Monday, January 24, 2011

Clean Your Outdoor Furniture

Remove rust from iron furniture.

When summer approaches thoughts turn to barbecues and weekends spent lounging in the sun. If last winter's chill came too quickly for you to clean and prepare your outdoor furniture for storage - and it just got tossed in the shed or garage - now is the time to get it clean and ready for its time in the sun. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Clean painted aluminum furniture with a mixture of mild detergent or dish washing liquid and water. After washing, dry thoroughly and apply automotive paste wax to protect it. Avoid abrasive cleaners and brushes.

2. Use a metal polishing paste to have unpainted aluminum furniture looking as good as new. While unpainted aluminum pieces don't rust, they can suffer from oxidation. Remove light oxidation with a solution of 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Avoid using harsh chemicals, such as ammonia, when cleaning.

3. Clean cushions by soaking them in a tub or trash can filled with water and a mild detergent. If your cushions are completely white or color fast, adding bleach to this mixture will give them a brighter, mildew-free and cleaner look. Hang cushions up to dry in the sun after cleaning. Cushions, if looked after well, can last for years.

4. Scrub patio umbrellas with a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Afterward, rinse thoroughly using a gentle spray from the garden hose. Choose a warm sunny day as the umbrella needs to be open to dry completely. Mildew on vinyl umbrellas can be stubborn, so if your mild solution does not work, apply automotive vinyl top cleaner -- the sort that is used for convertibles.

5. Gently scrub the surface of iron furniture with a mild dish washing liquid and rinse with a garden hose. Dirt on the surface can lock in moisture and cause rust. Pieces can be cleaned by gently scrubbing the surface. While cleaning your furniture, always check for any signs of paint damage and rust. If you spot rust, sand it and the damaged paint down to the metal. Apply primer and rust resistant paint to protect. To further protect your pieces, apply two coats of automotive paste wax once or twice a year. This will allow moisture to simply roll off the surface.

6. Clean and treat wood furniture with oils once or twice each year. To prevent decay, always store in cold weather or during rain. When possible, opt for teak furniture. While it is the most expensive, teak is the most resistant to wet weather.

Tags: furniture with, mild detergent, aluminum furniture, apply automotive, automotive paste, dish washing, dish washing liquid