Get your out­door fur­ni­ture up to scratch

As sum­mer edges ever closer, out­door liv­ing ar­eas and fur­ni­ture restora­tion should be at the top of your ‘things to do’ list.

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

With more day­light hours in which to en­joy the out­doors, time is spent savour­ing the aroma of freshly mown grass, a sausage on the bar­bie and a cold bev­er­age in the fridge. What could be more im­por­tant than en­sur­ing all is right with your out­door fur­ni­ture? Af­ter all, it is hoped you will be spend­ing a num­ber of hours us­ing your as­sort­ment of chairs, tables, um­brel­las and sun loungers in the com­ing months. Ob­vi­ously af­ter sit­ting out­side, or stored away over the win­ter months, they may re­quire some clean­ing or restora­tion work in or­der to bring them back to life. For­tu­nately, a mild de­ter­gent is able to clean most out­door fur­ni­ture, how­ever it is im­por­tant to check the la­bel to en­sure the prod­uct is safe to use on a par­tic­u­lar sur­face. Most out­door cush­ions have a syn­thetic fab­ric al­low­ing them to stand up to out­door con­di­tions and as their fill­ings are nor­mally made from polyester they re­sist mildew as well. Un­for­tu­nately, there are other types which are not weather proof and should there­fore be pro­tected from the el­e­ments. In this case, clean­ing should con­sist of a mix­ture of one cup of bleach, one cup of pow­dered laun­dry de­ter­gent and three gal­lons of wa­ter. Flush the cush­ions with the mix­ture and soak for 30 min­utes to kill any mildew. Al­low cush­ions sev­eral days to dry in the sun.

Baked-on enamel sur­faces are the most durable, how­ever if left out in the rain, fur­ni­ture can rust and leave stains on ce­ment. This type of out­door fur­ni­ture is easy to clean with warm wa­ter and a heavy-duty de­ter­gent, and if prop­erly cared for, will last for ever. Wooden fur­ni­ture is also pop­u­lar but un­for­tu­nately is re­sis­tant to the el­e­ments, so needs to be sealed reg­u­larly to help keep mois­ture out and avoid crack­ing. Cer­tain seal­ers may also re­store colour, lost through ex­po­sure to the sun. Can­vas and wicker fur­ni­ture should be stored in­doors as can­vas is in­clined to rot and wicker can crack and split if not pro­tected from di­rect sun­light and rain, so is ide­ally suited for use on a cov­ered pa­tio. A mild de­ter­gent and a bit of el­bow grease on your part is sure to take care of the clean­ing of most sur­faces, so get crack­ing be­fore sum­mer re­ally kicks in and you have noth­ing to sit on whilst en­joy­ing your cold bev­er­age af­ter a long day tend­ing the gar­dens.

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