Clean It Before StoringDuring the summer season, your outdoor furniture naturally becomes grimy from dust, pollen, suntan oil, and other substances. If you take the time to clean your pieces thoroughly before storing, when you bring it out next spring it will be ready for you to use immediately.
- Metal and plastic resin furniture: Wipe down with a solution of water and liquid detergent, rinse well, and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Wicker furniture: Clean with a brush, rinse, allow to dry.
- Teak and cedar: Wash with a bleach and water solution and allow to dry. In addition, every few years you may need to sand your pieces lightly, then apply a light coating of tung oil.
- Patio umbrellas: Wash fabric using a brush and a mild detergent solution. Allow to dry in the open position. Store in the closed position when dry.
- Cushions: If the cushion covers are removable, take them off and launder them. If not removable, you can use a brush to clean the cushions with a mild detergent solution. Allow to completely dry outside in the fresh air.
Store It InsideMost outdoor furniture is created with durability in mind. It is meant to stand up to the hot sun and fluctuations in weather. That being said, if you want your outdoor furniture investment to pay off in the long run, you will need to store it out of the elements during the winter months. The following items should definitely be brought indoors and stored in a garage, storage shed, or basement:
- Cushions, upholstery, umbrellas, outdoor rugs.
- Steel or wrought iron furniture
- Wicker or rattan pieces