Best Advice for Preparing your Outdoor Furniture for Winter
Clean it Up!!
There’s no use in properly storing your furniture for an entire season without first cleaning it. You probably invested a good sum of money in your outdoor space, so take note and spend the time to clean the furniture. At best, it’ll be virtually impossible to clean come spring. At worst, it will be covered in mold and rendered unusable, costing you a lot of money and frustration.
Before getting ready to pack up your outdoor furniture, give it a good scrub down. Usually, a solution of water and dish soap will do the trick and is generally safe on materials such as wicker, mesh, plastic, and wrought iron. That being said, always do a spot test in an inconspicuous area if you aren’t sure.
If you’re tackling wood pieces, it’s best to pick up a specially formulated cleanser that will leave your pieces spotless and condition the wood at the same time. Helpful hint: a toothbrush is a great tool for getting into small crevices that may otherwise have been overlooked.
Give it a Rub Down!
Depending on the type of outdoor furniture you have, you will want to add a layer of protection to help keep the integrity of the material. It’s not absolutely necessary, but doesn’t hurt and you will be happy with the results come spring.
For recycled plastic furniture, such as polywood or Seaside casual, because it’s made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, it is extremely durable and weather resistant. The most you will probably need to do is wipe it down with a mild dish soap and warm water. Use a clean cloth or soft bristled brush to tackle tough dirt and let air dry. Even though this material can hold up to harsh weather conditions, if you are forced to leave in elements all winter, it makes sense to cover it up for less clean up when the weather warms up.
For wicker furniture, dust it regularly with a soft cloth, and avoid using abrasive cleaners or creams or furniture polish on it. If you see signs of mildew or mold, clean with a strong solution of bleach in soapy water. Otherwise, before storage, clean with a damp not wet cloth. If any piece gets saturated, bring it inside to dry and be careful not to bend, fold or flex any part of it while its wet. For that added layer of protection, paste wax works the best for wicker or rattan furniture.
If you have cast-aluminum or wrought-iron furniture, there are different trains of thought when preparing for winter. Wrought-iron pieces should not be left out, as it can rust easily. Since it tend to be a heavy material, it’s recommended to purchase quality covers that encompass all aspects of the furniture. If rust does appear, sand down any troubled areas and apply a silicone sealant.
Cast aluminum furniture is one of the most durable and weather resistant pieces of patio furniture that you can buy. Cast aluminum is basically rust proof so you don’t need to worry too much about moisture. There are plenty of covers that are available that fit all sorts of different shapes and sizes of patio furniture. Another added benefit of cast aluminum is that it’s super lightweight. If you’re concerned about a big windstorm or crazy snow conditions, it should be easy to move this furniture into a place away from the elements.
Go ahead, cover it!
Even if you’re planning on storing your outdoor furniture in a shed or garage, you need to cover everything up to protect it from dust, moisture, and all those other things that are best avoided. If you’re leaving everything outside, you absolutely need to ensure that the covers you choose are weather resistant and are able to withstand the elements. We have a great selection of outdoor covers for any size furniture, to include fire pits/tables.
Don’t forget your furniture cushions need love too. They should be wiped down with a damp cloth and let air dry before storing for the winter. If you find yourself needing replacement cushions, we have a great selection of those as well and can offer pretty much any size for any brand of furniture.
The key component in prolonging your outdoor patio furniture is yearly maintenance. It’s time well spent when the next season rolls around. Outdoor decor is an investment in your home, and as such you will want to protect yourself in the long term.