This summer has seen a run of lovely warm, and often hot, weather and this prompted many of us to invest in new patio furniture to take full advantage of the season and enjoy a more alfresco lifestyle at home. There’s no doubt that new luxury garden furniture in whatever combination does much to enhance a garden, but what do you do with it once the summer is over? Here are a few ideas on how you can keep your outdoor furniture looking its best, so you can use it again and again for many summers to come.
Bring it inside
If you are lucky enough to have a conservatory attached to your home, or perhaps a garden room or summer house, the ideal solution would be to move your outdoor furniture indoors to protect it over the winter months. A rattan garden furniture set or rattan lounger looks just as good indoors as it does outdoors and makes perfect conservatory furniture. Style it with some extra cushions and blankets that fit with your interior style and bring the outdoors in.
Clean and treat
If moving your garden furniture indoors isn't possible, before the worst of the autumn and winter weather sets in you should do all you can to protect your furniture to ensure it emerges next spring still looking fresh. Garden furniture comes in a variety of materials which need different methods of cleaning and protecting. Whether you have teak garden furniture or other wooden garden table and chairs, you’ll need to take extra care to protect these from the elements. And furniture made from aluminium or other forms of metal need to be cleaned using non abrasive materials, cleansers or bleach.
First of all, no matter what your outdoor furniture is made from, you will need to get rid of all dust, cobwebs and debris before you start a deeper clean. Remove any cushion covers and clean these separately before storing them neatly away. Use a soft brush to sweep all dust and dirt from every part of the furniture from the top down, and make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies. Rattan furniture, in particular, will benefit from a thorough vacuuming to get right into the weave.
Clean and treat: Wooden furniture
Wash wooden furniture using just a soft brush and warm, soapy water (a small amount of washing up liquid will be adequate). Then let it dry before the starting the next stage. Because maintaining the colour of the wood will prolong its life, it will benefit from an appropriate wood stain or preservative. Lightly sand down the wood before applying the stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let it dry completely before storing the furniture away.
Clean and treat: Metal furniture
Clean and wash metal furniture with warm, soapy water as above, then rinse and dry completely. Look for any rust spots or holes in the metal. Gently sand rust off with steel wool and fill any holes with epoxy filler. Then repaint and let it dry.
Clean and treat: Plastic furniture
Wash using hot water and a detergent to remove any staining. You may even be able to use a bleach to really brighten it up, but always check manufacturer care instructions first. Finish off to a shine with a coat of car wax and it will look as good as new next year.
Once clean and dry, your garden furniture can be stored away until next year or covered over for outdoor protection. Covers should be waterproof and include UV protection and must be the right size and shape to completely cover your furniture so make sure you measure with a tape measure before buying. Don't forget to measure chairs tucked under the table and ensure that the covers include heavy duty security ties to protect from the wind, rain and any type of weather the elements may throw at it!
We hope we've helped you understand how to take care of your garden furniture to ensure it's in tip-top condition for next year. If you’ve enjoyed reading this, check out more outdoor garden ideas or follow us @modishliving.