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Make Outdoor Furniture Look New With Natural Cleaners

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Make Outdoor Furniture Look New With Natural Cleaners

What is Outdoor Furniture?

Outdoor furniture refers to the chairs, tables, benches, and other furnishings designed specifically for use in outdoor spaces such as patios, gardens, or decks. These pieces are typically constructed from weather-resistant materials like wicker, teak, aluminum, or plastic to withstand the elements. Examples of outdoor furniture include patio dining sets, lounge chairs, hammocks, and outdoor sofas.

Exposure to the sun, rain, and other environmental factors can cause outdoor furniture to become dirty, faded, or worn over time. Fortunately, there are natural cleaning solutions that can help restore the appearance and extend the lifespan of these pieces without harsh chemicals. In this article, I will explore various natural cleaners and techniques for making outdoor furniture look new again.

Why Use Natural Cleaners?

Traditional cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and potentially harmful to humans and pets if not used properly. Natural cleaners, on the other hand, are typically made from plant-based ingredients or household items, making them safer for the environment and your family.

Using natural cleaners on outdoor furniture has several benefits:

  1. Eco-friendly: Natural cleaners are biodegradable and do not contribute to environmental pollution.
  2. Safe for Plants and Pets: Unlike many commercial cleaners, natural cleaners are non-toxic and safe for use around plants, pets, and children.
  3. Cost-effective: Many natural cleaning solutions can be made at home using inexpensive ingredients, saving you money compared to store-bought cleaners.
  4. Gentle on Materials: Natural cleaners are often gentler on the materials used in outdoor furniture, helping to preserve their condition and extend their lifespan.

Natural Cleaners for Different Materials

Different types of outdoor furniture require specific cleaning methods and solutions. Here are some effective natural cleaners for various materials:

Wicker and Rattan

To clean wicker or rattan furniture, you can use a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a bucket, and use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the furniture. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely.

For tougher stains or grime, you can create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the affected areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub gently with a brush. Rinse thoroughly.

Teak and Wood

Teak and other wooden outdoor furniture can benefit from a natural cleaner made from vinegar and water. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spritz the solution onto the furniture. Let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the furniture to dry completely.

For deeper cleaning or removing stubborn stains, you can make a paste by mixing lemon juice and baking soda. Apply the paste to the affected areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub gently with a brush. Rinse thoroughly.

Aluminum and Metal

To clean aluminum or metal outdoor furniture, you can use a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a bucket, and use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe down the furniture. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry with a clean cloth.

For tougher grime or rust spots, you can create a paste by mixing lemon juice and baking soda. Apply the paste to the affected areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

Plastic and Resin

Plastic and resin outdoor furniture can be cleaned with a mixture of warm water and vinegar. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spritz the solution onto the furniture. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe down with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the furniture to dry completely.

For stubborn stains or dirt, you can make a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the affected areas, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Rinse thoroughly.

Additional Tips and Techniques

In addition to using natural cleaners, there are some other tips and techniques that can help keep your outdoor furniture looking its best:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Regularly cleaning and maintaining your outdoor furniture can prevent dirt and grime from building up and becoming more difficult to remove.
  2. Protect from UV Rays: Use covers or store outdoor furniture in a shaded area when not in use to protect it from fading or damage caused by UV rays.
  3. Rotate Cushions: If your outdoor furniture has removable cushions, rotate them regularly to ensure even wear and prevent permanent indentations or fading.
  4. Oil Wood Furniture: For wooden outdoor furniture, apply a natural oil or sealer periodically to help protect the wood and maintain its natural luster.
  5. Avoid Abrasive Materials: When cleaning, avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool or harsh brushes, as these can scratch or damage the surface of your furniture.

Real-Life Example: Restoring a Neglected Patio Set

Let me share a real-life example of how I used natural cleaners to restore a neglected patio set that had been left outside for several seasons.

The set consisted of a wrought iron table and four chairs with wicker seats and backs. The metal parts were covered in rust, and the wicker was faded and dirty.

To tackle this project, I started by mixing a solution of warm water and mild dish soap in a bucket. I used a soft-bristled brush to scrub the metal parts, focusing on the rust spots. After rinsing thoroughly, I applied a paste made from lemon juice and baking soda to the remaining rust areas and let it sit for about 15 minutes before scrubbing again.

For the wicker parts, I mixed warm water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spritzed the solution onto the wicker. After letting it sit for a few minutes, I used a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the wicker, being careful not to damage the weave. I rinsed everything thoroughly with clean water and allowed the set to dry completely.

The results were impressive. The metal parts were shiny and rust-free, and the wicker looked fresh and vibrant again. With a little elbow grease and some natural cleaners, I was able to breathe new life into this old patio set without using harsh chemicals.

Conclusion

Keeping outdoor furniture clean and well-maintained not only enhances its appearance but also extends its lifespan. By using natural cleaners and following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can make your outdoor furniture look new again without harming the environment or exposing yourself and your family to harmful chemicals.

Remember, different materials require different cleaning methods, so be sure to choose the appropriate natural cleaner and approach for your specific outdoor furniture. With a little effort and some inexpensive, natural ingredients, you can enjoy a refreshed and inviting outdoor living space that looks as good as new.

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