Just as indoor furniture requires regular dusting and cleaning, outdoor furniture too calls for regular cleaning in the same way. Depending upon the type of outdoor furniture like wood, plastic, aluminum, wrought iron or teak, you need to follow a particular cleaning process.
Furniture made of cedar or teak is durable and can be kept outdoors with little maintenance, but can get damaged to the rains and winter. Cleaning the surface of teak wooden furniture with mild detergent and wiping it dry would be enough. Wiping the furniture on a regular basis to prevent accumulation of a thick dust layer and grime helps increase its longevity. If you are using a wood cleaner you need to make sure it suits the wood type and grain well. Oil treatment on teak, once a year, increases its durability and keeps it shining all through the year.
In case you have plastic furniture in the patio, then maintenance is not an issue. Furniture made from resin plastic is more durable but if the plastic is porous, then stains will be easily visible on its surface. Use mild detergent on a sponge to scrub the surface. If you have hammocks and patio umbrellas in the garden, they too can be cleaned with detergent. They can be left in the outdoors itself to dry well.
Wrought or plain iron furniture tends to rust easily in damp weather conditions. Coating the furniture with an anti-rust paint can prevent rusting. Whenever it rusts, you need to first sand it and apply anti-rust paint on it. A mild detergent can be applied first and then gently scrubbed off to remove stains and grime. After it is dry well in the sun for a day, you can apply wax paste to prevent it from rusting further.
Painted and non-painted aluminum furniture can be protected from the oxidation and loss of luster with paste polishing on corroded areas. Ammonia is an alkaline chemical which can harm aluminum, so avoid it completely. Detergent or soap can be used for cleaning painted aluminum surfaces. Some people prefer the idea of coating the hammocks and umbrellas with wax paste to make the cleaning process much easier in future.
It’s true that caring for outdoor furniture doesn’t have to be a regular effort because it’s made to endure tough conditions. However, from time to time, keep an eye on the legs, and check for paint peeling off to prevent rusting. With proper care, you can enjoy the luxury and comfort of the furniture for years. If you live in the area with cold winter, cleaning before and after storing your patio furniture will increase their life.