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.
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.