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Cleaning and getting ready for spring and summer  is a way to introduce the season, and welcome the warmer weather and opportunities to go outside. While getting the inside of your home spic-and-span for this time of year is a common project, it is often forgotten that the outdoors also need attention.  Taking the time to care for these outdoor spaces will go a long way to preserving them for many springs to come. This is especially true of your outdoor furniture on your patio or deck.

Cleaning And Maintaining Wood Patio Furniture

Cleaning patio furniture for spring should be done with care, and the materials that the patio furniture is made of should be considered. If the furniture is made out of wood, then it is wise to handle the pieces with the same caution that you would with any other outdoor wood items. If there is a brown tinge, or the furniture looks dingy and old, consider an update. This can include many of the same techniques that you would employ for your wood deck. Here is a list of how to handle this process.

Power washing

This will clean out any of the dirt that is trapped in the wood. Power washing also revitalizes old wood pieces from oxidation and weathering. If you’ve got softwood derived patio furniture, you might want to find an alternative to power washing. But, for other types of wood, this is a quick and easy way to revitalize your outdoor furniture surfaces.

Sanding down raised or splintered spots

Being that this is furniture, and people will be sitting, resting or leaning against the pieces, it is wise to have all areas smooth. This can be done with a sander, or by hand if just touching up certain spots. Stain if necessary. Many outdoor wood pieces are made out of teak, cedar or a compressed type of wood. If you have sanded and washed, and the furniture still needs some life, consider staining. This will give a personalized look to the pieces. After the stain dries, there is no worry of transfer onto clothes or guests later on.

Protecting with sealant

Use a prescribed sealant and stain to cover your furniture once you’ve finished sanding. These products will protect against additional weather damage, while providing a beautiful look that is perfect for spring entertaining. Ask you local retailer which products work best with your specific type of wood furniture.

In many cases this type of deep cleaning can be done every other year, with a simple washing taking place on the in between years. Wood patio furniture is beautiful when it is kept up and maintained. For ideas or tips on products to use during this process, sites like BuildDirect can help.

Making Plastic And Other Materials Shine This Spring

Some of the nicest patio pieces on the market are wrought iron, plastic and mixture of wood and plastic. These materials all need the same type of attention as their wood counterparts. Making sure these are clean and free of dirt or bugs is a great way to make an inviting outdoor space. Soap and water can go a long way to cleaning up those outdoor pieces; however, for certain cases, a little more elbow grease may be required.

For metal pieces, check to make sure that the paint is not chipped, and that there is no rust developing. This is important for safety reasons, and to extend the life of your furniture. If you detect rust developing on any parts of the outdoor pieces, then it is wise to take care of that with a rust preventive paint. You can find these types of paints in many colors, and in most cases, you can have the paint mixed to match.

For plastic pieces, use soap and water, or erasure sponges for those hard to get crevices and pits. This will brighten up the set and make it look good as new.

Mixed materials are part wood and part plastic compound. They are guaranteed by most manufacturers to never fade, warp or rust. For this type of product, you can treat it much the same at the plastic. A little soap and water is all that is needed.

Cleaning That Counts

Cleaning patio furniture for spring is not just a way to impress friends and neighbors when they visit, it is a way of extending the life of the pieces that you have invested in. The economic advantages outweigh the vanity advantages with this particular project, and it is wise to have a standard maintenance routine. Regular cleaning will make your backyard look inviting as a whole, helping to create a welcoming space for your guests in time for your upcoming outdoor gatherings this season.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.