Give Your Porch Furniture An Overhaul

The dog days of summer are here and sun-worshippers everywhere are heading outside for some Vitamin D. If the porch furniture has been outside all winter, it needs a thorough cleaning. Professional cleaning services sometimes provide power washing to residential customers. If this is not the case in your area, you must handle the task alone.

Material used to make the furniture determines the proper cleaning technique. The newest styles are constructed from synthetic resins, making them weatherproof, durable, and very easy to clean. A vacuum with a brush attachment or a whisk brush removes dirt and dust. Applying a mixture of water and light detergent with a microfiber cloth removes set-in dirt. A vegetable brush or toothbrush can be used in areas that are difficult to reach.

For stubborn stains, mildew, or mold, mix one cup of oxygen cleaner or bleach with a gallon of warm water. Clean with a microfiber cloth and then rinse with a garden hose. Ensure that all bleach is removed because even durable resin can be broken down by this substance. After cleaning, allow the furniture 24 to 48 hours to dry in the sun.

The fabric used in modern patio cushions drains moisture, prevents damage from UV rays, and dries quickly. The covers on some cushions can be removed and cleaned in the washing machine and air-dried. While the covers are still damp, they should be put back on the cushions and left to dry in a sunny location. This prevents shrinking and helps the cushions to retain their shape. If rain is predicted, the furniture and cushions should be covered or placed in a sheltered area until they are completely dry.

Wood or rattan furniture is not recommended for outdoor use unless the area is covered. Long exposure to water can cause this furniture to lose its shape and possibly deteriorate. Dust and dirt should be brushed or vacuumed away and a mild detergent and water solution may be applied with a damp microfiber cloth. Another damp cloth should be used to rinse soapy residue from the furniture and the pieces should be left to dry in the sun.

Harsh cleaning products should not be used to clean wood furniture because they can cause damage, as can using too much water. When rinsing wood pieces, do not use a hose because this will apply too much pressure and moisture. The weave and condition of rattan or other wood furniture can be affected, reducing sturdiness.

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