Prepare Your Patio Furniture for Winter
Outdoor furniture is more versatile and long-lasting than in years past. Most furniture is built to stand the ravages of winter. However, there are some things you can do to make sure your furniture looks great next year. Take some time this fall to prepare patio furniture for the winter.
Tips for winterizing
Don’t put away your patio furniture too early as some of the most comfortable days of outdoor living lie ahead. You may find yourself wanting to be outside more in the early fall than the midst of summer. Check your options. No matter what the material, everything lasts longer if you can find space for it in a basement, garage or shed. If this is not possible, you can also buy inexpensive and sturdy covers that keep some of the effects of the elements from aging your patio furniture.
If your aluminum furniture is painted, you should clean it carefully. You don’t want to chip away the paint, so scrub it with mild soap and warm water. Carefully rinse the soap off of the aluminum. However, if you own unpainted aluminum furniture, you can use a metal polishing cleaner. Just place a generous amount of polish to a soft, clean rag and wipe the furniture. Additionally, car wax can protect both painted and unpainted aluminum furniture.
Wood can expand and contract based on the temperature. Hot weather typically makes wood expand and cold weather makes it contract. Regardless, your wood furniture should be properly maintained with a wood finish, polish or spray. If your wood furniture is dirty, use a hot, damp rag to clean it. You don’t want to wet the wood unless you are positive that it is protected by a finish.
Plastic is generally easy to clean. Water and soap will not damage it, so you can use a hose to spray down any plastic furniture. If the furniture is really dirty, you can use hot water and soap to clean it. You may also want to use baking soda since it greatly helps to remove mildew and dirt buildup. Many people leave their plastic furniture outside during winter, but the cold weather can still damage plastic; therefore, your best option is still to keep plastic furniture in storage.
Fabric can be slightly difficult to clean, but it is still very possible. For cushions, you will want to fill your bathtub with a low concentration of laundry detergent. If your cushions do not have colors or patterns, you may want to use a quarter-cup of bleach to remove any mildew from the rainy season.
Keep the cushions in the sun to dry, and place them in a temperature-controlled room. You may want to consider keeping the cushions in your house; a shed may not properly protect fabric from the harsh winter weather.
Depending on your umbrella’s material, you will need to determine what type of cleaner will properly clean it. For vinyl, you should use a car cleaner for convertible tops. These types of cleaners are specially formulated to clean vinyl. However, you can use dish detergent for any other type of material.
After cleaning with cleaner and warm water, lay the umbrella top on a flat surface in direct sunlight. This will remove any moisture and prevent mildew buildup.
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