minutes (no longer). Then, simply hose off the solution and the mould, mildew or moss problem should disappear.
Finally, once cleaned apply a preservative to restore the woods shiny surface and protect it for the next year. However, if your hardwood has silvered with age you can simply restore it by applying a specialist product such as Cuprinol’s Garden Furniture Restorer which can be found here. Apply it onto the wood with an abrasive pad and leave it for 15 minutes, then wash it off, the wood will start to lighten.
You can get any preservative or restorer online or at your local store but it’s always better to check the manufactures website for more details as some recommend a simple solution, such as hot soapy water. Once you get a regular routine maintaining hardwood is a straightforward process and you only need to do it once at the end of every summer and it'll preserve it for the year.
Most modern rattan furniture are incredibly durable and lightweight due to their construction with High-Density Polyethylene, Polyvinyl Chloride or weatherproof PVC, which means they can be left outside all year round, but remove the cushions and cover once the warm weather fades. However, it's important to note that if you opt for natural rattan that hasn't been treated it is more than likely going to rot.
To clean your rattan furniture first brush off any dust and cobwebs that have formed on the furniture then begin to clean with a non-foaming detergent, as any residue can cause mildew to build up. We recommend using washing up liquid and taking a soft cloth or even a toothbrush to wash. It is important to remember that you should only use the bubbles and not the water as it runs the risk of damaging your rattan.
Rinse each piece well using either a hose or a pressure washer on its lowest setting. As most of our woven furniture is made from synthetic wicker it has the great advantage of being more weather- resistant. Woven furniture is low maintenance so using a hose or pressure washer on a low setting will be powerful enough to ensure your furniture is kept clean without damaging the furniture.
Finally, in order to dry your rattan furniture, simply leave it outside in the sun to dry naturally.
Metal and Cast Aluminium Furniture
Similar to the previous materials metal furniture can be left outdoor it will oxidise and rust over time so we recommend keeping it indoors if possible if not, consider investing in outdoor furniture covers. We sell a wide range of PVC-backed polyester covers which will keep your furniture protected from the elements which you can find here.
Our metal furniture is coated with a hardwearing finish which ensures maintaining them quite an easy task. Before cleaning brush your metal furniture with wire wool to remove loose dirt and rust, but go gently and avoid using anything abrasive as this can scratch and damage the finish, but gently wash your metal furniture using a sponge and lukewarm, soapy water then sand and touch up rust spots using enamel paint. If your furniture has already started rusting or has already rusted you can easily restore them to tiptop condition by refreshing the paintwork with specialist paint such as Hammerite metal paint.
Below are quick tips on how to protect and restore the different type of metals you might be using.
Wrought iron and steel
To ensure its longevity, steel and wrought iron furniture is finished with tough coatings, so if you find the surface of your furniture damaged or exposed, it is best to touch up the paintwork with car paint in a matching colour.
Even though cast aluminium furniture cannot rust, the polyester coating could peel if damaged. In order to prevent this, it is important to touch up the surface with matching car paint.
Folding steel chairs
Our steel furniture is powder-coated for additional durability, but in time, it will naturally show signs of wear. So it is essential that you cover up any chips to the surface using car paint in a matching shade.
As parasols are essentially designed as sunshades, they should not be left outside in the rain for any length of time as the fabric is not rainproof. Once they do get wet, leave them open to dry out slowly. Always remember that parasols should be disassembled at the earliest convenience and should not be left standing in a parasol hole when not in use as this can damage both the parasol and the table. It is best to fold the canopy in and stored safely when no longer in use, such as throughout the winter season or severe bad weather to avoid permanent damage. You should aim to wash your parasol at least once a month however if placed underneath a tree or bush the parasol is likely to get dirtier a bit quicker.
To wash your parasol we recommend using laundry detergent as it doesn't produce as many bubbles and is tough on stains. However, if you don't have any lying around some soap can work too. Mix 1/4 cup of detergent with some lukewarm water and let it soak for about 20 minutes, the longer you leave it the more effective it'll be. Once the time is up, wash the residue off thoroughly with a hose and leave to dry and open space with plenty of direct sunlight but make sure not the parasol down until its completely dry.
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Cushions and Covers
To clean weather-ready cushions, wipe down with soapy water mixed well in lukewarm water as this delicately removes any dirt collected from the faux leather top layer of the cushion (Our cushions are constructed and covered in a variety of textiles that need to be cared for differently).
Always store your cushions in a cool, dry place and do not leave out in the rain as the fillings may take a while to dry out. To avoid mould from developing, avoid storing cushions in polythene bags.
In order to protect your furniture during the winter season or bad weather, furniture covers are the perfect solution as they will shelter your furniture. Use a large piece of breathable material to cover your furniture when it is not in use for additional protection. Before fitting the covers, ensure the furniture and any accessories are dry to prevent mould from appearing.
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