Once evenings grow cooler and winter approaches (or has already) arrived, it also becomes time to winterize your outdoor furniture. Because cooler temperatures can cause damage to fabrics, winterizing serves more than one purpose in preserving the quality of your furniture.
If you enjoyed a summer of fun in the sun on your porch or patio, chances are your outdoor furniture has taken a beating, whether from the sun, spills or simply repeated use. Here is how to clean and protect your furniture from the harsh winter elements so it will be ready to spring into action once the warm-weather season returns.
Keep it Clean
The first and most important step is to clean your outdoor furniture, including the cushions and slings, before tucking it away. This helps maintain the integrity of the furniture, and ensures that ketchup stain from the Fourth of July backyard bash doesn’t hang around until next summer’s holiday gathering. Fortunately, Phifer’s GeoBella® Indoor/Outdoor High Performance and Phifertex® Outdoor fabrics are pretty low-maintenance. Just follow these simple cleaning steps for a quick but thorough refresh:
- In a bucket, mix ¼ cup of detergent per gallon of water used
- Using a garden hose, spray cushion fabric to remove excess dirt and debris
- Shampoo fabric to desired cleanliness using the solution and sponge (For tough stains, scrub with a soft bristle brush)
- Rinse fabric thoroughly
- Prop cushions at an angle to drip dry
- Round up bleach, a spray bottle, towel and garden hose
- Mix 50/50 bleach to water solution in a spray bottle
- Wipe off excess grime with towel
- Spray bleach and water solution onto stain, and gently scrub the area with a soft bristle brush
- Rinse thoroughly with water
- Allow fabric to air dry completely
Wicker, wrought iron, mesh or plastic furniture can also be cleaned with a simple soap and water solution, while wood furniture may require a cleaning agent specifically formulated for wood. Be sure to also inspect your furniture for damage, peeling paint or rust and perform repairs as needed. Some furniture may benefit from a coating or sealant to ensure it maintains its luster.
Once your furniture is clean and dry, cover it up! Though most outdoor furniture is made to stand tall against the elements, it’s best to store your furniture in a dry place such as a garage or shed during the offseason as fluctuating temperatures and constant exposure to moisture can wreak havoc. Whether your furniture remains on the porch or patio, or is tucked away in a storage area, a covering should also be used to provide an additional layer of protection for your outdoor investment.
Make plans now to get your outdoor furniture winter ready! Visit Phifer on YouTube at www.youtube.com/phifer to view easy, step-by-step cleaning videos.