How to Care for Outdoor Garden Furniture

By Bonnie Grant | March 26, 2018
Image by ManoMano
by Bonnie Grant
March 26, 2018

Garden furniture, like that from ManoMano, helps bring the indoors outside for spring, summer and fall enjoyment. With proper care, modern outdoor furniture is built to last for decades, saving you money and keeping those comfy pieces in the family. In most cases, cleaning, dry storage and occasional light maintenance will keep chaise lounges and dining tables in tip-top shape. The first step to good furniture care is storage.

If you are lucky, you will have a large space in the garage such as a loft or an empty shed for winter storage of garden furniture. Most of us, however, aren’t so lucky and have to resort to purchasing special furniture covers or fashioning a DIY tarpaulin cover. Even shepherding your furniture under a big tree can help keep some of the grime off, but be wary of pitch and needle debris. If you failed to protect your garden furniture, don’t despair. There are fairly easy ways to clean most materials and fix many of those winter fastening failures.

Simple dirt and plant debris are the first item of concern. Often, just rinsing the furniture off will take care of the issue. Depending on the furniture’s material, cleaners and other tools may be necessary.

Resin furniture cleans up beautifully with some Simple Green or even dish soap and a sponge. Follow up with a bit of WD-40 to add gloss. For items with wood, use Murphy’s Oil Soap or a solution of water and white vinegar. If mildew and mold have gotten into wood grains, you may have to wait until the furniture is dry and then sand it out. An easy to use wood oil will restore the moisture and luster. Metal furniture can suffer the most, developing rust and corrosion that can ruin the piece without attention. Sand off rust or use a rust remover and then recoat the item in protective paint or wax.

Outdoor umbrellas, fabric seats and cushions need special care. If the material doesn’t remove easily for machine washing, use a gentle brush and a homemade solution of vinegar and dish soap. Scrub out stains and then rinse the item thoroughly and let it dry in the sun. Oxygen based laundry soaps made into a paste can help remove tough stains. Avoid using bleach, as it can degrade and fade fabrics. Look carefully for small tears, which should be stitched up before they become major problems. Always follow manufacturer instructions for cleaning and consider applying a water repellant spray to further protect fabrics.

Cleaning isn’t the only way to care for outdoor garden furniture. All those metal pieces that hold the items together can require replacing at times. Check screws and tighten or replace if necessary. Pieces with padded feet may require new felt. Oil hinges and connectors where needed. Outdoor umbrellas may have issues with the spokes or need the pull cord replaced.

Traditional wicker furniture is woven and strands become loose over time. You can tuck in loose weave and tack to hold the strands in place for small repairs. For antique or heirloom furniture, it is best to take the item to a professional to have it rewoven. Natural wicker furniture that is dry benefits from a coating of linseed oil. Painted pieces may be cleaned, dried and then spray painted to fill in areas where paint has chipped away.

The best way to keep your outdoor garden furniture looking good is by bringing it indoors during inclement weather or covering it. If cleaning and maintenance aren’t your thing, consider purchasing covers that are made for each piece of furniture. ManoMano protective covers are a great place to start. These can save you a headache, enhance the life of the pieces and have your furniture user-ready with just a quick unveiling in spring.

The above article was sponsored by ManoMano. The information contained in this article may contain ads or advertorial opinions.
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