With the summer months quickly approaching, it is time to get the patio furniture out and enjoy the warm weather. Before you can use your furniture for cookouts, parties, and outdoor relaxation, though, you’ll have to clean the dust and buildup that accumulated on your furniture from the winter months in storage. Cleaning outdoor wood furniture can be completed in six simple steps.
Before beginning, you’ll want to have on hand a dry brush, sandpaper, two clean cloths, a garden hose, dish soap, warm water, a bucket, and bleach (if mold is present). Also, consider the following tips and warnings:
- Cover the furniture as much as possible when not being used; this will reduce the wear and tear and enable the furniture to last years longer.
- Tighten any loose screws and do a general maintenance check before cleaning the furniture.
- Do not wash furniture on a grassy surface. The water will saturate the grass, which can stain the furniture. It will also create messy mud, and the chemicals used in cleaning (including bleach) can damage your lawn.
- Clean any fabric items with the instructions of the manufacturer. Do not use a bleach solution to clean fabric or cushions as it may destroy them.
- Consider cleaning your wooden patio furniture twice a year, once at the beginning of summer and once in the middle of the season. By cleaning the furniture at the beginning and middle of summer, the furniture will be brighter and more attractive, and because cleaning reduces harmful buildup, your furniture will also last longer.
There are six main steps to cleaning outdoor lumber-made furniture.
Scrub the furniture with a dry brush. Remove all the dust and debris that may have collected on the furniture. Do not forget to scrub the bottom of the furniture to remove the dust and cobwebs. Use sandpaper to lightly sand any areas that may have been scratched or chipped over the winter months.
If you do not complete this step before you begin rinsing or scrubbing, your furniture will not be as clean. Washing while your furniture is still covered in loose debris only serves to move the debris around, whereas brushing and sanding removes these debris from the furniture.
Rinse the furniture with a garden hose. Be sure to inspect the furniture and remove anything that the dry brush missed. This step helps to loosen the dirt and will help you to soap up the furniture without it drying in the middle of the washing process.
Use a bucketful of warm water and dish soap to saturate your clean washcloth. Once the clean cloth is full of warm, soapy water, wipe the furniture thoroughly, taking care to fully clean all parts of the furniture, especially high-contact areas such as armrests and seats. Clean a section at a time and resaturate the cloth with the warm, soapy water multiple times to ensure that you are using a clean rag, rather than simply spreading debris around with a dirty rag.
If mold is found, add a half a cup of bleach with one gallon of water in a separate bucket. Use a scrub brush to remove the mold, and then go over the removed moldy area with the plain soapy water.
Use a garden hose to rinse the furniture. Do not use a forceful setting on the hose, as this could damage the furniture. Continue rinsing until all the residue on the furniture is removed.
Dry the furniture. Use a clean cloth to completely dry the furniture. Let the furniture sit out it the warm air to dry any missed spots. If bleach was used, be sure to avoid using the furniture until it has dried completely because the bleach could stain clothing. If, after drying, you notice any remaining dirt, simply repeat the steps above.
Protect the furniture by using a trustworthy and wood-safe oil. A coat of polyurethane or stain can also help to protect the outdoor furniture, and household items such as vegetable and baby oil can double as basic protective coatings for outdoor furniture.
Every piece of outdoor furniture deserves to be protected. For your wood projects, it’s always best to find the lumber available, and to do that, it’s important to find a reputable lumber dealer. With over 200 years of proven satisfaction in the business, McIlvain Lumber Company is a valuable resource for all your lumber needs. For more information on all McIlvain has to offer, visit them online today.
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